21. Wartime works

Although after the war Gál could once more attempt to pick up the links that had been broken through 15 years of prohibition and exile, it was clear that times had changed, and the musical values which Gál's music embodies had lost much of their currency (not with the public, but with the leaders of musical taste and fashion). In England, where he was hardly known before 1938, he had in any case to begin again, in order to gain any foothold at all on foreign soil, but he continued to compose undeterred, without consideration of external recognition. In Germany and Austria, where his reputation had to some extent survived the war, his music could be performed again, albeit on a much more limited scale than before. His cantata De Profundis (Op.50), dedicated "to the memory of this age, its agony and its victims", written in Vienna before the war, and performed for the first time by Otto Schmidtgen in Wiesbaden in 1948, had a particularly profound effect there. Wartime works could now receive their first performances, many in Germany under the baton of Otto Schmidtgen. Among the orchestral works are the Pickwickian Overture (Op.45), Lilliburlero (Op.48), subtitled, 'Improvisations on a Martial Melody', which takes as its theme the Irish tune used in wartime radio broadcasts, the Cello Concerto (Op.67) and the Second Symphony (Op.53), which was first performed by Schmidtgen in Wiesbaden in 1948.

Many works that were not published until much later likewise stem from these wartime years: for example the Violin Concertino (Op.52), the Viola Sonata (Op. 101), the Sonata for Two Violins and Piano (Op.96) and the Trio for Oboe, Violin and Viola (Op.94), which he wrote as a partner for the Huyton Suite. The traces of the confusions caused by Nazi persecution, war and exile are clearly discernible in the complete asynchrony of the opus numbers.