Kurt Weill: The Berlin Requiem

Kurt Weill The Berlin Requiem
The Berlin Requiem

Kurt Weill: The Berlin Requiem

Year of composition:
1928
Scored for:
for tenor, baritone, male choir (or 3 male voices) and orchestra
Composer:
Kurt Weill
Editor:
David Drew
Text author:
Bertolt Brecht
Piano reduction:
Karl Heinz Füssl (1967)
Choir:
TBarB
Soloists:
tenor, baritone
Instrumentation:
0 0 2 2 - 2 2 2 0 - timp, perc, org, alto sax(2), guit, bjo
Instrumentation details:
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb
1st alto saxophone in Eb
2nd alto saxophone in Eb (+t.sax(Bb))
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
1st trumpet in Bb
2nd trumpet in Bb
1st trombone (+bass tuba)
2nd trombone
timpani
percussion
organ (or harm)
guitar
bjo;
Table of contents:
Großer Dankchoral
Ballade vom ertrunkenen Mädchen
Marterl
Erster Bericht über den unbekannten Soldaten
Zweiter Bericht über den unbekannten Soldaten
Großer Dankchoral (da capo)
Duration:
21’
Dedication:
dem Frankfurter Sender gewidmet
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The Berlin Requiem
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Work introduction

In 1928, the Frankfurter Sender commissioned a new work from Kurt Weill. The result was the Berliner Requiem, based on existing texts from Bertolt Brecht's Hauspostille. Weill was working at the time on the opera Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, and used the Berliner Requiem as a welcome opportunity for a stylistic study for the longer opera. But the Berliner Requiem is also a powerful and important work in its own right. “The title The Berliner Requiem is in no way ironic – rather, we wanted to try to express what the citydweller thinks about death. The piece is a series of laments, memorials and epitaphs – so, in the end, a secular requiem.” (Weill) The version most often played in concert halls has six parts – 1. Chorale of Thanks Lobet die Nacht, 2. Ballad of the drowned girl, 3. Shrine – Hier Ruht die Jungfrau, 4. First report and 5. Second Report on the unknown soldier under the triumphal arch, 6. Chorale of Thanks Lobet die Nacht. ... (da capo). An alternative authorised version (the Lucerne version) also includes the sections Die Rote Rosa and Zu Potsdam Unter Den Eichen.

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