Kurt Weill: The New Orpheus

Kurt Weill The New Orpheus
The New Orpheus

Kurt Weill: The New Orpheus

Opus:
op. 16
Year of composition:
1925
Subtitle:
Cantata
Version:
based on the text of the Kurt Weill Edition
Scored for:
for soprano, solo violin and orchestra
Composer:
Kurt Weill
Editor:
Andreas Eichhorn
Text author:
Ivan Goll
Soloists:
violin; soprano
Instrumentation:
2 2 2 2 - 0 2 2 0 - timp, perc(2), hp, vla(12), vc(12), cb(8)
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute
1st oboe
2nd oboe
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
1st trombone
2nd trombone
timpani
percussion(2)
harp
viola I(6)
viola II(6)
violoncello I(6)
violoncello II(6)
contrabass(8)
Remarks:
based on the text of the critically edited full score, Kurt Weill Edition, Ser. II, Vol. 2
Duration:
18’
Dedication:
für Lotte Leonard
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Audiosamples

The New Orpheus
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

Kurt Weill’s cantata Der Neue Orpheus (1927), on a text by Ivan Goll, is an expressionistic, freely tonal work which mixes the very different stylistic worlds of operatic aria and chanson. At the same time it also includes parodistic echoes of popular and traditional elements – for example, impressionistic features at the beginning of the vocal part, or down-to-earth, acerbic moments bordering on cabaret grotesquerie. The music of Gustav Mahler is referred to both in the music as well as in the text itself. The text narrates the tragic story of a singer who sets off for the grey walls of modern cities in order to rescue Euridice and with her, humanity. Seven variations depict the distortion of our musical life and experience of music. Euridice is a prostitute, redemption impossible – and Orpheus shoots himself.

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World première

Location:
Berlin
Date:
02.03.1927
Conductor:
Erich Kleiber

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