Archive for December, 2012


“Singe-Bewegung” and “Oktoberklub” in East Germany, part 10.


The “Werkstattwochen der FDJ-Singeklubs” were an important communication platform for the East German “Singe-Bewegung”. They took place every year between 1967 and 1988 in another town in the GDR and were an annual meeting point for the scene with hundreds of participants from all over the GDR. Establishd ensembles and solist presented their new programms, new “Singeklubs” introduced themselves. The artists practised songwriting, composing and interpetation in workshops.

The album “Wir singen ein neues Lied” is a live recording from the final event of the “III. Werkstattwoche der FDJ-Singeklubs” at the wonderful Babylon film theatre in East Berlin, July 11, 1969.

Tracks:

A1 Singeklub “Livia Gouverneur” der BBS “Neues Leben” Dresden – Hört doch mal zu
A2 Singegruppe der NVA Neubrandenburg –  Links, zwei, drei, vier
A3 Singeklub der EOS Hoyerswerda – Lied der neuen Zeit
A4 Singeklub “Geschwister Scholl” Wismar – Hiring, Aal un Kabeljau
A5 Singeklub der EOS “Humboldt” Leipzig – Lied der Neulandfahrer
A6 Singeklub vom “Haus der Jugend” Cottbus – Bergen op Zoom
A7 FDS-Singe-Club der EOS Bützow – Lied von der blauen Fahne

B1 Stephan / Gruppe “pasaremos” Dresden – Der Weg
B2 Heiner und Stephan / Gruppe “pasaremos” Dresden – Lorelei 1969
B3 Mikis Theodorakis-Klub Berlin – Wenn der Krieg vorbei ist
B4 Katja / Oktober-Klub Berlin – Die Taube
B5 Magdeburger Singeklub beim Klubhaus “Junge Talente” – Elektrischka
B6 Singegruppe “Kurt Barthel” Rostock – Vagel Kran
B7 Michael / Singeklub “Geschwister Scholl” Wismar – Der Wal
B8 Joan & José (Spanien) – Wenn du eines Tages willst…
B9 FDJ-Singe-Club der EOS Bützow – Brüder, seht, die rote Fahne

(320 kbps, vinyl rip, front & back cover included)
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An interesting collection of stray Lightnin’ sides from 1959 and 1960. On some, he’s playing alone and acoustic, on others he’s playing electric with a small band, even turning in chaotic instrumentals like “Guitar Lightnin,'” “Shake Yourself,” and “Talk of the Town.”

Most of these are studio tracks, but there’s some live stuff on here as well, most notably “Big Car Blues,” the by-now-familiar version which shows up on a lot of other Hopkins anthologies. The most interesting track here is “Shaggy Dog,” featuring a rhythm section that follow him every step of the way with a trombone player playing right along – and it all works! For a hodgepodge of leftovers, there’s a lot of great Lightnin’ on here.

Lightnin Hopkins – Notin´ But The Blues
(192 kbps, small front cover included)

The “Collectables” reissue label is responsible for more than 15 entries to the 21st century Lightnin’ Hopkins digital discography. These include a Hopkins sampler simply titled Blues; two volumes devoted to the high voltage Herald recordings of 1954; “The Lost Texas Tapes” (a sizeable archive of privately recorded material spread over five discs), and two compilations combining four albums from the mid-’60s originally issued on LPs as part of the “Everest Archive of Folk” series.

The Everest recordings were premiered on CD in 1990 as the “Golden Classics” set; this same collection reappeared with the more specific title “From the Vaults of Everest” in 2001. The albums, originally titled “Drinkin’ in the Blues”, “Prison Blues”, “Mama and Papa Hopkins” and “Nothin’ But the Blues”, add up to 63 choice cuts, both solo and ensemble, recorded in the studio and live in coffeehouses.

Lightnin strikes deep into the root strata of the tradition with “See See Rider,” “Trouble in Mind” (à la Furry Lewis) and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” He regularly taps into the rockin’ boogie woogie vein, sounding a lot like Rev. Gary Davis during “Bottle It Up and Go,” covering “What’d I Say” by Ray Charles and tearing up during “Get Off My Toe” and “Long Gone Like a Turkey Through the Corn.” Caught in front of a live audience, he obviously enjoys kicking back and telling stories (“Big Black Cadillac Blues,” “Big Car Blues”). This anthology contains the essence of Lightnin’ Hopkins. It illuminates his links with the canon of classic blues (“I’ve Been Buked and Scorned” contains direct quotes from Blind Willie Johnson) and the rural Afro-American experience (“Cotton” directly references the life of backbreaking agricultural labor that Hopkins roundly rejected when he chose to become an itinerant musician.) .

Here´s Vol. 1 of the Everest Records, called “Drinkin´ In The Blues”. Almost 70 minutes of Lightnin’ Hopkins, some live (no date or location listed) and some studio, but all pretty well indispensable for any fan, from the first words of the extraordinary opening monologue (“Big Black Cadillac Blues”) on. He’s playing acoustic live, and this sounds like one of his coffeehouse gigs along the folk circuit from the early ’60s, except that the quality is better than on many of those shows, with a close sound on the guitar – the studio stuff is electric, natch.

Lightnin Hopkins – Drinkin´ In The Blues
(192 kbps, small front cover included)

The Philips label released in 1955 the album “Lotte Lenya singt Kurt Weill” (Philips B 07 089) with interpretations of Brecht/Weill songs, recorded in Hamburg on 5 – 7 July, 1955. This album was released in the U.S. in  on Columbia (ML 5056) in November 1955 as “Lotte Lenya Sings Berlin Theater Songs of Kurt Weill”.

Philips released a selection of these recordings on the 45 RPM single “Songs von Kurt Weill” (Philips 429 207 BE) which is featured here.


The complete recordings were later re-released on the CD “Kurt Weill: Berlin & American Theater Songs, CBS MK 42658″ in 1988.

Lotte Lenya was accompanied by Roger Bean and his orchestra.
Tracklist:

AA1 Seeräuber-Jenny
AA2 Surabaya-Johnny
AB1 Bilbao-Song
AB2 Moritat

Sources:
Track AA1 taken from “Die Dreigroschenoper”.
Track AA2 taken from “Happy-End”.
Track AB1 taken from “Happy-End”.
Track AB2 taken from “Die Dreigroschenoper”.

Lotte Lenya – Songs von Kurt Weill (Philips Minigroove 45)
(320 kbps, vinyl rip, front & back cover included)

 

The band Zebra was established in the early eighties as a follow up to the band “Klinik – Formation” in the GDR. Members were Ekkehard Kind (voc), Uli Ackermann (g), Matthias Nilius (keyboards), Milo Herrmann (sax, fl), Jens Streifling (sax) Willi Reichert (dr) and Achim Gerber (bg). Later Albrecht Neumann (dr), Elmar Schwenke (keyb, ex-Logo), Larry Brödel (voc) and Olaf Mehl (voc) joined the project.

Zebra recorded in 1986 an live LP with rock versions of Brecht/Weill-songs, which was released in 1987.  In this and in the following year the band toured in the UdSSR. The band broke in 1989, Jens Streifling went to West Germany and played later with BAP, and Elmar Schwenke served at the army.

Side 1:
1. Erstens vergeßt nicht … Ballade vom angenehmen Leben
2. Ballade von der Unzulänglichkeit menschlichen Strebens
3. Ruf aus der Gruft – Vision in Weiß
4. Ballade von der Höllenlili
5. Lied von der harten Nuß

Side 2:
1. Ballade von den Seeräubern
2. Alabama-Song
3. Die Moritat von Mäckie Messer
4. Anstatt-daß-Song
5. Erstens vergeßt nicht … Kanonensong
6. Song von Mandeley

Zebra – Live Rock mit Brecht/Weill Songs und Balladen (Amiga)
(192 kbps, vinyl rip, front and back cover included)

Singe-Bewegung” and “Oktoberklub” in East Germany, part 9.

Born out of the Hootenanny Club and the “Singebewegung” (Singing Movement) Oktoberklub (also Oktober-Klub) was a political activist’s song group in the GDR (German Democratic Republic/ East Germany). The band derives its name from the october revolution. Oktoberklub sang international political songs (partially in “Nachdichtungen”), self-creations as well as traditional folk and working class songs.

“Der Oktober-Klub und seine Freunde” is a collection of live recordings released in 1969 on the “OKTAV akustisch Nr. 3 Schallfolie”, a flexi disc produced in Moscow on the Melodija label and released by the “Verlag Junge Welt” in East Berlin.

Tracklist:

A1: Oktober-Klub Berlin – Verbesserungsvorschlag
A2: Gruppe “Lutschina” Moskau – Im dunklen Wald
A3: Tolcsvay-Trio Budapest – Tánc

B1: Oktober-Klub Berlin – Vietnam-Siegerlied
B2: Joan und José – A la Huelga – Auf zum Streik

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Happy End is a surrealistic three-act musical comedy by Kurt Weill, Elisabeth Hauptmann, and Bertolt Brecht which first opened in Berlin at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm on September 2, 1929. It closed after seven performances. In 1977 it premiered on Broadway, where it ran for 75 performances.

If you like the music of Kurt Weill you will definitely like this album. It does not have the non stop hit songs that ‘threepenny’ does, but all the songs on this are great and are of the expected Weill Weimar style.

After the success of Weill and Brecht’s previous collaboration, The Threepenny Opera, the duo devised this musical, written by Elisabeth Hauptmann under the pseudonym of Dorothy Lane. Hauptmann’s sources included, among others, Major Barbara.The story is reminiscent of, but not the source of, the better-known musical Guys and Dolls, which is based on Damon Runyon’s short story, “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown”.

Set in early 1920’s Chicago, the plot pits organized crime against the Salvation Army. Lieutenant Lilian Holiday makes a brave attempt to reform a group of gangsters led by Bill Cracker and the Lady in Grey. As she is making progress, she is thrown out of the Salvation Army because they fear she is too close to the gangsters. But since she is the most popular evangelist, they are forced to let her back into the fold. Meanwhile, the gang robs a bank on Christmas Eve; thanks to Bill’s growing affection for Lilian, they decide to unite with the Salvation Army and open a new office downtown, to work on saving the souls of capitalists.

The debut was plagued by problems. Hauptmann never finished the book of the musical, the play’s opening debut saw cast member Helene Weigel reading from a Communist pamphlet on stage, and it was met with near-unanimous pans from the German press and deemed a total failure.

Nevertheless, the musical was subsequently produced in Europe, the first time in Munich in 1956. Successive productions included Hamburg in 1957, London in 1965 at the Royal Court Theatre and Frankfurt in 1983, along with a 1979 German film version.
This album features the first complete recording from Köln, 1988.

Songlist:

Bilbao-Song
Der kleine Leutnant des lieben Gottes
Geht hinein in die Schlacht
Matrosen-Tango
Bruder, gib dir einen Stoß
Fürchte dich nicht
In der Jugend gold’nem Schimmer
Das Lied vom Branntweinhändler
Der Song von Mandelay
Surabaya-Johnny
Das Lied von der harten Nuss
Die Ballade von der Höllen-Lili
Hosiannah Rockefeller
.
Kurt Weill – Happy End (Jan Latham-König, Köln, 1988)
(192 kbps, no cover art included)

Bild anzeigenThe World Festival of Youth and Students is an international event, organized by the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), a left-wing youth organization, jointly with the International Union of Students since 1947.
The largest festival was the 6th, held in 1957 in Moscow, when 34,000 young people from 131 countries attended the event. This festival also marked the international debut of the song “Moscow Nights”, which subsequently went on to become perhaps the most widely recognized Russian song in the world. In terms of the number of the attending countries, the largest festival was the 13th, held in 1989 in Pyongyang, North Korea, when 177 countries attended the event.
During the Cold War many festivals were held in capitals of Communist states because of the enormous expenditure and coordination required to support a youth festival. As a result, by the 1960s the festivals were accused of being a tool of Communist propaganda.

The 11th World Festival took place in Havana, Cuba, in 1978. The motto was – as for the preceding Festival in East-Berlin five years ago – “For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship”. The GDR participiated with a delegation of 200 FDJ members.
The Amiga label released this album with popular GDR “Schlager” artists as well as Singebewegung members to support the festival.

Tracklist:
1. Jahrgang ´49 – RDA grüßt Cuba socialista
2. Expreß – Nach Havanna
3. Monika Hauff & Klaus-Dieter Henkler – Karneval auf Kuba
4. Andreas Holm – Varadero
5. Cantus-Chor – Singen und Tanzen
6. Karat – Eh, dieser Sommer
7. Peter Albert – Singen wir
8. Oktoberklub – Haben wir diese Erde
9. Neue Generation – Wenn die Sterne tanzen
10. Dean Reed – Wir sagen nein
11. Bayon – El Camino
12. Prinzip – Wir werden immer mehr
13. Jahrgang ´49 – Havanna ´78

VA – Festival en la Habana (1974, Amiga)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Bild anzeigenThe World Festival of Youth and Students is an international event, organized by the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), a left-wing youth organization, jointly with the International Union of Students since 1947.
The largest festival was the 6th, held in 1957 in Moscow, when 34,000 young people from 131 countries attended the event. This festival also marked the international debut of the song “Moscow Nights”, which subsequently went on to become perhaps the most widely recognized Russian song in the world. In terms of the number of the attending countries, the largest festival was the 13th, held in 1989 in Pyongyang, North Korea, when 177 countries attended the event.
During the Cold War many festivals were held in capitals of Communist states because of the enormous expenditure and coordination required to support a youth festival. As a result, by the 1960s the festivals were accused of being a tool of Communist propaganda.

The 11th World Festival took place in Havana, Cuba, in 1978. The motto was – as for the preceding Festival in East-Berlin five years ago – “For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship”. The GDR participiated with a delegation of 200 FDJ members.
The Amiga label released this album with popular GDR “Schlager” artists as well as Singebewegung members to support the festival.

Tracklist:
1. Jahrgang ´49 – RDA grüßt Cuba socialista
2. Expreß – Nach Havanna
3. Monika Hauff & Klaus-Dieter Henkler – Karneval auf Kuba
4. Andreas Holm – Varadero
5. Cantus-Chor – Singen und Tanzen
6. Karat – Eh, dieser Sommer
7. Peter Albert – Singen wir
8. Oktoberklub – Haben wir diese Erde
9. Neue Generation – Wenn die Sterne tanzen
10. Dean Reed – Wir sagen nein
11. Bayon – El Camino
12. Prinzip – Wir werden immer mehr
13. Jahrgang ´49 – Havanna ´78

VA – Festival en la Habana (1974, Amiga)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Ullmann’s opera has got to be one of the most terrifying and moving works in the history of the form. It was composed in 1943 in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, though never performed there. That the music survived at all is something of a miracle, as Ullmann himself was later taken to Auschwitz and gassed. The story is an allegory: the emperor (a thinly disguised parody of Hitler) decides to wage total war, and so offends Death by seeming to take over his job that Death goes on strike, and people everywhere stop dying. Death only agrees to go back to work when the emperor permits himself to be the first victim. Although only about three quarters of an hour long, the music makes a terrific impact, and this gutsy performance pulls no punches. – David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

“I have written quite a lot of new music in Theresienstadt: it must be underlined … that we do not merely sit on the banks of the waters of Babylon, and that our endeavour with respect for arts was commensurate with our will to live.” (Viktor Ullmann)

Viktor Ullmann was born in Teschen (Cieszyn) on 1 January 1898. He moved with his mother to Vienna in 1909 where he received his first lessons in music theory with Josef Polnauer in 1914. In 1916, he was called up to perform his military service. After the end of the war, he initially enrolled to study law at the University of Vienna, but also participated in Arnold Schoenberg’s composition seminars in Mödling from October 1918. He additionally received further piano tuition from Eduard Steuermann. Following Schoenberg’s recommendation, he was admitted into the foundation committee of the “Verein für musikalische Privataufführungen” [Society for Private Musical Performance] on 6 December 1918, but relocated to Prague a year later. Following further tuition in composition with Heinrich Jalowetz, he took over Anton Webern’s position as choir director and répétiteur at the New German Theatre in 1920 where, two years later, he was promoted to the position of Kapellmeister by Alexander von Zemlinsky. In 1927, Ullmann became head of opera for one season in Aussig and subsequently undertook an engagement as Kapellmeister and composer of incidental music from 1929 to 1931 at the Schauspielhaus in Zurich. Influenced by Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophy, Ullmann later managed an anthroposophic bookshop for two years in Stuttgart (1931/32) before returning to Prague as a freelance musician, teacher, composer and journalist. He attended Alois Hába’s courses in quartertone composition between 1935 and 1937. Following the establishment of the “German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia” in 1939, all public performances of composers of Jewish origin were prohibited. Ullmann was incarcerated in the concentration camp Theresienstadt on 8 September 1942 where he undertook the organisation of the so-called “Freizeitgestaltung” [leisure time administration] together with Hans Krása, Gideon Klein and Rafael Schächter. On 16 October 1944, Ullmann was deported to Auschwitz where he was killed only a few days later.

The rediscovery of Ullmann’s works has a direct connection with the success story of the Kaiser von Atlantis. Ullmann composed this one-act opera in 1943/44 against the background of his impressions of the Theresienstadt ghetto. The libretto was written by one of his fellow inmates Peter Kien: as a result of war and mass slaughter, death refuses to carry out its services. The dictator who has thereby lost his greatest weapon – deterrence – loses all his powers. Death only regains its real purpose at the end and becomes the comforter of humans. Unlike the melodrama Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornet Christoph Rilke for narrator and piano or orchestra based on a text by Rilke (1944), the opera was not performed in Theresienstadt and the posthumous première did not take place until 1975 in Amsterdam.

Ullmann did however achieve consummate success during his lifetime with his Schoenberg Variations: the Variationen und Doppelfuge über ein Thema von Arnold Schönberg have survived in two versions for piano (1929 and 1933/34) in addition to versions for string quartet (1939) and orchestra (1934) and among Ullmann’s entire output display the greatest affinity to the Second Viennese School. A large proportion of Ullmann’s compositions from the 1920s and 1930s must be considered as having been lost, but surviving works include the Concerto for piano and orchestra (1939) and the seven Piano Sonatas, of which Nos. 5 and 7 also exist as a reconstructed symphony. The broad spectrum of Ullmann’s compositional development can be observed in the Lieder for voice and piano: from Wendla im Garten based on Wedekind’s “Frühlings Erwachen” (1918/1943) and the Liederbuch des Hafis based on Bethge (1940) to the Hölderlin Lieder composed in Theresienstadt, Late Romantic influences can be discerned alongside echoes of Zemlinsky’s tonal language and the Neue Sachlichkeit [New Objectivity] of Kurt Weill.

Ullmann was awarded the Hertzka Prize for his compositions on two occasions: 1934 for the orchestral version of the Schoenberg Variations and 1936 for the opera Der Sturz des Antichrist composed a year previously on a libretto by Albert Steffens.
Tracks:
 

.piece-showdetails-1, .piece-showdetails-1 a { color: #d1242c; float: left; font-weight: 300; cursor: pointer; } .workdetails-1 { margin-left: 40px; clear: both; } 1. Der Kaiser von Atlantis by Viktor Ullmann

Performer: Iris Vermillion (Mezzo Soprano), Herbert Lippert (Tenor), Walter Berry (Bass Baritone),
Christiane Oelze (Soprano), Martin Petzold (Tenor), Franz Mazura (Baritone),
Michael Kraus (Baritone)
Conductor: Lothar Zagrosek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1943; Theresienstadt, Czec
Date of Recording: 02/1993
Venue: Paul-Gerhardt Kirche, Leipzig
Length: 57 Minutes 36 Secs.
Language: German
.piece-showdetails-2, .piece-showdetails-2 a { color: #d1242c; float: left; font-weight: 300; cursor: pointer; } .workdetails-2 { margin-left: 40px; clear: both; } 2. Hölderlin Lieder: Abendphantasie by Viktor Ullmann

Performer: Iris Vermillion (Mezzo Soprano), Jonathan Alder (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1943; Theresienstadt, Czec
Date of Recording: 02/1993
Venue: Paul-Gerhardt Kirche, Leipzig
Length: 6 Minutes 14 Secs.
Language: German
.piece-showdetails-3, .piece-showdetails-3 a { color: #d1242c; float: left; font-weight: 300; cursor: pointer; } .workdetails-3 { margin-left: 40px; clear: both; } 3. Hölderlin Lieder: Der Frühling by Viktor Ullmann

Performer: Iris Vermillion (Mezzo Soprano), Jonathan Alder (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1943; Theresienstadt, Czec
Date of Recording: 02/1993
Venue: Paul-Gerhardt Kirche, Leipzig
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs.
Language: German
.piece-showdetails-4, .piece-showdetails-4 a { color: #d1242c; float: left; font-weight: 300; cursor: pointer; } .workdetails-4 { margin-left: 40px; clear: both; } 4. Hölderlin Lieder: Wo bist du by Viktor Ullmann

Performer: Iris Vermillion (Mezzo Soprano), Jonathan Alder (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1943; Theresienstadt, Czec
Date of Recording: 02/1993
Venue: Paul-Gerhardt Kirche, Leipzig
Length: 1 Minutes 50 Secs.
Language: German



Viktor Ullmann – Der Kaiser von Atlantis
(182 kbps, front cover included)