Hanns Eisler: Ernste Gesänge; Lieder with piano

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Austrian composer Hanns Eisler, half Jewish and half Lutheran, lived through many of the major events of the 20th century, and his music, much underrated, reflects them. He was a student of Arnold Schoenberg and wrote some atonal and twelve-tone music, but then turned to the left politically and began to collaborate with Bertolt Brecht and to compose in a jazz-influenced style that sounds like a more serious version of Kurt Weill. Fleeing the Nazis, he landed in the U.S., where he became a successful film composer. He was deported at the beginning of the 1950s Red Scare (a fact the booklet to this release glosses over) and settled, like Brecht, in East Berlin. The last ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Austrian composer Hanns Eisler, half Jewish and half Lutheran, lived through many of the major events of the 20th century, and his music, much underrated, reflects them. He was a student of Arnold Schoenberg and wrote some atonal and twelve-tone music, but then turned to the left politically and began to collaborate with Bertolt Brecht and to compose in a jazz-influenced style that sounds like a more serious version of Kurt Weill. Fleeing the Nazis, he landed in the U.S., where he became a successful film composer. He was deported at the beginning of the 1950s Red Scare (a fact the booklet to this release glosses over) and settled, like Brecht, in East Berlin. The last years of his life were marked by increasing depression over the growing failures of the Communist experiment, and it is from this period, shortly before his death, that the opening "Ernste Gesänge" come. These "serious songs" are for baritone and a small string ensemble. The popular influences of Eisler's earlier music are still there, but they are deployed in an utterly gloomy way, in settings by Hölderlin and others. These songs, short but quite profound, constitute a major nearly lost work torn from the pages of life in the middle 20th century like the music of few other composers other than Shostakovich, and baritone Matthias Goerne's performance of them is masterful. The other two works on the program give an idea of Eisler's earlier music. The "Piano Sonata, Op. 1," was written under Schoenberg's influence and is atonal, although not dodecaphonic. The three lieder that follow come from Eisler's collaboration with Brecht in Weimar-era Berlin, before both left Germany; they include the "Solidaritätslied," which was sung during leftist street demonstrations, but not, unfortunately, "Die Ballade vom Paragraphen 218," arguably the world's first pro-choice song. These are beautiful, sympathetic interpretations of a composer whom the world treated unkindly and whose music deserves much greater exposure.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/8/2013
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • EAN: 3149020213421
  • Catalog Number: 902134
  • Sales rank: 157,017

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–8 Ernste Gesänge, for baritone & string orchestra - Hanns Eisler & Matthias Goerne (12:59)
  2. 2 Hotelzimmer 1942, for voice & piano - Hanns Eisler & Bertolt Brecht (17:45)
  3. 3 Die Flucht - Hanns Eisler & Bertolt Brecht
  4. 4 An den Kleinen Radioapparat for voice & piano - Hanns Eisler & Bertolt Brecht
  5. 5 In der Fruhe for voice & piano - Hanns Eisler & Bertolt Brecht
  6. 6 Fruhling - Hanns Eisler & Bertolt Brecht
  7. 7 Speisekammer 1942 - Hanns Eisler & Bertolt Brecht
  8. 8 Die Heimkehr (from the Hollywood Liederbuch) - Hanns Eisler & Bertolt Brecht
  9. 9 Die Landschaft des Exils for voice & piano - Hanns Eisler & Bertolt Brecht
  10. 10 Über den Selbstmord, for voice & piano - Hanns Eisler & Bertolt Brecht
  11. 11 Ostersonntag - Hanns Eisler & Bertolt Brecht
  12. 12 Vom Sprengen des Gartens, for voice & piano - Hanns Eisler & Bertolt Brecht
  13. 13 Der Kirschdieb - Hanns Eisler & Bertolt Brecht
  14. 21–23 Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 1 - Hanns Eisler & Thomas Larcher (12:56)
  15. 22 Lied von der belebenden Wirkung des Geldes - Hanns Eisler & Matthias Goerne (4:03)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Matthias Goerne Primary Artist
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