Kurt Weill: The Berlin Requiem (arranged by: David Drew)

Kurt Weill The Berlin Requiem
The Berlin Requiem

Kurt Weill: The Berlin Requiem (arranged by: David Drew)

Year of composition:
alternative version or Lucerne version
Scored for:
for tenor, baritone, male choir (or 3 male voices) and orchestra
Kurt Weill
David Drew
David Drew (2000)
Text author:
Bertolt Brecht; Kurt Weill
0 0 2 2 - 2 2 2 0 - timp, org, alto sax(2), guit, bjo
Table of contents:
Ballade vom ertrunkenen Mädchen
Epitaph: Die rote Rosa
Erster Bericht über den unbekannten Soldaten unter dem Triumphbogen
Zweiter Bericht über den unbekannten Soldaten: Alles, was ich euch sagte
Zu Potsdam unter den Eichen
Großer Dankchoral: Lobet die Nacht
The alternative version („Lucerne version“) may be performed by solo tenor, baritone and bass with wind ensemble and no chorus. In this case, Weill's no. 5 (a cappella chorus) is replaced by Goehr's arrangement.
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

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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World première

Frankfurt am Main (DE)
Ludwig Rottenberg
Main soloists:
Hans Grahl, Johannes Willy, Jean Stern

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