Kurt Weill

By Bruno Giner

Composer and musicologist, Bruno Giner* presents and analyses in this new book Kurt Weill’s masterpieces but also his life in which shone she who was for long her muse: the singer Lotte Lenya.

This book brings to us the encounter of atonal music of the beginning of the XXth century and the typically American songs with easy listening melodies, for long defended and recorded by his wife, but also in fashion at the time.
This biography, completed by many illustrations and music examples, is the first one published in French since over 15 years.

German renewal of the XXth century
American composer of German origins, Kurt Weill (1900-1950) studies in the Hochschule für Musik of Berlin composition, counterpoint and orchestra conducting. In 1920, he works with Busoni and writes his first symphony in 1921.
Always looking for a new language that speaks to the widest possible audience, his language blends modern music (atonal, polytonal, jazz...) that we find in his first operas : Der Protagonist, Royal Palace. His first collaboration with Brecht gives birth to the play Mahagonny-Songspiel in 1927. The next year, this four-handed work leads to The Threepenny Opera that revolutionizes musical theatre by striking hard on capitalism and the established order.

Author of a varied and prolific work, Weill went into exile in France in 1933 and presented in Paris several works, such as The Seven Deadly Sins in the Théâtre des Champs Élysées, before fleeing definitely the nazi regime for the USA where he will spend the rest of his life with American citizenship.

The author, Bruno Giner, presents a panorama of the rich musical production of the composer, endowed with a phenomenal capacity of work, where appear the great themes of an extremely coherent thought: pacifism, anti-militarism, satire of dictature, critic of capitalism, of materialism and of racial segregation.
His music is largely influenced by variety and American jazz rhythms : Happy End, Silverlake, Railroads, Lady in the Dark, thus creating a bridge between German and American music cultures. He himself largely influenced American musical comedy.


*Bruno Giner is the author of two books in the collection "horizons" : Satie and Entartete Musik in which he already presented Kurt Weill.

Read Kurt Weill’s biography
Listen to the playlist dedicated to Kurt Weill
Listen to the radio broadcast about Kurt Weill with Bruno Giner

Purchase the book

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