Donnerstag, 27. Oktober 2016

Bert Brecht & Kurt Weill - The Threepenny Opera

The artistic co-operation of Brecht and Weill began in 1926 in Berlin, at a point in time when Brecht had already achieved a certain degree of fame through his poems and expressionist play "Trommen in der Nacht". The composer Weill and the lyricist Brecht harmonized excellently together, mainly due to their personal attitudes and the perfect mix of their talents.
The "Threepenny Opera" is regarded to be the most important work by this writing team. The premiere took place on the 28th August, 1928 at the "Theater am Schiffbauerdamm" in Berlin. The enthusiastic response of the audience during this first performance gave an idea of the success to come and that the "Threepenny Opera" was to become the greatest musical success of the twenties in Germany.
This piece of musical history, which is staged in the "Milieu", was based on an opera persiflage and period satire by the Englishmen Pepusch and Gay. Brecht transported the subject matter into the 20th century and turned it into an attack by the "proletarian world" on the "corrupt middle-class".
The recording on hand is one of the most famous productions of the opera in existence. Two of the highlights of this recording are most certanly the titles sung by Brecht himself: "The Ballad Of Mack The Knife (Moritat)" and "The Ballad Of Why Human Effort Is Always Futile".

The opera "The Rise And Fll Of The City Of Mahagonny", a cross-section of which can be found on this CD, enjoyed its premiere just one year after the "Threepenny Opera" and caused a theatre scandal on the grounds of its crooks-and-whores milieu and the broadcasting of hollow phrases. The National Socialists already had so much influence that they were able to put a ban on furhter performances whithin an short space of time.

Weill and Brecht emigrated in 1933.

Bert Brecht & Kurt Weill - The Threepenny Opera
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 25. Oktober 2016

Thomas Hampson/Wolfram Rieger - Verboten und verbannt (Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer, Zemlinsky, Zeisl, Schönberg, Berg, Mahler)

"Verboten und verbannt" - "forbidden and banned" - a phrase used with Jewish composers whose music was proscribed by the Nazis brings to mind more than musical censorship, but also the atrocities that culminated in the Holocaust.
While some of the composers represented by this phrase died before the Third Reich, others lived through it, and like the works of their predecessors preserved on this recording, they endured the horrors of this dark period of the twentieth century. This recital is an attempt to use music of composers so wrongly branded and proscribed to reverse the situation and make the label “Verboten und verbrannt” into an emblem of their merit. The best explanation of the purpose of this recital from the 2005 Salzburg Festival is included in the liner notes by Gottfried Kraus:
"As in previous years, the programme extended over two evenings, the first of which featured Hampson alone, whereas for the second he was joined by femail colleagues who shared his commitment to the subject. In both he confronted his festival audience with the works of composers whom the National Socialists had banned, outlawed, driven into exile and in some cases even murdered. Both programmes were titled "Verboten und verbannt" ("Forbidden and Banned"). Hampson’s aim was not so much to engage on a political level with one of the darkest chapters in human history. Instead, he wanted to show that art is ultimately more powerful than evil and brute force. Many of the songs and composers’ names, especially in the second programme, may well have been unfamiliar to his Mozarteum audience, while even familiar works such as Mendelssohn’s "Auf Flügeln des Gesanges," which opened both programmes, functioning as a kind of motto, and Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder, which brought the first evening to a close, appeared in a new and different light when heard in their present context.The result was certainly not a lieder recital in the customary sense of the term, but a festival concert as it ought to be be, a distinction that it owed not only to the choice of programme and its intelligent structure but also to the way in which the audience was prepared. . . ."

This recording preserves the recital from 18 August 2005 and provides an excellent overview of the Lieder by a body of proscribed composers. With Mendelssohn’s "Auf Flügeln des Gesanges" (“On the wings of song”) opening the program, the connotes a conventional Lieder recital through the use of this familiar song that has been part of many such performances since its composition. Just the same Mendelssohn’s "Altdeutsches Frühlingslied" is another song that transcends the artificial boundaries connected to nationality and politics, but rather communicates the poet - and the composer’s - experience of rebirth. These and other selections of Mendelssohn’s songs evoke the nineteenth century, a time when Mendelssohn would have been known and admired, but hardly forbidden and banned. These songs anchor the recital in the tradition of the German Lied, an element that is wholly part of the culture in which the other composers worked. It was not an idiom for social, religious, or political activity, but rather an artistic milieu that crossed any of those artificial boundaries. This hardly means that prejudice or labeling were unknown. While it may have been less so for Mendelssohn, Mahler faced the anti-Semitic press, and the bias against his Jewish nationality certainly influenced the reception of his music in lifetime and afterward.
With Meyerbeer, the songs represent an unfamiliar side of the composer, who is known best for grand opera. The three selections chosen for this recital show Meyerbeer’s facility with the Lied in two settings of Heine and one of Michael Beer. The first two are somewhat conventional Lieder, but the third, "Menschenfeindlich" shows a more dramatic and, to a degree ironic, side of Meyerbeer. This song calls for a tight ensemble between the singer and the pianist, and the applause included in the recording demonstrates the audience’s appreciate for this bravura piece. Wit the songs of Zemlinsky that follow, the harmonic idiom is more complicated. Mit "Trommeln und Pfeifen", for example, Zemlinsky is a wonderfully colorful setting of Liliencron’s Wundhorn-like text, with modal inflections in the vocal line that underscore the sung text. Of Schoenberg’s Lieder, the setting of Viktor Klemperer’s verse in "Der verlorene Haufen" is highly evocative, and its proximity to Pierrot lunaire emerges in the passages of Sprechstimme and the pointillistic writing in the piano that underscores the vocal line in other places. Schoenberg’s proximity to Mahler and, by extension, the nineteenth-century Lied tradition may be found in his more conventional setting "Wie Georg von Frundsberg von sich selber sang" (“Mein Fleiß und Müh ich nie hab’ gespart”), with its text from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn".

The modernism that Schoenberg expressed in his songs is part of the idiom that Alban Berg adopted for his own style, and in so doing both created music that eventually became associated with artistic decadence. It is possible to hear Berg’s challenges to convention in even the early songs included in this recital, with a piece like "Schlummerlose Nächte" poised keenly between traditional structure and turn-of-the-century innovation. Other Lieder are, perhaps, less experimental, with the fine examples from the young composer Erich Zeisl being a bit anachronistic. Mahler has the final word with this set of five Rückert-Lieder found at the close. Four of the songs were on the program, with the last, "Liebst du um Schönheit" offered an encore.

This recording preserves essentially all of Hampson’s performances of this important part of the 2005 Salzburg Festival. It is no surprise to find Hampson balancing the attention to the lines of text with the execution of the musical line and never at the expense of one over the other. His phrasing of Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder is exemplary, with the comfortable ensemble with Rieger apparent on those pieces and throughout the recording. It is a fine contrbituion on various counts, with the sometimes infrequently performed literature here executed masterfully. The focus of the recital itself merits attention for its supra-musical motivation whcih, in this live recording were hardly lost on the audience. The overall quality of the reproduction is fine, and while some of the audience and stage sounds sometimes intrude on several selections, such details contribute the sense of immediacy that the audience itself experienced. While music that was forbidden and banned by the Third Reich has been the subject of various books and articles, as well as London’s series of recordings labeled “Entartete Musik” - proscribed music - this concise exploration of the subject speaks volumes. - James Zychowicz

(192 kbps)

Mittwoch, 19. Oktober 2016

Peter Rohland - Jiddische Lieder (1965)

75 years ago, the Nazis began deporting Jews to death camps. The infamous Track 17 at Berlin's Grunewald station was the departure point. In official Nazi documents the deportation is euphemistically referred to as a "resettlement" or "evacuation" or people being "deposited." In reality, people were taken with the German state railway to their deaths in ghettos, labor camps or concentration camps.
The first deportation left Track 17 of Berlin's Grunewald station on the 18th October 1941. 1089 children, women and men were taken by force to Lodz. By the end, some 50,000 Jews from Berlin were deported; victims of the Nazi "Reign of Terror."

Peter Rohland (* 22. February 1933, † 5. April 1966) was a German singer, singer-songwriter and a folk music researcher. Together with Hein and Oss Kröher he initiated the "Burg Waldeck Festivals".

Peter Rohland investigated, considerably affected by the work of Wolfgang Steinitz, the song property of the vagrants and the revolution of 1848, as well as jewish songs. He was the first chansonnier to sing jewish songs in West Germany after the Holocaust.

01. Un as der Rebbe Alimelech
02. Fohr ijch mir arois
03. Hot majne homntash
04. Wolt ijch sejn a rov
05. Mai komashma lon
06. Jich nehm dos peckel
07. Frateg far nacht
08. Baj dem shtetl
09. Bin ijch mir a schnajderl
10. Jomme, jomme, shpil mir a lidele
11. Un as der Rebbe singt
12. Hot der tate fun jaridl
13. Tzen Bridder
14. Amol is gewen a majsse
15. Tumbalalalaika
16. Unter a klajn bajmele
17. Du majdele, du shajns
18. Lo mir ale singen
19. Baj majn Rebben is gewen
20. Un as de jontefdige tejg
21. Shlof, majn sun
22. Unter de chirwes von Pojln
23. Shtil, die nacht ist ojsgeshternt
24. S' brent, bridderlech, s' brent

Peter Rohland - Jiddische Lieder
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 18. Oktober 2016

Os Mutantes - Mutantes (1969)

Here´s another fine album by Os Mutantes, the Brazilian rockers who blended pop packaging, avant-garde experimentation, and an irreverent attitude during the late-'60s tropicalia movement

One album into their career in 1969, "Mutantes" showed few signs of musical burnout after turning in one of the oddest LPs released in the '60s. Similar to its predecessor, "Mutantes" relies on an atmosphere of experimentation and continual musical collisions, walking a fine line between innovation and pointless genre exercises. The lead track ("Dom Quixote") has the same focus on stylistic cut-and-paste as their debut LP's first track ("Panis et Circenses"). Among the band's musical contemporaries, "Mutantes" sounds similar only to songs like the Who's miniature suite "A Quick One While He's Away" -- though done in three minutes instead of nine, and much more confusing given the language barrier.
The album highlights ("Nao Va Se Perder por Ai") and ("Dois Mil e Um") come with what sounds like a typically twisted take on roots music (both Brazilian and American), complete with banjo, accordion, and twangy vocals. Though there are several other enjoyable tracks, including "Magica" and a slap-happy stomp called "Rita Lee," there's a palpable sense that the experimentation here isn't serving much more than its own ends.       

A1 Dom Quixote 3:53
A2 Não Vá Se Perder Por Aí 3:15
A3 Dia 36 4:00
A4 2.001 3:56
A5 Algo Mais 2:39
A6 Fuga N° II Dos Mutantes 3:44
B1 Banho De Lua 3:40
B2 Rita Lee 3:09
B3 Mágica 4:43
B4 Qualquer Bobagem 4:47
B5 Caminhante Noturno 5:09

Os Mutantes - Mutantes (1969)
(320 kbps, cover art included)      

Montag, 17. Oktober 2016

The Ex - Singles. Period. The Vinyl Years 1980–1990

"Singles. Period. The Vinyl Years 1980–1990" is a compilation album by Dutch punk rock band The Ex, containing most of their singles released between 1980 and 1990. The collection does not include the band's double-single 1936, The Spanish Revolution, nor their "6" series or their collaborations with artists such as Chumbawumba and Dog Faced Hermans.
Singles. Period. was released in 2005 by Touch and Go Records during a time when The Ex's material was only being issued physically on compact disc. The band later returned to releasing albums on vinyl, and even began to issue new 7" singles in 2010.

The Ex has explored many musical directions through the years, including avant-garde jazz and experimental music. But on this decade's-worth of singles and B-sides released as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations the Dutch anarcho-socialist outfit hews close to its early-'80s punk ideals. The primitive punk polka of "Stupid Americans" is a raucous vehicle for the band's anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist worldview, while the angular "Human Car" wears its affinity with late-'70s punk groups like Gang Of Four and the Mekons on its ripped sleeve. Unapologetically political yet never dull, lyrics are screamed or chanted, scrambling for attention through a tumultuous mix of primal drums, clanking bass, and searing guitar.     

  1. "Human car" - 2:14
  2. "Rock'n'roll-stoel" - 2:07
  3. "Cells" - 1:52
  4. "Apathy disease" - 3:29
  5. "Stupid Americans" - 2:16
  6. "Money" - 1:36
  7. "Curtains" - 2:17
  8. "Weapons for El Salvador" 2:48
  9. "Dust" - 2:15
  10. "New wars 2" - 1:38
  11. "Constitutional state" - 1:55
  12. "Gonna rob the spermbank" - 3:46
  13. "When nothing else is helpful anymore" - 3:32
  14. "Memberships" - 5:34
  15. "Trash" - 4:56
  16. "Crap-rap" - 2:51
  17. "Long live the aged" - 3:54
  18. "Enough is enough" - 4:42
  19. "Rara rap" - 4:33
  20. "Contempt" - 2:25
  21. "Stonestampers song" - 2:58
  22. "Lied der Steinklopfer" - 3:35
  23. "Keep on hoppin'" - 3:04

The Ex - Singles. Period. The Vinyl Years 1980–1990
(224 kbps, cover art included)

Sun Ra And His Astro Infinity Arkestra – Strange Strings

"Strange Strings" is a somewhat legendary album from the mid-'60s. "I'm painting pictures of things I know about, and things I've felt, that the world hasn't had the chance to feel..." -Sun Ra, interviewed by Henry Dumas in 1966.
Recorded in 1966, and first published in 1967, this is the peak of Sun Ra's studies on possibilities of strings' sound.
The Arkestra uses here a huge range of strings instruments, from the usual (like double bass and viola), to the exotic ones (ukelin, bandura, zither,dutar and others), identified in the original liner notes as "electronic strings", but that were acoustic instruments amplified with microphones placed very close to the sound hole, and then treated with reverb and distortion.

"Marshall Allen said that when they began to record the musicians asked Sun Ra what they should play, and he answered only that he would point to them when he wanted them to start. The result is an astonishing achievement, a musical event which seems independent of all other musical traditions and histories.... The piece is all texture, with no sense of tonality except where Art Jenkins sings through a metal megaphone with a tunnel voice. But to say that the instruments seem out of tune misses the point, since there is no "tune", and in any case the Arkestra did not know how to tune most of the instruments..." - John F Szwed
"Worlds Approaching" is a great tune, anchored by a bass ostinato and timpani and featuring several fantastic solos, including Marshall Allen on oboe, Robert Cummings on bass clarinet, John Gilmore on tenor, and Sun Ra on electric piano. Off and on throughout the tune, Bugs Hunter applies near-lethal doses of reverb, giving the piece a very odd but interesting sound. "Strange Strings" is one of those songs that is likely to inspire some sort of "you call that music?" comment from your grandmother, or even from open-minded friends. It sounds like they raided the local pawnshop for anything with strings on it, then passed them out to the bandmembers. It's difficult to tell if some of these instruments have been prepared in some way, or if they're simply being played by untutored hands. There are also lots of drums and some viola playing from Ronnie Boykins that is also treated heavily with reverb. Despite the cacophony, there is a definite ebb and flow to the piece and what seem like different movements or themes. Whatever you think of the music contained, there's no denying that it produced some of the most remarkable sounds of the mid-'60s. If you don't like "far out," stay clear of this one.    

A1Worlds Approaching
A2Strings Strange
B1Strange Strange
(ca. 224 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 13. Oktober 2016

Henry Cow - Leg End (1973)

Political astuteness aside, Henry Cow's "Leg End" is simply a busy musical trip, comprised of snaking rhythms, unorthodox time signatures, and incongruous waves of multiple instruments that actually culminate in some appealing yet complex progressive rock.

Here, on the band's debut, both Fred Frith and woodwind man Geoff Leigh hold nothing back, creating eclectic, avant garde-styled jazz movements without any sense of direction, or so it may seem at first, but paying close attention to Henry Cow's musical wallowing results in some first-rate instrumental fusion, albeit a little too abstract at times. Through tracks like "Amygdala," "Teenbeat," and "The Tenth Chaffinch," it's simply creativity run amok, instilling the free-spiritedness of the late '60s into this, a 1974 album.

The techniques are difficult to follow, but the stewing that emerges between the piano, guitar, flute, and percussion is so animated and colorful, it actually sounds pleasant as a whole. Chris Cutler lends his uncommitted, self-governing brand of drumming to the album to help culminate the frenzy, and Leigh's tenor flute does add some extraordinary musical fabric to each of the album's ten cuts. "Nine Funerals of the Citizen King" is one of the easiest pieces to listen to, while the short but amiable "Bellycan" is an excerpt removed from the group's work with the Greasy Truckers, performed a year earlier. In 1974, Henry Cow released "Unrest", which contains the same vigor and spontaneity as "Leg End", only it didn't receive the same amount of attention. Shortly after, they united with Dagmar Krause and the rest of Slapp Happy to further their unconventional route.

  1. "Nirvana for Mice" (Frith) – 4:53
  2. "Amygdala" (Hodgkinson) – 6:47
  3. "Teenbeat (Introduction)" (Henry Cow) – 4:32
  4. "Teenbeat" (Frith, Greaves) – 6:57
  5. "Nirvana (Reprise)" (Frith) – 1:11
  6. "Extract from 'With the Yellow Half-Moon and Blue Star' " (Frith) – 2:26
  7. "Teenbeat (Reprise)" (Frith) – 5:07
  8. "The Tenth Chaffinch" (Henry Cow) – 6:06
  9. "Nine Funerals of the Citizen King" (Hodgkinson) – 5:34
  10. "Bellycan" (Henry Cow) – 3:19

Henry Cow - Leg End (1973)              
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 12. Oktober 2016

Dog Faced Hermans - Hum Of Life (1993)

The Dog Faced Hermans were a four-piece band whose style could be described as anarcho-punk incorporating folk and noise influences as well as unorthodox instrumentation.

Dog Faced Hermans formed by previous members of Volunteer Slavery in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1986, but later moved to Amsterdam. The band was closely associated with The Ex, and this resulted in a joint tour of Europe, a split cassette and "Stonestamper's Song", a collaborative single released under the name Ex Faced Hermans.
They disbanded in 1995, with members of the band moving on to other notable projects including the Canadian ensemble Rhythm Activism, and Holland's The Ex, with whom they collaborated and were closely affiliated and in whom guitarist Andy Moor has been a member since 1990. Drummer Wilf Plum now plays with Two Pin Din and "Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp".

Though this album suffers a little from the lo-fi recording quality, the sound of this exceptional experimental rock/post-punk unit can miraculously transcend the misgivings of poor recording quality with pure energy and high innovation. As far as inventive post-punk groups go, Dog Faced Hermans are certainly on a par with the Ex and early Sonic Youth and remain criminally overlooked in the scheme of '80s post-punk. This release is not as strong as the jaw-dropping masterpiece "Those Deep Buds", but is still a phenomenal display of inventive post-punk which draws on folk, free improvisation, and sound of Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band circa "Doc at the Radar Station". If one can imagine that group fronted by Sandy Denny, that could be a good analogy for this sound.                

A1Jan 9
A3The Hook And The Wire
A4How We Connect
A5Love Split With Blood
B1White Indians
B2Hear The Dogs
B3Love Is The Heart Of Everything
B4Madame La Mer
B5Peace Warriors

Dog Faced Hermans - Hum Of Life (1993)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 8. Oktober 2016

VA - The Kings Of High Life

A collection of early-style highlife straight out of Nigeria, with only one artist from outside the country represented, and all tracks coming from a license agreement with Premier Music in Lagos.

The album opens up with Victor Uwaifo, the first Nigerian to make gold record status in 1969. After a piece from Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe, trumpeter Victor Abimbola Olaiya (the "Evil Genius" of highlife) makes an appearance with "Omo Pupa." After another Osadebe work, master trumpeter Rex Lawson returns the focus to the horns. Vocalist Paulson Kalu and oldies troupe Wura Fadaka lead the way for Polygram's Nigerian A&R man, Chief Inyang Nta Henshaw, with his hit "Esonta." Mike "Gentle Man" Ejeagha provides a piece somewhat closer to the Ghanaian highlife forms, and Celestine Ukwu gives a more pop-oriented piece to the picture. Another piece by Rex Lawson follows, as well as another piece from Ukwu, and the album finishes again on the "Evil Genius" Olaiya and his trumpet.

This is a collection of guitar-based grooves, in large part, paving the way for soukous and the like later on. This isn't the highlife of Fela, but it's what Fela was listening to originally. It's the early, basic music based only partially on the traditional forms that would eventually become Afro-Pop.

VA - The Kings Of High Life
(192 kbps, small front cover included)          

Sonntag, 2. Oktober 2016

Josh White - Sings Easy (1944)

Langston Hughes' liner notes:

"You could call Josh White the Minstrel of the Blues, except that he is more than a Minstrel of the Blues. The Blues are Negro music, but. although he is a Negro, Josh is a fine folk-singer of anybody's songs - southern Negro or southern white, plantation work-songs or modern union songs, English or Irish ballads - any songs that come from the heart of the people.

When Josh was a little boy, he used to lead the famous Blind Lemmon Jefferson around, and he probably passed the tin cup. Blind Lemmon was a singer of Blues and Moans and Shouts. Blind Lemmon was great at those lonely songs that one man or one woman sings alone. Perhaps it was from Blind Lemmon that Josh absorbed the common loneliness of the folk song that binds one heart to all others-and all others to the one who sings the song. For Josh has a way of taking a song like Hard Times Blues and making folks who have never even had a hard time feel as though they had experienced poverty.

The guitar that Josh White plays is as eloquent, as simple and direct as are his songs themselves. His guitar keeps a heart-beat rhythm that makes you feel his songs in your heart. His guitar has in it at one and the same time, sadness and gaiety, despair and faith. Sometimes his guitar laughs behind a sad song. Sometimes it cries behind a happy song. Sometimes it makes a Chaplinesque comment on One Meat Ball. Josh White and His Guitar used to be billed together. They are one and inseparable.
Josh White sings with such ease that you never feel like he is trying. That is the secret of true folk-singing-for the folk-song never tries to get itself sung. If it just doesn't ease itself into your soul and then out of your mouth spontaneously, to stay singing around your head forever, then it isn't a folk-song. If it doesn't sing easy and wear like an o
ld shoe, it isn't a folk-song. And if the singer tries too hard and gets nowhere with such a song, that singer isn't a folk-singer.

The popular song hits sort of go in one ear, ring around in your head for a bit, then out the other ear. But folk songs like Water Boy, or Lord Randall, or any good old Blues, sort of soak into your being and remain there with no effort. The great folk-singers give them off again-with no effort, either. From Blind Lemmon to Burl Ives, from Bessie Smith to Aunt Molly Jackson there runs a wave of singing easy. Josh White also sings easy."

"Sings Easy" was a set of three singles released in 1944 by Asch Records with the following tracks:

- I Got A Head Like A Rock
- Fare Thee Well

- Outskirts Of Town
- One Meat Ball

- When I Lay Down And Die Do Die
- The House I Live In

Josh White - Sings Easy (1944)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Harry Belafonte - Sings The Blues (1958)

An actor, humanitarian, and the acknowledged "King of Calypso," Harry Belafonte ranked among the most seminal performers of the postwar era. One of the most successful African-American pop stars in history, Belafonte's staggering talent, good looks, and masterful assimilation of folk, jazz, and worldbeat rhythms allowed him to achieve a level of mainstream eminence and crossover popularity virtually unparalleled in the days before the advent of the civil rights movement — a cultural uprising which he himself helped spearhead.

After flirting with traditional African-American material in his previous albums, Belafonte, for the first time, devotes an entire album to the blues. However, of the eleven songs, only two could be classified as traditional blues: "In the Evenin' Mama" and "Cotton Fields," the latter given a five minute treatment. Belafonte would take this song on the road as part of his live act for the next decade. Of the other songs, three were covers of Ray Charles standards ("A Fool For You," "Hallelujah I Love Her So," "Mary Ann"). Another highlight is Belafonte's rendition of Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child."

Harry Belafonte - Sings The Blues (1958)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Kurt Weill - Das Berliner Requiem (1928) - Vom Tod im Wald (1927) - Konzert für Violine und Blasorchester (1925)

It was Brecht´s poetry that Kurt Weill appreciated above all, and his admiration is manifest in the two cantatas, "Vom Tod im Wald" and "Das Berliner Requiem" which throw a visionary light on the famous "golden twenties". Both can be found on this album accompanied by the "Konzert für Violine und Blasorchester" from 1925

"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".

(192 kbps)