A live performance during my masters exam concert “Kurt Weill – From Dessau to Broadway” at the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf.
Jenny’s Song “Wie man sich bettet, so liegt man” from the opera “Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny” (1930)
Music: Kurt Weill
Lyrics: Bertolt Brecht
Piano: Jori Schulze-Reimpell
In mid-March 1927, Weill was commissioned by the Baden-Baden Chamber Music Festival to compose a short opera. He decided to set some “Mahagonny-songs” from Bertolt Brecht’s “Die Hauspostille” to music. The song play premiered with the name “Mahagonny” on July 17th during the German Chamber Music Festival in Baden-Baden. Eventually, the complete opera “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny” premiered on March 9th 1930 at the New Theater in Leipzig, directed by Walther Brügmann, but disrupted by right-wing protesters. Later performances only took place with police protection. The press, influenced by the National Socialist party, advocated censorship of the work. As a result, the planned performances in Essen, Oldenburg and Dortmund had been canceled. The piece wasn’t performed until July 12th in Prague. The next performance in Frankfurt on October 16th had been massively disrupted by Nazis again. Weill however didn’t interpret this incident in any way as criticism of his work but as criticism of him as a Jewish composer. On December 21st he was one of numerous famous artists who participated in an article in the “General-Anzeiger” in Dortmund which pointed out the growing danger through the Nazis.