From Myth to Monograph: Weill Scholarship, Fifty Years After

From Myth to Monograph: Weill Scholarship, Fifty Years After bruce d. On the eve of CBS’s broadcast of Kurt Weill’s 1940 radio cantata, The Ballad of Magna Carta, the New York Sun’s William G. King interviewed the composer. After settling into one of the Lotos Club’s larger chairs and getting his pipe going smoothly, Weill began to discuss his reasons for composing for the commercial theater. “I wanted to reach the real people, a more representative public than any opera house attracts. So I’ve made that theater, which exists without benefit of subsidy, my life work.” Near the middle of the wide-ranging interview, Weill reflected on how posterity might regard his music and that of a fellow émigré. “I’m convinced,” he explained, “that many modern composers have a feeling of superiority toward their audiences. Schoenberg, for example, has said he is writing for a time fifty years after his death. . . . As for myself, I write for today. I don’t give a damn about writing for posterity.”1 Since Weill’s death in 1950, archives have been established to preserve his legacy, conferences and exhibits devoted to the composer have generated collections of essays, and specialized monographs and sourcebooks on his works have appeared. The first tomes http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Theater Duke University Press

From Myth to Monograph: Weill Scholarship, Fifty Years After

Theater, Volume 30 (3) – Jan 1, 2000

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2000 by Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre
ISSN
0161-0775
eISSN
1527-196X
DOI
10.1215/01610775-30-3-107
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

bruce d. On the eve of CBS’s broadcast of Kurt Weill’s 1940 radio cantata, The Ballad of Magna Carta, the New York Sun’s William G. King interviewed the composer. After settling into one of the Lotos Club’s larger chairs and getting his pipe going smoothly, Weill began to discuss his reasons for composing for the commercial theater. “I wanted to reach the real people, a more representative public than any opera house attracts. So I’ve made that theater, which exists without benefit of subsidy, my life work.” Near the middle of the wide-ranging interview, Weill reflected on how posterity might regard his music and that of a fellow émigré. “I’m convinced,” he explained, “that many modern composers have a feeling of superiority toward their audiences. Schoenberg, for example, has said he is writing for a time fifty years after his death. . . . As for myself, I write for today. I don’t give a damn about writing for posterity.”1 Since Weill’s death in 1950, archives have been established to preserve his legacy, conferences and exhibits devoted to the composer have generated collections of essays, and specialized monographs and sourcebooks on his works have appeared. The first tomes

Journal

TheaterDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2000

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