Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tantz Grotesk - Schreker: 'Der Geburtstag Der Infantin' Schulhoff: 'Die Mondsüchtige' Hindemith: 'Der Dämon' ('Entartete Musik' Series, Decca, 1995) Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Lothar Zagrosek

Here is another interesting disc from Decca's 'Entartete Musik' series, one of the most important and rewarding musical surveys of the 20th century, and from a major label no less. My personal favorite here is Paul Hindemith's "Der Dämon", although the other two scores also make for enjoyable listening-stylistically in very different ways.

The three "grotesque" ballet scores fulfill most of the Nazis's criteria for 'degenerate music': two of them are by Jewish composers, one of which is jazz-based with 1920's-1930's "bad boy" expressionism and cacophony, and the third is by that then "unreformed" avant-gardist, Hindemith. Of the three composers, Schreker, sacked from his academic posts, died from the shock within months of the Nazis's rise to power; Schulhoff, whose devotion to Communism led him to take Soviet citizenship, died in a Bavarian concentration camp in 1942 as mentioned in prior Schulhoff posts. And Hindemith escaped into exile. All three works, though, were written during the heady years of the Weimar Republic, or earlier. "The Birthday of the Infanta" by Schreker (a 1922 suite from a 1908 score) is a melodious and colorful dance-pantomime and based on the same Oscar Wilde story that was later to inspire Zemlinsky’s finest opera. Schreker’s music here is luminous, often poignant, and sounds somewhat like a Viennese Respighi, while Schulhoff's "Moonstruck" (1925) which is subtitled "a dance grotesque", has his 1920's signature ragtime, jazzy, raucous atmosphere. Hindemith’s "The Demon" (1922), scored for chamber ensemble and set to a disturbing scenario by Max Krell about a sadomasochistic demon that subjugates two sisters, is one of his more colorful and engaging works (and actually just a tad more "accessible" I'd say for those who are normally not Hindemith fans) and was his first ballet. Like his contemporaneous opera "Cardillac," the work is notable for the contrast between its expressionist subject and the dry objectivity with which Hindemith treats the subject musically.

Franz Schreker



Track list:

Franz Schreker "Der Geburtstag Der Infantin" The Birthday Of The Infanta (19:40)

1)Reigen (1:48)
2)Aufzug Und Kampfspiel (2:19)
3)Die Marionetten (2:40)
4)Menuett Der Tänzerknaben - Die Tänze Des Zwerges (2:51)
5)Mit Dem Wind Im Frühling: In Blauen Sandalen Über Das Korn - Im Roten Gewand Im Herbst (5:02)
6)Die Rose Der Infantin - Nachklang (4:58)

Erwin Schulhoff "Die Mondsüchtige" Moonstruck (23:49)

7)Introduzione - Ragtime (5:14)
8)Valse Boston (6:31)
9)Shimmy (2:32)
10)Step (1:40)
11)Tango (5:07)
12)Jazz (2:46)

Paul Hindemith - "Der Dämon" The Demon, Op.28 (34:28)

13)Tanz Des Dämons (1:16)
14)Tanz Der Bunten Bänder - Tanz Der Geängstigten Schwalben (5:51)
15)Tanz Des Giftes - Tanz Der Schmerzen (4:08)
16)Tanz Des Dämons (Passacaglia) - Tanz Der Trauer Und Sehnsucht (5:54)
17)Einleitung Zum 2. Bild - Tanz Des Kindes (3:36)
18)Tanz Des Weiten Gewandes - Tanz Der Geschlossenen Orchidee (6:51)
19)Tanz Der Roten Raserei - Tanz Der Brutalität (2:17)
20)Tanz Des Geschlagenen Tieres - Finale (4:31)





cjvinthechair said...

Mmm..really looking forward to this one; pretty sure I have none of these !
Thank you, as always.

Tzadik said...

Cjv happy to hear that :) And as always, right back at ya-thank you for your friendly comments! TZ