Thursday, January 22, 2009

Music of the other Germany


Paul Dessau and Hanns Eisler have appeared on the path several times, notably in my article about classical music as seen through the prism of East Germany. But you rarely find their names appearing on concert programmes. So a big heads-up for Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra who are presenting “Music of the Other Germany” on Sunday, Jan 25th at Lincoln Center, New York. A great example of adventurous programming and stylish promotional material. Here is the music:

* Hanns Eisler (1898-1962): Auferstanden aus Ruinen, Hymne der DDR (1949)
* Paul Dessau (1894-1979): In memoriam Bertolt Brecht (1957) – US premiere
* Rudolf Wagner-Régeny (1903-69): Mythological Figures (1951) – US premiere
* Udo Zimmermann (born 1943): Sinfonia come un grande lamento, in memory of F. García Lorca (1977) – US premiere
* Hanns Eisler: Goethe Rhapsody (1949) – US premiere
* Siegfried Matthus (b. 1934): Responso (1977) – NY premiere
A sobering, and topical, linkage. It was Aaron Copland's support for a 1948 New York benefit concert for Hanns Eisler that put Copland in front of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee. Read the full story and hearing transcript here.

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