World War II

← Back to World War I

Music written and performed during World War II in Europe.

Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time

Written and performed while Olivier Messiaen was a POW during World War II.

Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time

Martinu: Memorial to Lidice

A piece written in 1943 to the memory of victims of a Nazi atrocity (see a history here).

Martinu: Memorial to Lidice

Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 2

The final movement of this trio (1944) is said to have been inspired by Shostakovich’s horror at stories of Jewish people being forced to dig and then dance on their own graves at Nazi death camps. See commentary by Erik Levi.

Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 2

Prokofiev: The War Sonatas (Piano Sonatas 6, 7, and 8)

Three piano sonatas composed 1939-1944.

Prokofiev: War Sonata No. 7

Forward to The Asia-Pacific War