Smile (Charlie Chaplin)

A live performance during a recital of the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf.

Music: Charlie Chaplin
Lyrics: John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons
Piano: Rabih Lahoud

Die Legende vom toten Soldaten (Kurt Weill)

A live performance during a recital of the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf.

“Die Legende vom toten Soldaten” (1929)
Music: Kurt Weill (originally for A-cappella choir)
Lyrics: Bertolt Brecht
Piano: Jori Schulze-Reimpell
Arrangement: Jori Schulze-Reimpell and Linda Babiak

The text of the “Legend of the Dead Soldier” was written by Bertolt Brecht in 1917 or 1918 (Brecht gave different information on this) and was first published under the title “The Ballad of the Dead Soldier” in the appendix of the drama “Drums in the Night” in 1922. In 1927, Brecht then included the legend in his “Hauspostille.” In addition to the scoring by Weill (originally for an a cappella workers’ choir), there are also scorings by Hanns Eisler and Ernst Busch. The text was intended from the get-go as a vocal performance, since Brecht himself performed it in the manner of a Moritat singer. Allegedly, after the Hitler putsch in November 1923, the piece was number 5 on the putschists’ blacklist and was cited as one of the reasons for Brecht’s expatriation on June 8, 1935.

Die sieben Todsünden (Kurt Weill)

A live performance during a recital of the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf.

“Die sieben Todsünden” (1933)
Music: Kurt Weill
Lyrics: Bertolt Brecht
Piano: Jori Schulze-Reimpell
Arranged as a short version for one singer by Jori Schulze-Reimpell and Linda Babiak

0:00 Prolog
2:36 Stolz
5:41 Unzucht
9:48 Neid
13:32 Epilog

On June 7, 1933, the “ballet chanté” premiers “The Seven Deadly Sins” at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and on June 30 at the Savoy Theatre in London. It is the first work by Kurt Weill to be performed in England.
The patron of the arts Edward James had commissioned Weill in April to compose a piece for George Balanchine’s ballet company “Les Ballets.” James and Weill jointly decided on a ballet with singing. Weill wanted to engage the French writer Jean Cocteau for the libretto, but he declined. When James suggested Bertold Brecht as librettist, Weill agrees.

It is the story of Anna I and Anna II, who travel through seven American cities in seven years to earn money for a home at the behest of their family. In the process, Anna I offers her sister Anna II for love services. It remains unclear whether Anna I and Anna II are the same person. Anna I is the singing embodiment, Anna II the dancer.

The press in Germany claimed that Paris also repelled Weill’s works. In a letter to Lotte Lenya in July, Weill wrote that he had the feeling an “anti-Weill clique” was slowly forming in Paris as well, and wondered whether it was really necessary for him to expose himself to the next dangerous situation.

Caro nome (Giuseppe Verdi)

Gilda’s aria “Caro nome” (Sweet Name) from Verdi’s opera “Rigoletto”. Sung at a recital of the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf.