Book title: Weill’s Musical Theater: Stages of Reform
Author: Stephen Hinton
Publisher: University of California Press, 2012
The most comprehensive and satisfying overview yet of Weill’s works for the stage, written by renowned scholar Stephen Hinton, whose engagement with Weill has lasted decades and resulted in several essential volumes, most notably the critical edition of the score and text of Die Dreigroschenoper. His approach encompasses all of Weill’s theater works, comparing them to each other while situating them within several larger contexts, lending a perspective that allows Hinton to trace continuities in Weill’s practice from one end of his career to the other and discover his theatrical innovations. With each chapter covering a genre or type of stage work, the book provides a new framework for Weill studies, setting old questions to rest while raising new ones. A sine qua non for the Weill scholar.
Publisher’s description (from dust jacket): In the first musicological study of Kurt Weill’s complete stage works, Stephen Hinton charts the full range of theatrical achievements by one of twentieth-century musical theater’s key figures. Hinton shows how Weill’s experiments with a range of genres–from one-act operas and plays with music to Broadway musicals and film-opera–became an indispensable part of the reforms he promoted during his brief but intense career. Confronting the divisive notion of “two Weills”–one European, the other American–Hinton adopts a broad and inclusive perspective, establishing criteria that allow aspects of continuity to emerge, particularly in matters of dramaturgy. Tracing Weill’s extraordinary journey as a composer, the book shows how his artistic ambitions led to his working with a remarkably heterogeneous collection of authors, such as Georg Kaiser, Bertolt Brecht, Moss Hart, Alan Jay Lerner, and Maxwell Anderson.
Interview with the author (audio)
Article on Professor Hinton with a discussion of the new book
David Savran’s essay, “Wouldn’t You Like to Be on Broadway?”