Concert adaptation of Der Weg der Verheißung (The Eternal Road) by Ed Harsh for large chorus, five or six vocal soloists (soprano, mezzo-soprano, two or three tenors, one or two baritones), two speaking roles, and orchestra. Original German text by Franz Werfel; English translations by Ludwig Lewisohn, William A. Drake, Charles Alan, and Kelley Rourke. Additional orchestrations by Noam Sheriff.
English title: The Road of Promise
Cast: The work requires a minimum of five or six principal vocal soloists, two speaking actors, and a moderately large chorus that can be easily divided into two parts. Roles: The Rabbi (tenor and speaking role), The Adversary (speaking role), The Thirteen Year-Old Boy (speaking role); Biblical solo characters (can be covered by four or five soloists [SMTB, SMTTB, or SMTBB]): The Voice of God (tenor), Abraham (baritone), Jacob (tenor), Rachel (soprano), Joseph (baritone [or tenor]), Miriam (mezzo-soprano), Moses (baritone), Idol Worshipper (tenor), Naomi (soprano), Ruth (mezzo-soprano), Boaz (tenor), David (tenor), The Dark Angel (baritone), Solomon (baritone), Isaiah (tenor), Jeremiah (baritone), False Prophet (baritone [or tenor]); small solo roles (can be covered by soloists from the chorus): The Ten Brothers (4 tenors, 6 baritones), Angel 1 (tenor), Angel 2 (baritone), Idol Merchant (tenor), The Soul of Moses (soprano).
Orchestra: 188.8.131.52; 184.108.40.206; perc. and timp; harp, piano, organ/keyboard, guitar; strings
Duration: 105 minutes
Performance Materials: EAMC
First Performance: February 28, 2013, Kurt Weill Fest Dessau, Soloists, Chorus, and Orchestra of the Anhaltisches Theater, Antony Hermus, cond.
Guide to orchestration, territory abbreviations, and publishers' symbols.
1. The Covenant (Abraham, The Voice)
2. Sacrifice of Isaac (The Voice, Abraham)
3. Jacob and Rachel (The Voice, Jacob, Rachel)
4. Joseph and His Brothers (Joseph's Brothers, Two Angels, Jacob, Joseph)
5. Moses in Egypt (Miriam, Moses)
6. At the Mountain (Idol Worshipper)
7. In the Wilderness (Moses)
8. The Promised Land (Moses, The Voice, Two Angels, Soul of Moses)
9. Ruth the Moabite (Naomi, Ruth, Boaz)
10. King David (David, Dark Angel)
11. The Building of the Temple (David, Ruth, Solomon)
12. Two Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Idol Merchant)
13. Zedekiah's Decision (False Prophet, Jeremiah, Rachel)
14. A Vision (The Voice)
|Navona CD NV6059||MasterVoices, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Ted Sperling, cond. (in English; live recording of U.S. premiere)|
"Weill's sprawling score incorporated an astonishing variety of orchestral styles, from Jewish folk-songs and rabbinical chants to the polyphony of Bach, the orchestral grandeur of Wagner and the atonality and chromaticism of his own late Romantic period . . . Mr. Harsh's reduction of Weill's score kept the action of this work moving inexorably forward . . . Powerful, and a work worthy of revival and further performance."
"In fourteen musical numbers, which occasionally flow directly into another, the composer manages to create gripping images of happiness, struggle, doubt, hope. . . [Weill's] musical idiom is lively, understandable, immediately appealing. . . that's what one wants from good contemporary music--and that's why the audience in Dessau rewarded the performers with long, heartfelt applause."
--Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, 2013