Academic journal article Notes

Kurt Weill Editions

Academic journal article Notes

Kurt Weill Editions

Article excerpt

KURT WEILL EDITIONS Kurt Weill. The Firebrand of Florence: Broadway Operetta in Two Acts. Lyrics by Ira Gershwin; book by Edwin Justus Mayer; edited by Joel Galand. (The Kurt Weill Edition, ser. I: Stage, vol. 18.) New York: Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc.; Miami: European American Music Corp., 2002. [Vol. 1: foreword to the Kurt Weill Edition in Eng., Ger., p. 7-10; list of sources and sigla, p. 11-12; introd. in Eng., p. 13-54.; facsims., p. 55-63; performing forces, p. 66; synopsis, p. 67-68; list of musical nos., p. 69; score (act 1), p. 71-586. Vol. 2: list of musical nos., p. 595; score (act 2), p. 597-972; appendices, p. 973-1004; abbrevs., 1 p.; the Kurt Weill Edition, 1 p.; credits and acknowledgments, 1 p.; copyright information, 1 p. Grit, report, 115 p. Cloth. ISBN 0-913574-62-7. $600 (set).]

Kurt Weill. Ballade von der sexuellen Horigkeit und andere Songs für Gesang und Klavier. Vienna: Universal Edition, [1998], c1929. [Score, p. 3-22. ISMN M-008-05945-2; UE 9787. euro17.50.] Contains: "Die Muschel von Margate" (Petroleumsong); "Das Lied von den braunen Inseln"; "Marterl" and "Zu Potsdam unter den Eichen" (from Berliner Requiem); "Ballade von der sexuellen Hörigkeit" (from Die Dreigroschenoper); "Vorstellung des Fliegers Lindbergh" (from Der Lindberghflug / Der Ozeanflug).

Kurt Weill - Bertolt Brecht. 6 ausgewählte Stücke aus Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny für Gesang und Klavier. Vienna: Universal Edition, [1998], c1931. [Score, p. 3-30. ISMN M-008-05949-0; UE 9851a. euro18.95.] Contains: "Auf nach Mahagonny!"; "Alabamasong"; "Lied der Liebenden"; "Jennys Lied"; "Nur die Nacht darf nicht aufhör'n"; "Können einem toten Mann nicht helfen."

Kurt Weill. Four Walt Whitman Songs for Voice and Piano. Newly ordered and annotated edition. Valley Forge, PA: European American Music Corp., [1996], c1942. [Introd. (Kim H. Kowalke), 1 p.; 1 plate (photo of Weill and William Home); score, p. 5-34. Pub. no. EA 584. $12.95.]

Anyone who has ever participated in the staging of a musical-be it a high school, college, community, or even professional production-knows that there is no such thing as a "full score" for Oklahoma!, Kiss Me, Kate, My Fair Lady, Gypsy, Fiddler on the Roof, or any of the dozens of other classics of American musical theater that are revived regularly. Working almost invariably with rented parts, each member of the cast and crew has only as much music or text as is necessary for one specific role. Even the music director who conducts the performances is limited to just a piano-vocal arrangement or some other form of short score with only the most rudimentary cues to indicate the orchestration and disposition of vocal parts.

Of course, these incomplete and imperfect parts and scores simply reflect the conditions under which they were created. Working under the intense pressure of imminent deadlines, a Broadway composer and lyricist team manufactures songs in vocal scores that are then passed on to orchestrators, dance arrangers, and copyists, all of whom add various creative elements to the final product. During rehearsals and tryouts, still more changes might be made, ranging from the excision of complete numbers and their replacement with entirely new songs, down to more modest adjustments such as the addition of a few measures of music to cover some stage action, the transposition of a song to fit a voice range, or just some simple modificalions in the orchestration to vary a repeated passage.

With time and money of the essence, whatever artistic control a composer might hope to exert is sacrificed to decisions made swiftly by almost any member of the creative team. The scores, parts, and textbooks used in the production of a new work thus reflect a broad collaboration that tests the notion of composer authority, and as a show evolves through rehearsals and tryouts, ever more changes accumulate. Ultimately, these working documents will be covered with innumerable corrections and performance directions, any of which might range from fundamental compositional decisions down to inconsequential reminders for individual performers. …

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