Morning Concert:
Brecht Composers: A Musical Brecht-fest

Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 130 min
Event Type: Interview and Music Program Origin: KPFA

Russ Jennings is joined by theatrical director R. G. Davis in a program dedicated to the various composers that worked with Bertolt Brecht. Davis describes the evolution of Brecht’s political philosophy and how that was reflected in the composers he chose to work with. Particular attention is paid to the period of 1927 to 1933 which saw Brecht’s most successful collaborations with Kurt Weill give way to the more Marxist influenced agitprop theater he created with Hanns Eisler. Davis also plays excerpts from a number of early operas by Arnold Schoenberg that illustrate the early influences of both Eisler and Weill, and set the stage for their transition of serious music from concert halls to musical theaters.

Part 1 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  [music from the film “Niemandsland”] (1931) / Hanns Eisler -- Galathea [text by Frank Wedekind] (1901) / Arnold Schoenberg -- Hin und zurück (”There and Back”) [libretto by Marcellus Schiffer] (1927) / Paul Hindemith -- Jonny spielt auf (“Johnny strikes up the band”), Op. 45 [excerpt] (1925) / Ernst Krenek -- Concerto, for piano, orchestra, and male chorus, Op. 39 [excerpt] (1879) / Ferruccio Busoni -- Der Jasager [excerpt, text by B. Brecht, after Japanese noh play “Taniko”] (1930) / Kurt Weill -- Erwartung Op. 17 [excerpt, libretto by Marie von Pappenheim] (1909) / Arnold Schoenberg
Performers:  Marnie Nixon, soprano (Galathea)
Berlin Symphony Orchestra (Hin)
Arthur Grüber, conductor. (Hin)
Barbara Miller, soprano (Hin)
Claus Bock, tenor (Hin)
Ulrich Schaible, baritone (Hin)
Helmur Kühnle, bass (Hin)
Evelyn Lear, soprano (Jonny)
Lucia Popp, soprano (Jonny)
Gerd Feldhoff, baritone (Jonny)
William Blankenship, tenor (Jonny)
Thomas Stewart, bass-baritone (Jonny)
Vienna Academy Chamber Choir (Jonny)
Vienna "Volksoper" Orchestra (Jonny)
Heinrich Hollreiser, conductor (Jonny)
John Ogdon, piano (Concerto)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus (Concerto)
Daniell Revenaugh, conductor (Concerto)
Joseph Protschka, boy soprano (Der Jasager)
Lys Bert, vocals (Der Jasager)
Willibald Vohla, vocals (Der Jasager)
Düsseldorf Children’s Chorus and chamber orchestra (Der Jasager)
Siegfried Kohler, conductor (Der Jasager)
Anja Silja, soprano (Erwartung)
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Erwartung)
Christoph von Dohnányi, conductor (Erwartung)
Genres:  Opera; Music Theater
Subject:  Brecht, Bertolt, 1898-1956; Hindemith, Paul, 1895-1963; Eisler, Hanns, 1898-1962; Schoenberg, Arnold, 1874-1951; Weill, Kurt, 1900-1950; Krenek, Ernst, 1900-1991; Busoni, Ferruccio, 1866-1924; Korsch, Karl, 1886-1961; Songs (High voice) with piano; Operas -- Excerpts; Music theater; Concertos (Piano); Communism
People:  Jennings, Russ; Davis, R. G.; Eisler, Hanns, 1898-1962; Schoenberg, Arnold, 1874-1951; Wedekind, Frank, 1864-1918; Hindemith, Paul, 1895-1963; Schiffer, Marcellus; Grüber, Arthur; Miller, Barbara (Soprano); Bock, Claus (Tenor); Schaible, Ulrich; Kühnle, Helmut (Bass); Krenek, Ernst, 1900-1991; Lear, Evelyn; Popp, Lucia; Feldhoff, Gerd; Blankenship, William, 1928-; Stewart, Thomas, 1928-2006; Hollreiser, Heinrich, 1913-2006; Busoni, Ferruccio, 1866-1924; Ogdon, John, 1937-1989; Revenaugh, Daniell, 1934- ; Brecht, Bertolt, 1898-1956; Weill, Kurt, 1900-1950; Protschka, Josef, 1946-; Symonette, Lys; Vohla, Willibald; Köhler, Siegfried, 1923-; Pappenheim, Marie von; Silja, Anja; Dohnányi, Christoph von
Recording Date:  11/06/1986
First Broadcast Date:  11/10/1986
Part 2 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  Die Massnahme (“The Measure Taken”) [excerpt, text by B. Brecht] (1930) / Hanns Eisler -- Profit & Loss: The Traders Song [from “The Measure Taken”] / Hanns Eisler -- The Ballad of Black Jim / Hanns Eisler -- Kuhle Wampe [excerpt, text by B. Brecht] (1931) / Hanns Eisler -- [unidentified song] / Hanns Eisler --The Mother Cantata [excerpt, text by B. Brecht] (1930-32) / Hanns Eisler
Performers:  Robyn Archer, vocals (Trader’s Song ; unidentified song)
Mordecai Bauman, vocals (Ballad)
Ernst Busch, vocals (Kuhle)
Genres:  Opera; Music Theater
Subject:  Eisler, Hanns, 1898-1962; Schoenberg, Arnold, 1874-1951; Brecht, Bertolt, 1898-1956; Weill, Kurt, 1900-1950; Willett, John; Operas -- Excerpts; Music theater; Communism; Agitprop theater; Motion picture music
People:  Jennings, Russ; Davis, R. G.; Eisler, Hanns, 1898-1962; Brecht, Bertolt, 1898-1956; Archer, Robyn, 1948-; Bauman, Mordecai; Busch, Ernst, 1900-1980
Recording Date:  11/06/1986
First Broadcast Date:  11/10/1986


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