Mittwoch, 25. Januar 2017

Sylvia Anders - Hanns Eisler - There´s Nothing Quite Like Money (1981)

Sung in English by Sylvia Anders, a German actress and musical comedy star, the recording documents one of the most brilliant (and overlooked) musical and personal collaborations of the twentieth century: that of EISLER & BRECHT.
 
Anyone asked today to name a left-wing German composer who collaborated with BRECHT would surely think first of Kurt Weill. Weill, though, only worked with BRECHT for a short time, and the collaboration didn't really please either man. BRECHT's truer partner - and the truer - radical was HANNS EISLER. (Gregory Sandow). During his lifetime, EISLER (who was one of Schoenberg's favorite pupils) created a massive body of work, but these songs - written to inspire and enlighten a world gone mad with alienation and rampant greed - are his most immediate and successful musical contributions. EISLER's collaboration with BRECHT began in Germany between the World Wars, fueled by their radicalism and by their belief that music should teach optimism and struggle. The two wrote songs on the spur of the moment for workers' rallies and political cabarets: 'If anything new occurred, the first one to telephone me was BRECHT saying, 'We really must do something about that right away.' They continued to work together steadily throughout the 40's in what they called their 'years in exile' in Hollywood - a city that, as the songs document, they both found hatefully corrupt - and finally in East Germany in the 50's where they both settled after EISLER was expelled from the United States for his political beliefs.
 
The seventeen individual songs on this album classify as agitprop; they are political, anti-Nazi, proworker, pacifist, but their stirring sentiments and clear-eyed melodic and rhythmic appeal make them art songs as well. Best are 'The German Miserere,' 'There's Nothing Quite Like Money' (with its biting refrain, 'Money is our aphrodisiac'), 'Song of a German Mother,' 'Easter Sunday,' and the rousing 'Solidarity Song,' which was written in the Thirties and still has resonance today. Also included are the Seven Hollywood Elegies, bitter, nasty miniatures about the corrupt 'paradise' of southern California. German cabaret artist Sylvia Anders has a classically trained voice, which she uses like a surgeon's scalpel to dissect Brecht's lyrics. --Stephany von Buchau, High Notes

Sylvia Anders is a consistently compelling, sensuously and satirically powerful interpreter of both the words and the sinuous musical lines. She is a German actress based in Hamburg but, singing in English, is doubly idiomatic. Among the cheerily bitter titles are: 'The Rat Men,' 'Song of a German Mother' (of a Nazi), and 'The German Miserere.' Because they are so skillfully theatrical, the songs transcend their grim topical origins-especially when sung, as here, with such voracious mockery. --Nat Hentoff, The Progressive
 
(256 kbps, front cover included)
 
 

2 Kommentare:

loveisthedevil hat gesagt…

Thank you from the US, for such a timely and incisive post. Probably should grab it quickly, lest the new emperor decree it illegal to possess.

zero hat gesagt…

Let´s decree the new emperor illegal.

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