The New Orpheus

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Essays on Kurt Weill

Edited by Kim H. Kowalke

View Inside Format: Paper
Price: $37.00
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In this prizewinning book, leading musical, theatrical, and literary scholars here examine different aspects of the life and work of Kurt Weill, one of the most controversial composers of the twentieth century. Making use of documentary material now available for the first time, the contributors present startling revelations not only about Weill’s career but also about his many collaborators—among them Brecht, Kaiser, Reinhardt, Werfel, Ira Gershwin, Klemperer, Moss Hart, and Elisabeth Hauptmann.
 

"A welcome resource on the work of Kurt Weill, reflecting as it does the 'state of the art' in Weill scholarship. It provides new insights and observations on the legacy of an important and versatile composer."—Michale Colby, Notes

 

"Anyone interested in opera should find . . .  the book rewarding."—George Martin, Opera Quarterly

 

"Enormously stimulating and provocative."—Richard Taruskin, Kurt Weill Newsletter

 

"[A] probing and comprehensive collection of essays. . . . A seminal collection of essays."—Robert Henderson, Telegraph [London]

 
"Fascinating, informative, thought-provoking, and illuminating."—Opera Canada
 

"Enormously stimulating and provocative."—Richard Taruskin, Kurt Weill Newsletter
 
 

 

 


 

"Valuable essays mostly adapted from the 1983 Weill Conference at Yale, with the most complete and accurate chronology of the composer's life currently available. Invaluable for the Weill specialist."—Musical America

"A welcome resource on the work of Kurt Weill, reflecting as it does the 'state of the art' in Weill scholarship. It provides new insights and observations on the legacy of an important and versatile composer."—Michale Colby, MLA Notes

"With the help of this uniformly well-written and copiously annotated anthology, the future can better determine the extent to which Weill, an Orpheus redivivus, is destined to remain, like another mythological resurrection, Goethe's Helena in Faust, 'admired so much, so much inveighed against.'"—John Francis Fetzer, German Studies Review

"Anyone interested in opera should find most of the book rewarding, for opera, in whatever form of drama and music Weill moved toward it, was what attracted him. . . . As Virgil Thomson wrote in his obituary of Weill, 'Every new work was a new model, a new shape, a new solution of dramatic problems.' A New Orpheus, with its essays focusing on particular works, helps to clarify those problems and Weill's solutions of them. Along the way, too, it offers fourteen pictures of productions, a chronology of Weill's life and works, an index, and many musical examples."—George Martin, Opera Quarterly
 

"A New Orpheus is a significant book, as it brings us a step closer to the point beyond which this particular incarnation of the great singer will be in a position to speak with his own rich, complex voice, instead of being spoken for in so partisan a manner."—Michael Gilbert, Theatre Journal

"It is not only pieces from Weill's European career which have disappeared (all his scores were confiscated from the publishers' warehouse by the Nazis) but at least four from the American period, that might substantially alter what Matthew Scott in 'Weill in America: The problem of revival' calls the ironic situation where those works originally aimed at a commercial market (for instance Love Life) are now 'the least susceptible to resuscitation'. . . . A New Orpheus makes a good companion to David Drew's Kurt Weill: A Handbook and to what Kowalke calls the process of making Weill a 'demythologized' composer."—Times Literary Supplement
ISBN: 9780300046168
Publication Date: September 10, 1990
376 pages, 6 x 9
12 b/w illus.