Update: HK Gruber receives Foundation’s Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award after premiere of new orchestration in Bonn!
A new day dawns for an old favorite on 21 September 2019, when Ensemble Modern under HK Gruber offers the world premiere of a new orchestration of Weill and Brecht’s “ballet chanté” Die sieben Todsünden (The Seven Deadly Sins), their last major collaboration and the first undertaken in exile from Nazi Germany. The new score has been prepared by Gruber along with his colleague Christian Muthspiel, and no one is better qualified. Not only is Gruber one of the world’s foremost champions of Weill, he has conducted the Sins about 35 times by his own estimation. As he and Muthspiel noted in an interview with the Kurt Weill Newsletter (Spring 2019), they have sought to retain Weill’s harmonies, orchestral colors, and dramatic power, even with smaller forces.
The orchestra for the new version consists of 15 players, less than half the number in the original. The Foundation commissioned the new scoring in order to encourage staged performances by smaller companies, whether dance, theater, or opera. The Sins already has a stunning array of advocates among all types of singers–Measha Brueggergosman, Marianne Faithfull, Wallis Giunta, Susan Graham, Angelika Kirchschlager, Storm Large, Ute Lemper, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Peaches, and countless others–and should attract more once the new version is available for licensing from Schott and European American Music after the premiere. We’re pleased to announce that the new orchestration will be eligible for grant support from the Foundation.
The premiere at Beethovenfest Bonn, with Sarah Maria Sun as Anna I and the male quartet amarcord as the Family, marks a new beginning, opening vistas for a wide range of performing organizations and generating new opportunities to produce one of Weill’s most popular and beloved works.
Details of new orchestration
Publisher’s brochure (Schott Music)
Publisher’s brochure (European American Music)
Interview with HK Gruber and Christian Muthspiel
Learn more about Die sieben Todsünden