Samstag, 30. Juli 2016

Bertolt Brecht - Auszüge aus dem Arbeitsjournal 1948 - 1954

Today Brecht is best known as a poet, and most critics consider his poetic talent his strong point. His plays were mostly based on the works of others. But he was an innovator with his theatrical "Verfremdungseffekt" ("alienation effect"), designed to make the audience active, thinking participants in a play, rather than just passive observers who get lost in dramatic illusion. Many people today know Brecht best through the "Threepenny Opera" songs he wrote with the composer Kurt Weill ("Mackie Messer"/"Mack the Knife"). Like many artists, Brecht has become more appreciated after his death than he was during his lifetime. His sardonic humor now seems almost contemporary.

Born into a bourgeois family with a Catholic father and a Protestant mother, Brecht became a Marxist who was critical of society and religion in general. Forced into exile by the Nazis in 1933, Brecht was a man without a country for much of his life. He seemed to live in his own "alienation effect." Even after his return to East Germany in 1949, Brecht went from being viewed as a radical Marxist in the West, to being viewed suspiciously by the East for his unorthodox dramatic theories.For a brief time Brecht worked in Hollywood - a place he did not like very much. With the Austrian director Fritz Lang, Brecht wrote the script for "Hangmen Also Die" (1943), inspired by the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich by Czech resistance fighters, and the ensuing retaliation by the Nazis. Forced out of Hollywood by HUAC, Brecht finally settled in East Berlin.

Brecht quickly discovered, however, that the German Democratic Republic was not quite his ideal brand of Communism, and he was often at odds with his East German hosts. He did not care to keep up appearances, and because of his scruffy, unshaven appearance, East German security guards once excluded him from a Berlin reception being held in his own honor.
He died in East Berlin in 1956.

During the exile period, Bertolt Brecht was forced to develop new aesthetic forms since it was often difficult to find theaters to produce his work. The prose works of the exile period such as Me-Ti, the Keuner stories, and the Tui novel, as well as Brecht's Arbeitsjournal, can be seen as an extension of his aesthetic experiments to the realm of prose literature.

Bertolt Brecht - Auszüge aus dem Arbeitsjournal 1948 - 1954
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Heinrich Heine - Lyrik und Jazz (Gerd Westphal)

The German student movement of 1968 gave rise to a colorful flock of songsmiths, who early on discovered Heinrich Heine for their purposes. Looking at pieces critical of times past or present, a few verses from "Deutschland. Ein Wintermärchen" became part of the scenery.

Many listeners were introduced to an entirely new Heine at the legendary song festivals at Burg Waldeck. Accompanied by guitar, folk duos sang musically rather unassuming "Erinnerungen aus Kräwinkels Schreckentagen" or songs of the "Wanderratten". "Die schlesischen Weber" without tears in their desperate eyes have been part and parcel of political folklore ever since. It seems as if the new embracing of Heine in this genre follows other societal trends, from agitation to spirituality. Of all the many groups who did so, the Swiss group "Poesie und Musik" (with members Rene Bardet, Andreas Vollenweider, Orlando Valentini) had the greatest success in 1974 with their recorded Heine program "Ich kann nicht mehr die Augen schliessen".
This music and poetry concept, however, was not a novel one; under the title "Lyrik und Jazz", the Attilla Zoller Quartet with Gert Westphal, the famous speaker who died in 2002, had already introduced a jazzed-up Heine.

Heinrich Heine - Lyrik und Jazz (Gerd Westphal)
(192 kbps, ca. 55 MB, front cover included)

Harry Belafonte - Calypso (1956)

This is the album that made Harry Belafonte's career. Up to this point, calypso had only been a part of Belafonte's focus in his recordings of folk music styles. But with this landmark album, calypso not only became tattooed to Belafonte permanently; it had a revolutionary effect on folk music in the 1950s and '60s.

The album consists of songs from Trinidad, mostly written by West Indian songwriter Irving Burgie
(aka Lord Burgess). Burgie´s two most successful songs are included -- "Day O" and "Jamaica Farewell" (which were both hit singles for Belafonte) -- as are the evocative ballads "I Do Adore Her" and "Come Back Liza" and what could be the first feminist folk song, "Man Smart (Woman Smarter)."

"Calypso" became the first million-selling album by a single artist, spending an incredible 31 weeks at the top of the Billboard album charts, remaining on the charts for 99 weeks. It triggered a veritable tidal wave of imitators, parodists, and artists wishing to capitalize on its success. Years later, it remains a record of inestimable influence, inspiring many folksingers and groups to perform, most notably the Kingston Trio, which was named for the Jamaican capital. For a decade, just about every folksinger and folk group featured in their repertoire at least one song that was of West Indian origin or one that had a calypso beat. They all can be attributed to this one remarkable album. Despite the success of "Calypso", Belafonte refused to be typecast. Resisting the impulse to record an immediate follow-up album, Belafonte instead spaced his calypso albums apart, releasing them at five-year intervals in 1961, 1966, and 1971.                

Harry Belafonte - Calypso (1956)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Trotz alledem - Arbeiterlieder

"Trotz alledem " is a fine compilation of workers' songs and socialist hymns.

It presents classics like "Die Internationale", "Einheitsfrontlied" and "Brüder zur Sonne, zur Freiheit" in german language.

Trotz alledem - Arbeiterlieder (192 kbps, front cover included)

René Bardet´s Poesie & Musik: Pablo Neruda 1 - Ein Mensch kam zur Welt (Mood, 1979)

PhotobucketBetween 1974 and 1983 there existed a very interesting swiss music project called "Poesie und Musik". They were publishing inspiring records that combined poetry and music based on texts by Francois Villon, Heinrich Heine, the indian Chief Seattle and Pablo Neruada.

Here´s their first album with interpretations of poetry by Pablo Neruda, called "Ein Mensch kam zur Welt", produced in Stuttgart at "Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik" in 1979 with René Bardet (guitar, voice), Tini Hägler (marimba perc), Ruedi Häusermann (bamboo-fl, clarinette, flute), Martin Schütz (cello) and Orlando Valentini (bass, guitar, percussion).

Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean writer and politician Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. With his works translated into many languages, Pablo Neruda is considered one of the greatest and most influential poets of the 20th century. Neruda was accomplished in a variety of styles ranging from erotically charged love poems like his collection Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair, surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature, a controversial award because of his political activism. Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once called him "the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language".

1. Ein Mensch Kam Zur Welt
2. "Nacimiento"
3. Meister Huerta
4. Rosaura
5. Die Advokaten Des Dollars
6. Verkündigung Des Gesetzes Des Stärkeren
7. Erklärung Einiger Dinge
8. Vielleicht Haben Wir Zeit

René Bardet´s Poesie & Musik - Pablo Neruda 1 - Ein Mensch kam zur Welt
(192 kbps)

Bertolt Brecht - Herr Puntila und sein Knecht Matti - Pauken und Trompeten (LITERA)

"Herr Puntila und sein Knecht Matti", a play (Volksstück) by Bertolt Brecht, was written in 1940, first performed in June 1948, and published in 1959, though a Finnish version appeared in 1946.

An unusually amusing comedy, it is based on stories and on a projected play by the Finnish writer Hella Wuolijoki. The farmer Puntila alternates between sobriety and inspired intoxication; during the former state he has all the drawbacks, from the Marxist viewpoint, of the orthodox landowner, and during the latter state he behaves like a human being among other human beings. Matti, Puntila's chauffeur, in the end abandons his unpredictable employer, singing a song ending ‘'s wird Zeit, daß deine Knechte dir den Rücken kehren./Den guten Herrn, den finden sie geschwind./Wenn sie erst ihre eignen Herren sind". For his complexity and vitality, "Mr. Puntila" ranks on a par with Brecht's indelible "Galileo" and "Mother Courage".

"Trumpets and Drums" (German: "Pauken und Trompeten") is an adaptation of an 18th-century English Restoration comedy by Farquhar, "The Recruiting Officer". It was written by the German dramatist Bertolt Brecht in collaboration with Benno Besson and Elisabeth Hauptmann.

It was first performed in 1955 in a production directed by Besson, with music by Rudolf Wagner-Régeny (whose songs for the play have been called "Weill-like" by John Willett). It was the first premiere of Brecht's final season at the Berliner Ensemble. Willett identifies an instance of Brecht's lifelong indebtedness to Rudyard Kipling in the play's "Song of the Women of Gaa."

The production strongly influenced the English director William Gaskill's reinterpretation of Farquhar's original play for the National Theatre.

This album features recordings from the Berliner Ensemble with Therese Giehse, Erwin Geschonneck and many more.

Bertolt Brecht - Herr Puntila und sein Knecht Matti - Pauken und Trompeten
(192 kbps, front cover included)

You find the original liner notes in the comment section.

Solidarität mit Chile (Single, Eterna, 1973)

This single, released in 1973 on the Eterna label, was an expression of  East Germany's international solidarity with Chile, and its president, Salvador Allende.
The money gained by selling this single should help the people in Chile in their struggle towards democracy.
It features two live recordings form the "Festival Politische Lieder" at the 10th "World Festival of Youth and Students", 1973, in East Berlin.

Side 1: "Venceremos" (Inti Illimani)
Side 2: "El Pueblo Unido" (Quinteto Tiempo, Agitprop, Oktoberklub Berlin)

Solidarität mit Chile (Single, Eterna, 1973)
(320 kbps, front & back cover included)

This poster depicts Allende's famous last speech to the people of Chile from the balcony of the Palacio de la Moneda, the Presidential Palace in Santiago. He stood on the balcony as the FACH (Air Force of Chile) bombed the palace. He died in the palace, the cause of which is highly controversial. Some say Allende committed suicide by not leaving the palace when offered the chance to go into exile. Others say that he was murdered. Allende had chosen to stay in the palace and fight for his country as a soldier would.

Makwerhu - Somandla (1994)

Makwerhu was formed in 1991 in Cape Town, South Africa, by Mike Makhubele, Wakhile Xhalisa and Morris Mungoy.

From the linernotes:

"Makwerhu means brother and sister in Shangaan. The group sees their music as a part of the fight for a free (South-)Africa with no borders between countries, races or tribes.
Istead of trying to dominate one culture over the other Makwerhu unites them. The result is a magnificial mixture of several traditional styles of the Southern Africa with elements of Highlife, Reggae, Jazz, Afro-Rock and Rumba amon others. The lyrics are written in different languages of the Southern Africa such as shangaan, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and as wellin English."


2Zulu Beat
10Khale Wa Khaleni

Makwerhu - Somandla (1994)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 29. Juli 2016

Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra - Secrets of the Sun (1962)

Secrets of the Sun is an album by the American Jazz musician Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra. The album consists of sessions recorded by drummer Tommy "Bugs" Hunter in 1962 at the Choreographer's Workshop in New York City, the Arkestra's regular rehearsal studio. Since they had only recently moved to New York (some decided to stay in Chicago), these are small-group Arkestra recordings. This is an interesting transitional album because you can still hear echoes of the Chicago sound in some of the pieces, but the sound is growing beyond merely "exotic," with percussion playing an increasingly larger role and the pieces starting to sound more amorphous.
"The Friendly Galaxy" has the same sort of mysterious vibe as "Ancient Aetheopia," with nice trumpet and piano work as well as John Gilmore on bass clarinet (which he plays on a couple cuts). "Solar Differentials" has a similar but weirder feel because the horns change to "Space Bird Sounds" and Art Jenkins adds some of his distinctive "Space Voice." "Space Aura" is built on a great horn riff, while both Gilmore (again on bass clarinet) and Sun Ra both shine on a stripped-down version of "Love in Outer Space." Things head a bit more out for the last couple tracks, where percussion and reverb start to dominate the sound, as they would on several of the Choreographer Workshop recordings.
This is an interesting album for Ra fans because it's such a small band and shows how new ideas were taking hold in the music, not to mention Gilmore's use of bass clarinet, which he stopped playing completely sometime in the '60s. In 2008, "Secrets of the Sun" was reissued by Atavistic with an unreleased 17 minute bonus track.             
  1. Friendly Galaxy
  2. Solar Differentials
  3. Space Aura
  4. Love In Outer Space
  5. Reflects Motion
  6. Solar Symbols

     7. Flight to Mars

Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra - Secrets of the Sun (1962)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

VA - September Songs – The Music Of Kurt Weill (1994/1997)

German-born composer Kurt Weill's music has aged quite well through the years and has been rediscovered and reinterpreted by such diverse artists as Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin, Willie Nelson, the Doors and Teresa Stratas. Just prior to the 70th anniversary of the classic "Three Penny Opera", which made its debut in 1928, producer Hal Wilner, who supervised the brilliant 1985 Weill tribute "Lost in the Stars", in association with filmmaker Larry Weinstein, gave fans old and new "September Songs", a collection of interpretations from the film project of the same name.

Weinstein, inspired by hearing the "Lost in the Stars" project, developed his film as a visual follow-up to the record, hiring Wilner to reprise his role as music supervisor. Wilner once again chose a wide array of artists for the project, ranging from pop musicians such as Polly Harvey and Elvis Costello to jazz vocalist Betty Carter, opera soprano Teresa Stratas, beat author William S. Burroughs and the gospel stylings of the Persuasions. Among the true joys of September Songs, aside from the wonderful new renditions, is the inclusion of recordings by Weill's wife Lotte Lenya from 1955 on "Pirate Jenny," lyricist Bertolt Brecht performing "Mack the Knife" in 1930 in its original German, and Weill himself, joined via modern recording technology by bassist Charlie Haden, singing the beautiful "Speak Low."

Without a weak performance on the entire album, Wilner once again has done an excellent job of capturing the beauty and scope of one of the 20th century's greatest composers.

VA - September Songs – The Music Of Kurt Weill (1994/1997)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Wolf Biermann - Das geht sein´ sozialistischen Gang (1976)

One of the unsung heroes of the Cold War, poet Wolf Biermann was born in 1936 in Hamburg, Germany. The son of a German communist killed in Auschwitz, Biermann emigrated—“in unbroken humility” - to East Berlin in 1953 - to “sing in revolt” - with Brecht's Berliner Ensemble.
With his aggressive, provocative and ironic lyrics, Biermann criticized the social and political situation, first in the GDR and then, after his expatriation in 1976, in the Federal Republic of Germany.

“I can only love what I am free to leave.”

Wolf Biermann became popular as a performer of his satirical songs and ballads - but - as he grew critical of the régime - was forbidden to perform in East Germany from 1962 - more or less - until 1976 when he was stripped of his citizenship and sent into exile by the politburo - a theatrical gesture - after his concert in Cologne under the sponsorship of the West German metalworkers union.

After being banned from public performance for eleven years, Biermann appeared on September 11, 1976, in the Nikolai Church in Prenzlau. He later claimed that his visit was tolerated because the Stasi confused him with a pastor there of the same name. The Lutheran churches had become places where some opposition to the state could be tolerated, and the good atheist Wolf Biermann found his first audience since 1965 there. Following this performances, the ruling party (the SED) boewed to enormous popular pressure from the IG Metall, the West German metal worker´s union, to allow Biermann to go to West Germany in November 1976. On November 13, 1976, Biermann gave a concert in the Sporthalle in Cologne, which was broadcast on West German television and, of course, seen surrepititiously in East Berlin. His concert was the overt act that enabled the "rotten old men" (his words in a song) of the SED to banish him. The power of his performance was linked to the oppositional message. Poetry read by the elite is much less dangerous than songs or films that reach the masses. The leadership of the SED announced that because Biermann was born in Hamburg (in West Germany), his permission for him to remain in the GDR had been rescinded. Truly scurrilous accounts of his sexual life began to circulate to the media. Three days after his legendary concert in the Cologne sport arena, he was expatriated by the East German party leaders for his "hostile performance" and not permitted to return to the GDR.

Over 100 artists, writers and actors in the socialist German state staged public protests. When the authorities responded with intimidation, jail sentences and bans, masses of intellectuals picked up and left the GDR.
Biermann saw his expatriation as a catastrophe. "I thought it was all over with my life as a singer and poet," he said later.
Indeed, the first years in exile weren't easy. Nevertheless, the "Troubadour of inner German conflict," as the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" called him in a 1987 article, carried on with his career. He published several volumes of lyric and prose and settled old scores with both East and West Germany on concert tours at home and abroad.

“I do not keep silent about my silence.”

Not to be undone - Wolf Biermann - the source of countless poetries and recorded lyrics - returned to perform in East Berlin in 1989, and was named an honorary citizen of Berlin eight years later.

“Still it is taking place - the sunrise. The dark night, still - it is being preformed.”

Wolf Biermann now lives in Hamburg, Germany.

Biermanns legendary 1976 concert was documented on the double-album "Das geht sein´ sozialistischen Gang":

Wolf Biermann - Das geht sein´ sozialistischen Gang
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Hanns Eisler / Bertolt Brecht - Collaboration

This Tomato release from 1981 features collaborations between Hanns Eisler and Bertolt Brecht sung by Sylvia Anders, a german actress and musical comedy star, daughter of the famous tenor Peter Anders, who is at the forefront of the current trend toward revival of the traditional german cabaret.

Sylvia Anders acting and colloquial delivery of the words are so strong that it´s easy to overlook her accomplished classical musicianship and vocal technique in “Failure in Loving” and the melodically very difficult “Hollywood Elegies”. She sings in English; clearly it´s not a language she uses every day, but it brings these songs to a broader audience. Her accent and authentic german cabaret style help place Eisler´s work in its historical context.

Th accompaniments, originally for piano or chamber ensemble, are played sometimes on piano, sometimes on a synthesizer, and sometimes by the guitar, vibraphone, bass and keyboard of the Stephen Roane Quartet, in jazz arrangements by Justus Noll (a german theatre composer) and by Heiner Stadler, the producer of the record and an accomplished jazz composer in his own right.
It my be surprising to hear something as straight-forward as the “Solidarity Song” accompanied by one of the most elaborate jazz arrangements of all, but on the other hand Eisler – who knew that music menat for pracitcal use must often be rearranged to suit new situations – might have found that the fresh musical ambience gives his familiar melodies a new edge.

Hanns Eisler / Bertolt Brecht Collaboration (new link)
(192 kbps, ca. 60 MB)

Hein & Oss - Bertolt Brecht ~ Lieder, Balladen & Songs (1969)

This collection of Hein & Oss interpretations of some Bertolt Brecht material was released in 1969 on the Da Camera label.

1. Mahagonnygesang Nr. 1
2. Legende vom toten Soldaten
3. Am Grunde der Moldau
4. Mutter Courages Lied
5. Ballade von den Selbsthelfern
6. Der Kanonensong
7. Die Ballade von Hanna Cash
8. Mahagonnygesang Nr. 3
9. Lied des Pfeifenpieter
10. Ballade vom Förster und der Gräfin
11. Gegen Verführung
12. Die Ballade vom dem Soldaten
13. Die Schlußstrophen des Dreigroschenfilms

Hein & Oss - Bertolt Brecht - Lieder, Balladen & Songs (1969)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Eric Bentley ‎– Bentley On Brecht (1962)

Playwright, poet and lyricist Bertolt Brecht was among the most controversial figures ever to impact musical theatre; an avowed Marxist, he often worked in tandem with composer Kurt Weill to create one of the most provocative bodies of work ever staged. Brecht was born February 10, 1898 in Augsburg, Bavaria; while attending Munich University, he was drafted to serve as a medic in World War I, later forging a career as a writer. His early Expressionist dramas -"Trommeln in der Nacht", "Baal" and "Im Dickicht der Stadte" - reflected his anti-establishment leanings, as well as an obsession with violence; he then spent the majority of the 1920s touring the cabaret circuits of Germany and Scandinavia, often courting further controversy over the outspoken politics and nihilistic edge of his songs.
In 1928 Brecht earned his greatest theatrical success with "Die Dreigroschenoper", a musical adaptation of John Gay's "The Beggar's Opera" featuring music composed by Weill; like the previous year's Mann Ist Mann and 1929's "Mahagonny", it spotlighted the playwright's gift for incisive satire of bourgeois sensibilities. By 1933, Brecht - exiled to Denmark in the wake of the Reichstag fire - had acquired an international reputation on the strength of work like "The Threepenny Opera", which opened in an English-language version on Broadway. An outspoken critic of the Nazis, his plays, poems and radio dramas of the period attacked the Hitler regime with thinly-veiled contempt; finally, in 1941 he was forced to flee to Hollywood to escape the Nazis' wrath, settling there to write works including Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis and Leben des Galilei. In 1947 Brecht was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee for his pro-Communist beliefs; he then moved to East Berlin, where he established his own theater, the Berliner Ensemble. He died on August 14, 1956.

Eric Bentley (born September 14, 1916) is a British-born American critic, playwright, singer, editor and translator.
Beginning in 1953, Bentley taught at Columbia University and simultaneously was a theatre critic for The New Republic. Known for his blunt style of theatre criticism, Bentley incurred the wrath of playwrights Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller, both of whom threatened to sue him for his unfavorable reviews of their work. From 1960-1961, Bentley was the Norton professor at Harvard University.

Bentley is considered one of the preeminent experts on Bertolt Brecht, whom he met at UCLA as a young man and whose works he has translated extensively. He edited the Grove Press issue of Brecht's work, and recorded two albums of Brecht's songs for Folkways Records, most of which had never before been recorded in English.

In 1968, he signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War.

Bentley became an American citizen in 1948, and currently lives in New York City.

The album "Bentley on Brecht" was recorded in New York City, 1962 and released on Riverside Records in the same year. It contains songs and poems written by Bertolt Brecht read and sung by Eric Bentley, accompanied on harmonium and piano.

Eric Bentley - Bentley On Brecht (1962)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Lokomotive Kreuzberg – James Blond, den Lohnräubern auf der Spur (Pläne, 1973)

"James Blond, den Lohnräubern auf der Spur" is a neglected milestone in German rock history. The band Lokomotive Kreuzberg called it "Polit-Rock-Kabarett" and it's rather a stage show with rock music. If you think of Bert Brecht's 3 Penny Opera you get the idea, although this show didn't have a similar impact at all. Kreuzberg is a district of West-Berlin, where they were a part of the underground scene together with Ton Steine Scherben and many other projects.

All of them were opposing the cold-war strategy of the Allied Forces and the exploitation of factory workers by Wirtschaftswunder capitalism. After some personal changes Lokomotive Kreuzberg became the backing band of Nina Hagen when she was expulsed from communist Eastern Germany in 1978 and relocated to the political island of West-Berlin with the wall around it. Together they released 2 ground-shaking records at the peak of the punk movement.

Next the band was renamed to Spliff, now diving into new wave, redefining german rock once again by releasing another 3 records. In 1984 they separated and everybody took his own road in music business leaving many more traces. But this is where it started.


1. Criminalis 04:29
2. J.B. Superman 07:40
3. Guten Morgen, Herr Blond 03:12
4. Arbeitsunfall (aus der Sicht des Unternehmers) 06:27
5. Streiklied 04:00
6. Wohlfundierte Thesen 03:51
7. Burdas Ball 05:10
8. Speed 00:34
9. King & Co. 07:51
Total time: 43:09

Kalle Scherfling: Vocals
Volker Hiemann: Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Andi Brauer: Vocals, Electric Piano, Violin, Flute, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion
Manfred Praeker: Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion
Uwe Holz: Vocals, Drums, Harmonica, Percussion

Lokomotive Kreuzberg – James Blond, den Lohnräubern auf der Spur (Pläne, 1973)
(ca. 212 kbps, cover art included)

Ernst Busch - Vorwärts und nicht vergessen - Ernst Busch singt Lieder der Arbeiterklasse

Originally posted in March 2015:
Yesterday I had the chance to listen to a lecture by Rudolf Lukowsky, a good friend and collegue of Ernst Busch. The 88 years old componist and musician talked about his collaboration with Ernst Busch.This album is a private collection of Ernst Busch recordings, compiled by Rudolf Lukowksy. Most of the recordings on this album are not the officially released versions but outtakes of rehearsal sessions.

Busch first rose to prominence as an interpreter of political songs, particularly those of Kurt Tucholsky, in the Berlin cabaret scene of the 1920s. He starred in the original 1928 production of Bertolt Brecht's "Threepenny Opera", as well as the subsequent 1931 film by Georg Wilhelm Pabst.
A lifelong Communist, Busch fled Nazi Germany in 1933 with the Gestapo on his heels, eventually settling in the Soviet Union. In 1937 he joined the International Brigades to fight against Fascism in Spain. His wartime songs were then recorded and broadcasted by Radio Barcelona and Radio Madrid. After the Spanish Republic fell to Franco, Busch migrated to Belgium where he was interned during the German occupation and later imprisoned in Camp Gurs, France and Berlin. Freed by the Soviet Army in 1945, he settled in East Berlin where he worked with Bertold Brecht and Erwin Piscator at the "Berliner Ensemble".

A beloved figure in the DDR, he is best remembered for his performance in the title role of Brecht's "Galileo" and his stirring recordings of workers songs, including many written by Hanns Eisler. Many of Busch's original recordings from the 1930s are available in digitized form online and on CD; also available are re-recordings created during the late 1940s and early 1950s, which are equally stirring but perhaps less subtle in approach.

Ernst Busch - Vorwärts und nicht vergessen
(192 kbps, complete artwork included)

Hanns Eisler - Chöre - Choral Music - Choers

Hanns Eisler (1898-1962) was a German composer, pupil of Arnold Schoenberg . In 1926, he joined the German Communist party, thereafter producing protest songs and other music expressive of left-wing ideals, and began a collaboration with Bertolt Brecht.

He fled Naziism for the United States in 1933, settled in Los Angeles, created scores for a variety of films, and became musical assistant to Charlie Chaplin (1942-47). Called before the notorious House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947 and castigated as a Communist, he left the United States in 1948, living first in Vienna and then in East Berlin, where he wrote music for 17 films and numerous plays as well as a large number of songs in cabaret style. During his career, he also wrote symphonies, choral compositions, chamber music, and art songs. His music is rigorously crafted, witty, and expressive. Eisler also wrote the book "Composing for the Films" (1947). He died in East Berlin and is buried near Brecht in the Dorotheenstadt Cemetery.

Eisler was striving in the later years of the Weimar Republic to develop a communicative style of political song. The recordings on this CD testify to Hanns Eisler´s change of position since 1925/26: away from the largely Schoenberg-oriented chamber music of the bourgeois concert hall toward critical qualification of the worker´s music movement and the new stoff of "battle music". These choruses were written to be sung by Communist choral societies in the "Agitprop" (Agitation-Propaganda) movement. Most of Eisler's best-known political choruses are on this album, including "Coal for Mike," a Brecht song based on Sherwood Anderson's story about a railroad worker's widow in Ohio.

Hanns Eisler - Chöre - Choral Music - Choers (192 kbps)

Eric Bentley - Songs Of Hanns Eisler (1964)

Hanns Eisler was a gifted composer who became an “unperson” in the United States after he was forced to leave in 1948 as “an undesirable alien”. He is increasingly popular in Europe, where his very diverse and often inventive music is reaching a new generation of listeners. Eisler reacted against the late-Romantic tradition of “art for art’s sake” and instead argued that music must have a social function, that music should be engaged in the struggle for human liberation. So he was closely associated with the political theater of Bertolt Brecht and other radical writers, and was one of the first serious composers to experiment with the new technologies of radio, film and recording. At the same time, he wrote extraordinary chamber music and was arguably one of the best composers of German concert lieder in the 20th century.

Eric Bentley (born September 14, 1916) is a critic, playwright, singer, editor and translator.Bentley met Bertolt Brecht at UCLA as a young man and is considered one of the pre-eminent experts on Brecht, whose work he has translated. He edited the Grove Press issue of Brecht's work, and made two albums of Brecht songs for the legendary Folkways Records label, most of which had never been recorded in English before.

Eric Bentley’s "Songs of Hanns Eisler" was released on the Folkways label in 1964.

Eric Bentley - Songs Of Hanns Eisler (1964)
(320 kbps, front cover included, booklet in pdf format included)

Donnerstag, 28. Juli 2016

Joao Gilberto - Interpreta Tom Jobim

Bossa nova today is heard and performed world wide. It has been considered a sophisticated form of Brazilian Popular Music, having had a high caliber of artists associated with it.
Joáo Gilberto said in one of his songs that if you want to sing about love, you need Tom Jobim to write the melody, the poet Vinicus de Moraes to write the poetry, and Gilberto to deliver it. Not without reason, these three artists ebodied the bossa nova moment and have often been associated with it from its beginning in the late 1950s.

When talking about bossa nova, perhaps the signature pop music sound of Brazil, frequently the first name to come to one's lips is that of Antonio Carlos Jobim. With songs like "The Girl From Ipanema" and "Desafindo," Jobim pretty much set the standard for the creation of the bossa nova in the mid-'50s. However, as is often the case, others come along and take the genre in a new direction, reinventing through radical reinterpretation, be it lyrically, rhythmically, or in live performance, making the music theirs. And if Jobim gets credit for laying the foundation of bossa nova, then the genre was brilliantly reimagined (and, arguably, defined) by the singer/songwriter and guitarist João Gilberto. In his native country he is called O Mito (The Legend), a deserving nickname, for since he began recording in late '50s Gilberto, with his signature soft, near-whispering croon, set a standard few have equaled.                

The album "Joao Gilberto – Joao Gilberto Interpreta Tom Jobim" (1978) features Antonio Carlos Jobim compositions performed by Joao Gilberto on his early recordings for the Odeon label. This is the best of both worlds and should be listened from the start until the end on a single audition.

A Felicidade2:46
Este Seu Olhar2:14
Chega De Saudade1:58
Samba De Uma Nota So1:35
O Nosso Amor2:40
O Amor Em Paz2:24
So Em Teus Braços1:45

Joao Gilberto - Interpreta Tom Jobim
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 27. Juli 2016

"We Weren´t Given Anything For Free" - A Film About Women In The Italian Resistance - Crowd-Funding Campaign

The german film-maker Eric Esser started a crowd-funding campaign for the DVD release of his award-winning documentary "We Weren't Given Anything for Free" with bonus film material and a comprehensive booklet about women in the Italian resistance.

Eric Esser writes about the film and the campain:

“We Weren’t Given Anything for Free” follows the dramatic events in the lives of former Italian partisan, Annita Malavasi, and her two comrades, Pierina Bonilauri and Gina Moncigoli.
This film is about the Italian resistance during the Second World War, from the perspective of these women. The 58-minute documentary premiered in Germany at the end of 2014. It had a successful run in a total of 30 film festivals in Germany and abroad. The film was honored or awarded a prize on 13 occasions.
Piera Bonilauri with her medals.
Piera Bonilauri with her medals.

I want to create a DVD box for my documentary, “We Weren’t Given Anything for Free.” The comprehensive booklet will tell the story of the women in the Italian resistance; it will contain biographies of each of the three partisan fighters portrayed in the film, as well as historical information on Reggio Emilia during the Second World War.
The DVD menus will be available in Italian, English and Spanish. Printed materials such as the booklet and the DVD box itself will be available initially only in German and Italian.
Partisans in Reggio Emilia after the liberation
Partisans in Reggio Emilia after the liberation

What Is Being Funded

With this campaign, I would like to finance the following endeavors:
  • Production of bonus material not included in the original film, including color correction, audio processing, as well as translation, editing of translated texts, and subtitles in three languages.
  • Concept and production of a 12-page booklet, including layout, translation, and editing of translated texts.
  • Creation of further printed media such as the DVD box and DVD label, and corresponding translation and editing of the translated texts.
  • Design and production of the DVD menu, as well as its translation and editing of the translated texts.
  • Conceptualization and authoring of the DVD, as well as production of a glass master for DVD pressing.
Because I financed the original film project for the most part by myself, and because the debts which I incurred for the production of that film have not yet been paid off, I am no longer able financially to contribute to the production of a DVD. I have decided to try to mobilize the necessary funds to realize this project through a crowd-funding campaign. I would therefore like to ask you, would you care to support my endeavor with a financial contribution?"

If you are interested, you´ll find detailed information about the crowd-funding campaign via

Hannes Wader - Singt Arbeiterlieder

German political folk singer Hannes Wader was born in Bielefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia in 1942. Wader repertoire consists of traditional German folk songs (volksmusik), provocative social commentaries, blue-collar ballads and songs based around the works of poets and classical composers. He still tours regularly in Germany.

He was an important figure in German leftist circles from the 1970s on, with his songs covering such themes as socialist and communist resistance to oppression in Europe and other places like Latin America. He both wrote new songs and played versions of older historical works.


01 Dem Morgenrot entgegen
02 Auf, auf zum Kampf
03 Der kleine Trompeter
04 Bella ciao
05 Mamita mia
06 Die Thaelmann-Kolonne
07 El pueblo unido
08 Trotz alledem (Dass sich die F
09 Das Einheitsfrontlied
10 Solidaritaetslied
11 Die Moorsoldaten
12 Lied vom Knueppelchen
13 Die Internationale

Hannes Wader - Singt Arbeiterlieder
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 26. Juli 2016

Georg Kreisler - Hurra, wir sterben (1971)

Georg Kreisler was widely acknowledged in Germany and Austria as a master of the satirical songs for which Viennese cabaret is held in such esteem. Celebrated above all for his dazzling and provocative texts, his skill in setting them to music and his virtuoso stage performances at the piano, Kreisler was also a novelist, poet, dramatist, theatre director and composer. Almost as striking as his landmark creative career were his remarkable experiences during the Second World War.
Born in Vienna in 1922 as the only child of a middle-class Jewish family, Kreisler was able to escape with his parents in 1938 thanks to family connections in Hollywood. Through his cousin Walter Reisch he met Billy Wilder, Marlene Dietrich and Friedrich Hollaender, whose daughter Philene became Kreisler's first wife, though the marriage was short-lived. The letter he received from Arnold Schoenberg accepting him as a pupil at UCLA failed to secure him a place to study, but he was able to work as musical go-between on the film Monsieur Verdoux, relaying ideas for the score from Charlie Chaplin to Hanns Eisler.
Drafted into the US army in 1942, Kreisler was trained in intelligence work and helped as an interpreter in the interrogation of Nazi prisoners, among them Hermann Goering. While stationed in England he toured American military bases with a troop entertainment that gave him a taste for performance. When back in the US after the war, however, he struggled to establish himself as an entertainer; he and his second wife, a Canadian model named Mary Greenwood, were eventually rescued from destitution by a regular job playing in a New York hotel bar.
A sense of artistic stagnation finally prompted the decision to return to Vienna in 1955; having taken American citizenship, which he never relinquished, he was once more set to become a foreigner on the other side of the Atlantic. He soon rose to prominence as a member of the cabaret ensemble that featured Gerhard Bronner and Helmut Qualtinger, though their collaboration quickly ended in acrimony. Further disputes arose with his third wife, the actress Topsy Küppers, over Kreisler's one-woman show "Tonight Lola Blau", a work still widely performed across Germany today.
From Vienna Kreisler moved to Salzburg, and thence to Berlin, where, in the 1970s, he met his fourth wife, the actress Barbara Peters; they became devoted companions, married in 1985 and performed together on stage until Kreisler was approaching 80.
Kreisler's refusal to compromise or moderate his radical left-wing leanings and mockery of capitalist power élites guaranteed him permanent controversy. So while German-speaking audiences found his work hilarious, moving, and breathtaking in its intellectual scope and technical accomplishment, his songs were often banned on radio and censored on television. Frequently cold-shouldered within the theatre, Kreisler saw this as anti-Semitic.
His most popular song, "Taubernvergiften im Park", a mock-schmaltzy waltz that exhorts the Viennese to poison their local pigeons, remains especially controversial: Kreisler is widely alleged to have plagiarised it from Tom Lehrer, a claim he vigorously denied.
Among the several hundred songs he produced, the irreverent lollipops, macabre classics and Jewish parodies of the 1950s and '60s retain theirpopularity, but much remains to berediscovered in the intensely mordant and melancholy songs that make his output from the 1970s so striking. Their range includes satirical and literalsavagery as well as agonised contemplation, the social diatribes as memorable as the more intimate, personal narratives expressing deep emotion and pathos.
The verbal and musical pyrotechnics that adorn the withering satire have generated enduring interest in Kreisler's songs; the skill with which he dissects institutionalised villainy and expresses human fragility make them true classics to set against Eisler's Tucholsky settings or the Brecht-Weill canon. Songs that gain in relevance over time despite the propensity of satire to be ephemeral, and that are widely reinterpreted by younger performers, are ample testimony to his artistic credentials.
Yet if anything Kreisler himself tended to deprecate his songs in comparison with his serious music (two operas), his stage work, novels and poetry, and he was proud to receive the Hölderlin Prize in 2010, an award that linked his name with one Germany's greatestclassical poets.
Colin Beaven (

"Hurra, wir sterben!" is an album with excerpts from Georg Kreislers cabaret programm with the same name, which premiered at the "Renitenz-Theater" in Stuttgart, on May, 1, 1971. Georg Kreisler is accompanied on this recording by Elena Manta, Ursula Oberst, Mathias Lange and Fritz Stavenhagen.

A1Hurra, wir Sterben!
A2Treten Sie näher!
A3Der junge Lächler
A4Wir konnten es nicht
A5Der Zweck der Kirche
B1Ich werde nicht die erste sein
B2Ohne Geld
B4Immer nur mit der Angst und mit der Ruhe
B5Das Finale

Georg Kreisler - Hurra, wir sterben (1971)
(ca. 224 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 24. Juli 2016

Davey Graham & Shirley Collins - Folk Roots, New Routes (1964)

This pairing of one of British folk's finest voices (Shirley Collins) with one of the country's finest acoustic guitarists (Davey Graham) had a notable influence on the U.K. folk scene, although it eluded wide acclaim at the time.

Collins' rich, melancholy vocals were most likely an influence on Sandy Denny, Maddy Prior, and Jacqui McShee. Graham helped redefine the nature of folk accompaniment with his imaginative, rhythmic backing, which drew from jazz, blues, and a bit of Middle Eastern music as well as mainline British Isles folk.

Performed with tasteful restraint and selected with imaginative eclecticism, the album also includes an instrumental showcase for Graham in "Rif Mountain," which provides evidence of his clear influence on guitarists such as Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, and the acoustic style of Jimmy Page.  

Nottamun Town
Proud Maisrie
The Cherry Tree Carol
Blue Monk (Instrumental Version)
Hares On The Mountain
Pretty Saro
Rif Mountain (Instrumental Version)
Jane Jane
Boll Weavil, Holler
Love Is Pleasin'
Hori Horo
Bad Girl
Lord Gregory
Grooveyard (Instrumental Version)
Dearest Dear

Davey Graham & Shirley Collins - Folk Roots, New Routes (1964)
(320 kbps, cover art included)  

Davy Graham‎ – Folk, Blues & Beyond (1965)

"Folk, Blues & Beyond" by Davy Graham is one of the most important recordings from the 1960s Folk Revival. The roots of the British acoustic guitar school, folk-rock and the singer-songwriter movement can all be traced back to Folk, Blues & Beyond. The recording was first released by Decca Records in January 1965 and quickly helped to establish Davy Graham's reputation.

"Folk, Blues and Beyond" is the second studio album by British musician Davey Graham, originally released in 1965.
It has been considered Graham's most groundbreaking and consistent work and a defining record of the 20th century. It has also been a primary influence on some of the most popular musicians in Britain ranging from Bert Jansch to Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton.
His first album, The Guitar Player, was almost exclusively jazz based. He was also known for his collaborations with folksinger Shirley Collins, which had established his name in the purist folk communities in Britain.
In his Allmusic review, critic Richie Unterberger stated "This was Graham's most groundbreaking and consistent album. More than his solo debut "The Guitar Player" (which was pretty jazzy) or his previous collaboration with folk singer Shirley Collins, "Folk Roots, New Routes", this established his mixture of folk, jazz, blues, and Middle Eastern music, the use of a bassist and drummer also hinting at (though not quite reaching) folk-rock. "Leavin' Blues," "Skillet (Good'n'Greasy)," and "Moanin'" are all among his very best folk-blues-rock performances, while on "Maajun" he goes full-bore into Middle Eastern music on one of his most haunting and memorable pieces. Covers of traditional folk standards like "Black Is the Colour of My True Love's Hair" and "Seven Gypsies" combine with interpretations of compositions by Bob Dylan ("Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"), Willie Dixon ("My Babe"), Charles Mingus ("Better Git in Your Soul"), and Reverend Gary Davis ("Cocaine") for an eclecticism of repertoire that wasn't matched by many musicians of any sort in the mid-'60s. If there is one aspect of the recording to criticize, it is, as was usually the case with Graham, the thin, colorless vocals. The guitar playing is the main attraction, though; it's so stellar that it makes the less impressive singing easy to overlook. Ten of the 16 songs were included on the compilation "Folk Blues and All Points in Between", but Graham fans should get this anyway, as the level of material and musicianship is pretty high throughout most of the disc.
Most of the tracks on the album are a fusion of traditional western folk/blues and Middle-Eastern music. This synthesis of world sounds was inspired by Grahams frequent traveling across the Asian continent from the early 1950s onward.
Graham also utilizes jazz progressions to re-innovate and contemporize traditional sounds, especially on the blues tracks of the album. For example, the opening track is a cover of "Leavin' Blues", written by Lead Belly, which is a straightforward blues in C. Graham's version uses the DADGAD guitar tuning, and he speeds up the tempo to give it a more 'rocking' sound. His cover is also infused with an exotic, middle eastern sound, accredited to both the tuning and the exotic musical scales he uses throughout the song.

A1Leavin' Blues
Written-By – Ledbetter*

Written-By – Elliot*

A3Sally Free And Easy
Written-By – Tawney*

A4Black Is The Colour Of My True Love's Hair
Written-By – Traditional

A5Rock Me Baby
Written-By – Broonzy*

A6Seven Gypsies
Written-By – Traditional

A7Ballad Of The Sad Young Men
Written-By – Landesman*, Wolf*

Written-By – Timmons*, Hendricks*

B1Skillet (Good 'N Greasy)
Written-By – Traditional

B2Ain't Nobody's Business What I Do
Written-By – Traditional

B3Maajun (A Taste Of Tangier)
Written-By – Graham*

B4I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes
Written-By – Johnson*

B5Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
Written-By – Dylan*

B6My Babe
Written-By – Traditional

B7Goin' Down Slow
Written-By – Dupree*

B8Better Git In Your Soul

Davy Graham - Folk, Blues & Beyond (1965)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

VA - Songs For Desert Refugees - A Compilation In Aid Of The Refugees From Northern Mali

Mali is one of the musical power-houses of Africa, but today it's a country in chaos, and its ancient culture is under threat. In the desert north, the rebels of the MNLA have been ousted by Islamist groups, adding to the crisis in which hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled to neighbouring states, at a time of acute food shortage across the region. This benefit album aims to raise money for refugee projects, but also provides a rousing new compilation of desert blues, with unreleased or rare tracks from Tuareg musicians from Mali, Niger and Algeria. It starts, appropriately, with a slinky, rhythmic and previous unreleased song from Saharan superstars Tinariwen, and there are contributions from younger Malian bands Tamikrest, Amanar and the hypnotic Tartit. But many of the best tracks are from across the border in Niger, with an engaging, rhythmic contribution from Etran Finatawa, and a remarkable 13-minute live work-out from Bombino, proving why he is the desert's new guitar hero.

For beginners, this album can serve as an introduction to the incredible music of northern Mali, the cultural center of the Tuareg people. For people who already know this music, it's an introduction to new artists you may not have heard of before.

All proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to TAMOUDR´R and ETAR, two NGOs working with refugees in northern Mali. If you want to support them, please make a donation to the associations via .


Tinariwen - Amous Idraout Assouf d'Alwa   04:27
Tamikrest - Warktifed   03:50
Ibrahim Djo experience - Blues du Désert [part 1]   04:32
Faris & Terakaft - Derhan Alkher   04:13
Nabil Baly Othmani - Teswa Ténéré [desert version]   05:52
Amanar - Ténéré   05:39
Tadalat - Taghdart   04:55
Etran Finatawa - Gourma   06:35
Terakaft - Nak Essanagh   04:34
Toumast - Aïtma   04:14
Bombino - Tigrawahi Tikma [live version]   13:01
Tartit - Tihou Beyatene   05:02

VA - Songs For Desert Refugees - A Compilation In Aid Of The Refugees From Northern Mali
(256 kbps, cover art included)