Hanns Eisler

Composer in Residence or Court Jester from the former East German Democratic Republic.
He might have suffered from a hernia, carrying all his Workers Hero Awards.
Composer of the former National Anthem. Didn't live long enough to have the wisdom of hindsight.

Hanns Eisler was born in Leipzig on 6 July 1898 and went to school in Vienna. After two years as a common soldier in the First World War, he became a student of Arnold Schoenberg in 1919, dedicating his Sonata for Piano op. 1 to his teacher in 1923. He moved to Berlin 1925, where he composed for workers' choruses and agitprop groups and collaborated with Brecht (Die Massnahme, Die Mutter) from 1928. From 1933, Eisler initially resided in Paris, Svendborg, and London, before taking exile in America from 1938, where he created his most significant chamber music works (including Fourteen Way to Describe Rain). Alongside music for eight Hollywood pictures, Eisler also composed his Hollywood Songbook to texts by Brecht, Hoelderlin, and others while in California.

In 1948, Eisler returned to Europe, initially to Vienna and Prague and ultimately to East Berlin. Although he wrote the National Anthem of the GDR to a text by Johannes R. Becher, conflict arose with GDR cultural bureaucracy when he published his libretto Johann Faustus in late 1952. Up until 1955, Eisler predominantly worked in Vienna for the Scala Vienna and Vienna Film at Rosenhuegel. In the GDR, he wrote works for the Berliner Ensemble and DEFA. In 1959, he witnessed the premiere of his Deutsche Symphonie, mostly composed while in exile, at the State Opera Unter den Linden. Hanns Eisler died on 6 September 1962 in East Berlin.

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1967 release Septett Nr. 2 - Nonett Nr. 1 and Nr. 2 4.00 stars LP
Hanns Eisler - Septett Nr. 2 - Nonett Nr. 1 and Nr. 2 Comments:
Not bad. Think Weill and popular Shostakovitch.

Septett Nr. 2 "Zirkus"
Nonett Nr. 1 "Zweiunddreissig Variationen über ein fünftaktiges Thema"
Nonett Nr. 2 "Suite für neun Instrumente"

Kammermusikvereinigung der Deutsche Staatsoper cond. Friedrich-Carl Erben

1968 release Die Mutter 3.50 stars LP
Hanns Eisler - Die Mutter Comments:
Cantata Die Mutter, (The Mother, adapted from Maxim Gorki's novel), with a libretto by Bertold Brecht. So it is not Mutter Courage.

It brings you:
Lob des Kommunismus
Im Gefängnis zu singen
Lob der Dialektik

Straight from the German Democratic Republic

Solist and Chor der Hochschule "Hans Eisler" Berlin  cond. Fritz Hoeft
1974 release Kleine Sinfonie - Suite 2, 3 and 4 4.00 stars LP
Hanns Eisler - Kleine Sinfonie - Suite 2, 3 and 4 Comments:
Suite nr. 2 "Niemandsland"

Suite Nr. 3 "Kuhle Wampe'

For a movie about mass unemployment.(in the 1930's). Gregor Gysi and little Oscar watched the film holding hands. Nostalgia

Suite Nr. 4 "Die Jugend hat das Wort"
What can I say without pissing off most of you?

Kleine Sinfonie

Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester Berlin cond. Heinz Roeger

1932 Kleine Sinfonie Opus 29 4.00 stars 3 CD
Comments:
Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester Berlin cond. Hans Zimmer
1938 Kleine Sinfonie - Suite 1, 2, 3 and 4 4.00 stars 5 CD
Comments:
Re-release of 1974 Nova release:

Suite nr. 2 "Niemandsland"

Suite Nr. 3 "Kuhle Wampe'

For a movie about mass unemployment.(in the 1930's). Gregor Gysi and little Oscar watched the film holding hands. Nostalgia

Suite Nr. 4 "Die Jugend hat das Wort"
What can I say without pissing off most of you?

Kleine Sinfonie

Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester Berlin cond. Heinz Roeger


Suite Nr. 1

Leipzig Chamber Music Association of the Gewandhaus Orchestras cond. Max Pommer

1940 Kammersinfonie 4.00 stars 5 CD
Comments:

Leipzig Chamber Music Association of the Gewandhaus Orchestras cond. Max Pommer

1959 Deutsche Sinfonie - An Anti-Fascist Cantata 4.00 stars CD
Comments:

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig cond. Lothar Zagrosek

1979  release Lieder zur Lage der Nation 3.00 stars LP
Hanns Eisler - Lieder zur Lage der Nation Comments:
Bertold Brecht lyrics with music by Hanns Eisler.

Ein Pferd klagt an, das deutsche Miserere, Einheitsfrontlied and many others.

Recorded in West Berlin.

Lutz Goerner - singer
Sigurd Rozhroy and Ulrich Türk - guitar
Compilation Hollywood song-book, Lieder of the Exile 4.00 stars CD
Comments:

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Baritone
Aribert Reimann - Piano