Kurt Weill’s music enjoys a timeless popularity; however, it was firmly rooted in the shifting social, political, and artistic climates in which he worked. Born a cantor’s son in Dessau, a town known as Bayreuth North, Weill showed early musical promise. He was drawn to the Berlin of the 1920s, where he studied under the great Busoni before linking up with Bertold Brecht and his own life-mate and greatest interpreter, Lotte Lenya. Creating such landmarks of Weimar theater as Mahagonny, Happy End, and The Threepenny Opera, the trio were to define a time and place. Fleeing the Third Reich, Weill emigrated to America and reinvented himself as the ultimate Broadway composer. He worked with Ira Gershwin, Maxwell Anderson, Langston Hughes and Ogden Nash, conquering the Broadway vernacular before his early death at age 50.
Extensively researched, The Days Grow Short charts Weill’s personal and career journey. Focusing on the development of Weill the composer and the creation of each work, this text evokes the theater worlds of both Berlin and New York when they were arguably at their peak. JAT
Paperback: 469 pages