Entartete Musik (2015)

CD-Digipack incl. Bonus DVD
The Symphonie Orchestra of the Robert Schumann Conservatory

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Die Toten Hosen

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„Entartete Musik“ Willkommen in Deutschland – A Memorial Concert

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Wie man sich bettet, so liegt man (Kurt Weill)

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.

Lucy’s Aria (Kurt Weill)

A live performance during my masters exam concert “Kurt Weill – From Dessau to Broadway” at the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf.

Lucy’s Aria from “The Threepenny Opera” (1928)

Music: Kurt Weill
Lyrics: Bertolt Brecht
Piano: Jori Schulze-Reimpell

“The Threepenny Opera” premiered on August 31st 1928 at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin and instantly became a hit. Theaters all over Germany announced that they would include the play in their repertoire. Weill, Elisabeth Hauptmann and Bertolt Brecht had worked on the opera from May to September. It was orchestrated for a seven-piece jazz band, common in Berlin at the time (At the premiere the Lewis Ruth Band, conducted by Theo Mackeben). Three songs from The Threepenny Opera were cut before the premiere: Rosa Valetti rejected the “Ballade der sexuellen Hörigkeit” (The Ballad of the Sexual Dependance) because of its daring lyrics. The “Song of Solomon” as well as the “Lucy’s Aria” had been removed because the performer Kate Kühls was vocally incapable of performing it. In November 1932 Weill published this pseudo-aria in “Die Musik 25, No.2”, without ever having orchestrated it.

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.