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The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music
E-News February 2013
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The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music E-News
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Kurt Weill Fest 2014


Antony Hermus
Antony Hermus

Johannes Kalitzke
Johannes Kalitzke

Ensemble Modern
Ensemble Modern

Daniel Hope
Daniel Hope

The Firebrand of Florence, Staatsoperette Dresden
The Firebrand of Florence at Staatsoperette Dresden
New Horizons:
2014 Kurt Weill Fest 
Features Early Weill Works


The Kurt Weill Fest Dessau, held annually in Germany in Weill’s birthplace, focuses this year on Weill as an early pioneer of radio with the theme, “New Horizons: Weill & the Media.” Highlights include performances of Der Lindberghflug and Das Berliner Requiem, the Violin Concerto, Filmszene aus Royal Palace, a new suite of Weill songs arranged for solo violin and orchestra featuring violinist Daniel Hope, and the hit Staatsoperette Dresden staging of the Broadway operetta The Firebrand of Florence. The festival runs February 21 – March 9, with a variety of concerts, staged performances, exhibitions, lectures, films, and radio broadcasts. The 2014 Artist-in-Residence is Antony Hermus, principal conductor of the Anhaltische Philharmonic Orchestra Dessau. Here are some highlights of the festival:

Der Lindberghflug
Weill’s 35-minute cantata for tenor, baritone, and bass soloists, SATB chorus and orchestra, with a text by Bertolt Brecht, premiered in 1929 and reimagines the story of the Charles Lindbergh’s famous trans-Atlantic flight. Paired with works by Hindemith and Edmund Meisel, The Lindbergh Flight will be performed in the opening night concert by soloists, chorus, and philharmonic orchestra of the Anhaltishes Theater Dessau, led by Antony Hermus. 

Das Berliner Requiem
Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra, op 12 
Kleine Dreigroschenmusik 
Performed by the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin and conducted by Johannes Kalitzke, this evening highlights three Weill works for wind orchestra. Tenor Hans Schöpflin, baritone Bernhard Hansky, and bass Bogdan Talos perform Weill’s 1929 radio cantata The Berlin Requiem (text by Bertlolt Brecht); Gabriel Adorjan is the featured violinist in the Violin Concerto; and the wind ensemble is the star in Weill’s popular suite from The Threepenny Opera. Also on the program are two works by Franz Schreker. 

Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra, op 12 
Filmszene aus Royal Palace
Two previous festival Artists-in-Residence, Ensemble Modern and conductor James Holmes, offer an evening of Weill, Gershwin, and more, featuring Weill’s Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra and a chamber version of his Film Scene from Royal Palace, a one-act modernist opera written with lyric poet Yvan GollWeill’s first composition to incorporate popular dance forms, tango rhythms and jazz elements. 

Filmszene aus Royal Palace
Kurt Weill: Fantasy for Violin
Renowned violinist Daniel Hope joins conductor Yutaka Sado and the MDR Symphony Orchestra for a concert of Weill, Debussy, Prokofiev, and Ravel. In addition to Weill’s Film Scene from Royal Palace, Hope premieres a new suite of Weill songs arranged for solo violin and orchestra. 

The Firebrand of Florence 
Staatsoper Dresden brings its delightful stage production of Weill’s 1945 Broadway operetta The Firebrand of Florence (lyrics by Ira Gershwin; German translation of book and lyrics by Roman Hinze) to Dessau for the grand finale to the festival. Directed by Holger Hauer and conducted by Andreas Schüller, Firebrand continues to run in repertory in Dresden through May 11.


Learn more about these and other Weill works here.
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Walt Whitman Songs 
Available in New Edition

In 1942, Weill set three Walt Whitman poems—“Beat! Beat! Drums!,” “O Captain! My Captain!,” and “Dirge for Two Veterans”—hoping that baritone Paul Robeson would perform them. In 1947, he added a fourth, “Come up from the Fields, Father,” to create a cycle which was then recorded by tenor William Horne. The new edition addresses the different ranges of the original compositions by presenting all four songs in two separate sets: one for tenor, one for baritone. In the first set, “Come up from the Fields” is transposed down; in the second, the other three songs are transposed up. All four songs are still available in the original keys, but the new sets will make it easier for an individual singer to perform all four songs of the cycle. 


The new edition includes all four songs in versions for high and low voice, with piano, in one volume. Orchestral material for the complete cycle in both ranges is also available from European American Music.

Four Walt Whitman Songs by Kurt Weill
Walt Whitman


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The Threepenny Opera, San Jose Stage Company
The Threepenny Opera, San Jose Stage Company

Ute Lemper
Ute Lemper

The Threepenny Opera, Graeae Theatre Company
Graeae Theatre Company

The Firebrand of Florence, Staatsoperette Dresden
The Firebrand of Florence at Staatsoperette Dresden

Upcoming Performances - Highlights


The Threepenny Opera
Kenneth Kelleher, director; Richard Marriott, conductor.
February 5 - March 30

Weill Songs
Vogler String Quartet with Ute Lemper.
February 12

Kleine Dreigroschenmusik
James Gaffigan, conductor.
February 19

Kurt Weill Fest Dessau
See highlights above.
February 21 - March 9

The Threepenny Opera
Graeae Theatre Company, Nottingham, UK
Jenny Sealey, Peter Rowe, directors; Robert Hyman, conductor. 
Nottingham Playhouse, February 21 - March 8
New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, March 12 - 22
Birmingham Repertory Company, March 27 - April 12
West Yorkshire Playhouse, April 24 - May 10

The Firebrand of Florence
Holger Hauer, director; Andreas Schüller, conductor.
March 4, Dresden; March 8-9, Dessau; in repertory through May 11



Performance Calendar
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