The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music and European American Music Corporation are pleased to announce the publication of Kurt Weill’s complete Chamber Music. Edited by Dr. Wolfgang Rathert (Professor of musicology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich) and Jürgen Selk (Managing Editor, Kurt Weill Edition), the new publication makes available musical works by Kurt Weill which, while comprising only a small portion of Weill’s oeuvre, played a considerable role in his formative years (1919-24). The new edition includes two string quartets as well as two separate movements for string quartet, a sonata for violoncello and piano, the song cycle Frauentanz, and the vocal-instrumental miniature Ick sitze da–un esse Klops.
The relative obscurity of Weill’s chamber music can be partially explained by the overshadowing success of his first stage works, beginning with the acclaimed one-act opera Der Protagonist. However, the compositional quality and musical significance of these works of “absolute music” have also been obscured by their uneven publication and performance history, which partly explains their absence from the mainstream of the concert repertoire. This is regrettable, as some of these pieces are of considerable ingenuity and aesthetic appeal and may rank among the outstanding German musical works of this period.
The new edition of Weill’s Chamber Music makes this body of work available now in one volume. Several of the Chamber Music works included in the new edition have never before been available in print. Published with an accompanying critical report volume, Chamber Music constitutes the fourth volume in the Kurt Weill Edition, a collected critical edition of his completed works. The next volume in the Kurt Weill Edition, currently in production, is the critical edition of Weill’s one-act opera Der Protagonist, scheduled for publication in 2005.