One of the leading ‘rediscoveries’ of Decca’s pioneering Entartete Musik series back in the 1990s was the Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff (1894-1942). Of German-Jewish descent, his racial background and communist sympathies made him a double target for the Nazi regime and he was deported from Czechoslovakia to the Bavarian concentration camp where he died just prior to his planned escape to the Soviet Union. His musical style changed dramatically over his career, but his most popular works fuse a lush German late-Romanticism with suggestions of serialism a la Alban Berg and elements of popular music, especially jazz. Think Szymanowski with the odd foxtrot thrown in. 

Schulhoff

Flammen (Flames), his only opera, premiered at the old National Theatre in Brno in 1932. Based on Karel Josef Beneš surrealist retelling of the Don Juan legend, it’s chiefly known these days in Max Brod’s German translation. With elements drawing on Freud, the Italian commedia del arte , and Mozart’s Don Giovanni , it’s a heady brew with...