Detours from Poland: Russia (1835), Germany (1922)

I had the pleasure recently to perform post-show music following the premieres of two plays at the Prop Theatre (3502 N Elston Ave, Chicago). It was a challenge to find pieces which complemented the very fine plays, and which shed some artistic background on their eras.

Friday, February 17
Diary of a Madman
Nikolai Gogol, 1835

1. Ya Vas lyubil’ (I loved you)
Aleksandr Dargomyzhsky, 1832
2. Ya lyublyu, ty mne tverdila (“I love you”, you insisted)
Mikhail Glinka, 1827
3. Ona prid’yot (She will come)
Aleksandr Dargomyzhsky

Friday, March 23
Drumming In the Night
Bertolt Brecht, 1920

1. Auf, auf zum Kampf (Up, up, to fight)
Version of text by Bertolt Brecht, song from the Franco-Prussian War
2. Oh Falladah, die du hangest! Ein Pferd klagt an.*
Text: Bertolt Brecht, Music: Hanns Eisler
3. Schließe mir die Augen beide (Close both my eyes)
Text: Theodor Storm, Music: Alban Berg, 1907
4. Brüder, zur Sonne, zur Freiheit (Brother, to the Sun, to Freedom), 1920
Russian folksong, translated to German in 1918

* Translation difficult, but it’s written from the viewpoint of a horse that’s being carved up by hungry Post WWI Berliners for meat (!)