The Kurt Weill Edition has just released its latest installment, "Music with Solo Violin" (Series II, Volume 2). Edited by Andreas Eichhorn (University of Cologne), the volume contains the full scores of the Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra, op. 12, and Der neue Orpheus, op. 16, Weill’s cantata for soprano, solo violin, and orchestra on a text by Iwan Goll.
Weill (1900–1950) composed the works in 1924 and 1925, respectively. The concerto received its world premiere in 1925 in Paris during the “Exposition internationale des Arts décoratifs et industriels modernes” (the international arts fair that gave rise to the term art deco); the cantata was first heard in 1927, when Erich Kleiber conducted it at Berlin's Staatsoper. Although piano reductions appeared during the composer's lifetime, he never saw the works published in full score. In 1965 Universal Edition issued a full score of the concerto, but it was not actually engraved, and it lacked editorial commentary.
The Kurt Weill Edition presents the two works fully engraved, with an informative introductory essay and selected facsimiles that illustrate editorial issues. A detailed critical report appears as a separate volume, which also presents a facsimile of the concerto's old published violin part with annotations by Stefan Frenkel, a violin virtuoso and friend of Weill's, who championed the work in the 1920s. This instrumental part was one of several hitherto unknown sources that were unearthed during the years of work on the edition (e.g., the number of double bass players for the concerto was always a point of discussion; now it is clear that the work requires four basses). Performers and scholars alike will want to consult the volume. Universal Edition has created new orchestral materials from these authoritative texts that are immediately available for rental.
Andreas Eichhorn is a full professor of musicology at the University of Cologne, Germany. He is an expert in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century music; recent book publications include monographs on Paul Bekker and Felix Mendelssohn. The next volume to be published as part of the Kurt Weill Edition is Johnny Johnson, a play with music composed in 1936, edited by Tim Carter.
Kurt Weill Edition (Series II, Volume 2): Music with Solo Violin, ed. Andreas Eichhorn (New York: Kurt Weill Foundation for Music / European American Music Corporation, 2010). Main Volume: 246 pp; Critical Report: 71 pp. ISBN: 978-0-913574-68-3. Sales Price: $375 ($250 for subscribers). Order # KWE 2002