Hanns Eisler: Die Maßnahme

Hanns Eisler Die Maßnahme
Die Maßnahme

Hanns Eisler: Die Maßnahme

Opus:
op. 20
Year of composition:
1930
Scored for:
for tenor 3 speakers, mixed choir and small orchestra
Composer:
Hanns Eisler
Text author:
Bertolt Brecht
Translator:
John Willit
Choir:
SSAATTBB
Instrumentation details:
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
1st trumpet in Bb
2nd trumpet in Bb
3rd trumpet in Bb
1st trombone
2nd trombone
1st, 2nd timpani
percussion
piano
Duration:
58’
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Audiosamples

Die Maßnahme
00:00

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

Brecht used the words “[It] is an attempt to use a didactic play to cultivate a certain intervening attitude” to preface his play Die Maßnahme, which recounts the story of a task, an action taken involving various means and decisions.

Four agitators are debating their decision. Five of them had been assigned the task of supporting the Communist movement in China. The youngest of them had acted according to “his heart,” flouting laws and thereby endangering all of them and the assignment. With his consent, the other four killed the youngest one and threw his body into a lime-pit – thus also mutually agreeing to expunge any traces of suspicion. *

The piece ends with an argument about principles – how grossly one may breach fundamental moral tenets when combating oppression and exploitation.

This is another didactic work which Brecht modelled on Japanese Noh theatre. It was hotly controversial after its first performance in 1930; Brecht made a second version in 1932.

Due to possible misunderstandings of the play’s political orientation, Brecht forbade its performance; the prohibition was lifted for his 100th birthday in 1998.

 

* Excerpts from the programme booklet, Dresden State Playhouse, 2000/2001 season

 

Special prints

Die Maßnahme

Hanns Eisler: Die Maßnahme

piano reduction
for tenor 3 speakers, mixed choir and small orchestra , 58’

Die Maßnahme

Hanns Eisler: Die Maßnahme

piano reduction
for tenor 3 speakers, mixed choir and small orchestra , 58’

Die Maßnahme

Hanns Eisler: Die Maßnahme

score
for tenor 3 speakers, mixed choir and small orchestra , 58’

World première

Location:
Berlin
Date:
13.12.1930
Conductor:
Karl Rankl

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