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.