Kurt Weill: He who says yes (The Yes-Sayer)

Kurt Weill He who says yes (The Yes-Sayer)
He who says yes (The Yes-Sayer)

Kurt Weill: He who says yes (The Yes-Sayer)

Year of composition:
1930
Subtitle:
School opera in 2 acts
Composer:
Kurt Weill
Translator:
Arthur Waley; H. M. Potts; Luigi Rognoni; Elisabeth Hauptmann
Librettist:
Bertolt Brecht
Choir:
SATB
Instrumentation:
1 0 1 0 - 0 0 0 0 - perc(2), harm, plucked instr., pno(2), alto sax, vln.I, vln.II, vc, cb
Instrumentation details:
flute (ad lib)
clarinet in Bb (ad lib)
alto saxophone in Eb (ad lib)
1st piano
2nd piano
harmonium
percussion (ad lib)
plucked instrument ad lib (guitar, bjo, lute)
violin I
violin II
violoncello
contrabass
Scenery:
2
Duration:
35’
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Audiosamples

He who says yes (The Yes-Sayer)
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Work introduction

The school opera Der Jasager goes back to the Japanese fable Tanikô, a play from the centuries-old Nôh theatre. A shortened English version of the Noh play was translated into German by Elisabeth Hauptmann and made its way to Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. Weill composed Der Jasager in the first half of 1930, pausing only for the turbulent première of Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny on 9 March 1930. The term ‘school opera’ gave Weill a number of possibilities for combining the concepts of ‘education’ and ‘opera’: the opera teaches the composer – or a whole new generation of composers – to approach the operatic genre in a new way. But it is also a question of re-training the process of operatic performance, with the end goal of staging the work so naturally and simply that children become the ideal performers. And finally, Weill also considered ‘school operas’ as meant for use in schools: ‘it is thus essential that a piece for schools should give children the opportunity to learn something, beyond the joy of making music.’ (Weill)

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World première

Location:
Berlin
Date:
24.06.1930
Conductor:
Kurt Drabek

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