"Berliner Requiem" is a cantata for tenor, baritone, three-part male chorus and wind orchestra by Kurt Weill with text by Bertolt Brecht. It illustrates two fundamental aspects of Weill´s involvement in the twenties: his contribution to a repertory destined specifically for the radio and his struggle against any form of conservativism.
The cantata "Vom Tod im Walde" was to have been placed at the beginning of the "Berliner Requiem", but Weill gave up the idea just before the premiere considering that its tone was incompatible with that of the other poems. It had ist first performance on 23 November 1927 in ther Berlin Philharmonic. Weill would never write such a sombre work again; the atonal writing is closer to that of the "Konzert für Violine" that to later works. This hymn to animal exisence, to the return to and the absorption by nature is characteristic of Brecht´s early poetry. The depiction of this death-return to the sources is the counterpart to that of the corpse of the drowned girl. Written in 1922, the poem was inserted into the play "Baal", before being published in a revisited form in the third lesson of Brecht´s "Hauspostille".
Kurt Weill - Das Berliner Requiem (1928) - Vom Tod im Wald (1927) - Konzert für Violine und Blasorchester (1925)