Thomas Hampson Performs Weill's Four Whitman Songs and Blitzstein's Cradle Will Rock Wraps at Classic Stage Company
May. 01, 2019
To celebrate Walt Whitman’s bicentenary, baritone Thomas Hampson performs the Four Walt Whitman Songs with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Mariss Jansons, on May 16-17 at the Herkulesaal in Munich and May 18 at the Meistersingerhalle in Nuremberg. The May 17 performance will be broadcast live on BR-Klassik Radio. Hampson’s longstanding engagement with Weill’s music includes a performance of the Four Whitman Songs at the Salzburg Festival in 2001 with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra led by Dennis Russell Davies, later broadcast on ORF. Hampson recorded “Dirge for Two Veterans” on his 1997 album of Whitman settings, To the Soul.
("Beat, Beat the Drums" from Four Walt Whitman Songs/Kurt Weill/
Anna Prohaska, soprano and Eric Schneider, piano)
Other highlights this month include Die sieben Todsünden with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal under the leadership of Kent Nagano and Catherine Major as Anna I on May 4. Crossover artist Storm Large performs The Seven Deadly Sins in English with the Oregon Symphony, conducted by Carlos Kalmar on May 18-20.
(Die sieben Todsünden/Kurt Weill/London Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor)
For the complete list of performances of Weill’s works around the world, click here.
Also of note: John Doyle’s “modest, sturdy, and altogether wonderful” (The New Yorker) new production of The Cradle Will Rock at New York’s Classic Stage Company completes its two-month run on May 19. Terry Teachout writes in The Wall Street Journal, “Not only are Blitzstein’s clear-cut tunes full of off-center harmonies that light up every phrase, but his lyrics are as sharp as a switchblade….The songs are what has kept ‘The Cradle Will Rock’ alive, and I expect they’ll keep on doing so for a long time to come.”
For more information about Kurt Weill, please visit schott-music.com and kwf.org.
For more information on Marc Blitzstein, visit eamdc.com and marc-blitzstein.org.
Walt Whitman Songs (1942-47)
version for high or low voice and orchestra
orchestral accompaniment by Kurt Weill, Irving Schlein and Carlos Surinach
Die sieben Todsünden (The Seven Deadly Sins) (1933)
ballet chanté in nine scenes
lyrics (Ger) by Bertolt Brecht
for soprano, 2 tenors, baritone, bass, dancer and corps de ballet
The Cradle Will Rock (1937)
a play in music
libretto (Eng) by Marc Blitzstein
for 5 mezzo-sopranos, alto, tenor, 5 baritones, 2 bass-baritones, 3 basses, male octet and chorus
1(pic).0.2(1.bcl).0.asax(cl).tsax(cl)-0.2.1(tenor-bass).0-timp.perc-pno.acc-gtr(banjo, Hawaiian gtr or pedal steel gtr)-str
[optional: bugles (trumpets or flugelhorns), fifes (piccolos), side drums]