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The Kurt Weill Edition


Series I, Volume 3: Mahagonny. Ein Songspiel (2016)

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  • Pages

    182 pp (main volume)
    59 pp (critical report)

  • ISBN


  • Price

    $250 (subscribers)
    $340 (non-subscribers)

Ein Songspiel
von Kurt Weill
Texte von Bertolt Brecht
Edited by Giselher Schubert


This first collaboration between Weill and poet-playwright Bertolt Brecht was to achieve epochal importance in the genre of opera and music theater in general. It also led Weill to form his signature “Song style,” which shaped the sound of the Weimar Republic. Both feats may seem like a lot of weight to carry for a half-hour work that was composed in less than a month and for which a new genre, the “Songspiel,” had to be invented. But there were other remarkable “firsts”: The July 1927 premiere brought about a musical breakthrough for Weill’s wife Lotte Lenya, whose performance inaugurated a new species of singer-actor; it provided the opportunity for Brecht’s debut as a stage director in the domain of musical theater; and it saw Weill’s first collaboration with designer Caspar Neher, whose contributions to set and costume design in Weimar theater rival those of Weill and Brecht to music and text.

Edited by Giselher Schubert, the volume features a thorough critical and historical essay, color facsimiles of significant source material, detailed notes on the editorial work and descriptions of manuscripts and other essential sources, and the score itself, complete, attentively engraved and laid out on large, easy-to-read pages. The essay, of course, also touches on the Songspiel’s role as a “study” for one of the most popular operas of the twentieth century, Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny.

Schubert, former director of the Hindemith-Institut in Frankfurt, has published extensively on Hindemith, Weill, Schoenberg, and the music of the Weimar Republic. He serves on the Editorial Board of the Kurt Weill Edition.


  • Ensemble Modern, HK Gruber, cond. Ensemble Modern Medien CD EMCD-040

Associated Publications

  • Klavierauszug UE 36 629

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