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Kurt Weill: The Berlin Requiem

  • for tenor, baritone, male choir (or 3 male voices) and orchestra
  • 0 0 2 2 - 2 2 2 0 - timp, perc, org, alto sax(2), guit, bjo
  • Duration: 21’
  • Soloists:
    tenor, baritone
  • 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;
  • Choir: TBarB
  • Composer: Kurt Weill
  • Piano reduction: Karl Heinz Füssl
  • Editor: David Drew
  • Text author: Bertolt Brecht
  • 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)
  • Dedication: dem Frankfurter Sender gewidmet

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.

Audiosamples

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

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