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The Brecht-Eisler Song Book Paperback – 1 Dec 1997

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Forty-Two songs in German and English by Bertold Brecht and Hanns Eisler.Edited by Eric BentleyMusic edited by Earl Robinson, with piano arrangements and guitar chords.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Indispensable volume 7 Nov. 2007
By James K. Miller - Published on
Format: Paperback
"The Brecht-Eisler Song Book" is an invaluable source of some of the most poignant, powerful and pointed songs ever written. I bought this songbook in the late 1970's (the present reprinting is identical, right down to the cover, I believe), and I have used it gratefully ever since. With Brecht's lyrics in both the idiomatic English translation by Eric Bentley, a master scholar, and in German; with the piano scores, and guitar tablature and chords, this collection is usable by any musician, be they oriented to classical contemporary, jazz, folk, rock, rap, whatever.
With informative notes on the songs by Bentley and useful notes on practical performance of the music by legend Earl Robinson.
If you are looking for the music to Eisler's and Brecht's controversial punch in the mouth, Measures Taken (Die Massnahme) of 1930, you have to look here. Regardless of where you are in the world, I think you will only find the music here, in Bentley's edition.
"Ballad on Paragraph 218" from the Weimar years is perhaps the world's first pro-choice song. People around the world marched to "Solidarity Song" and "Song of the United Front." No song captures better the perverse racism of Nazi Germany than "The Ballad of the Jew's Whore Marie Sanders" (1934), written in the heat of the struggle against Hitler while he was still consolidating power.
The songs (English titles) include: Coal for Mike, The Gray Goose, Solidarity Song, Song of the United Front, All or Nothing, Peace Song, Ballad of the Soldier, To the Little Radio, And the Times Are Dark and Fearful, The Homecoming, Easter Sunday 1935, A Hollywood Elegy, To Those Who Come After-Three Elegies, Abortion Is Illegal (P.218), The Mask of Wickedness, The Sprinkling of Gardens, On the World's Kindness, The Poplar Tree on Karlsplatz, How the Wind Blows, Happy the Man (Lenin-Zitat), Change the World-It Needs It, Song of the Rice-Barge Coolies, Come Out and Fight, Supply and Demand, We are the Scum of the Earth, Praise of Illegal Work, Praise of the USSR, Praise of Study, On Suicide, There's Nothing Quite Like Money, The Love Market, The Tree and the Branches, Ballad of Marie Sanders, Do Not Cry Marie!, The German Miserere, Song of a German Mother, A German at Stalingrad, Song of the Little Wind, And What Did She Get? (Das Lied vom Weib des Nazisoldaten), Song of the Moldau.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An excellent introduction to Eisler's songs 22 May 2000
By rootlesscosmo - Published on
Format: Paperback
This collection includes songs written by Hanns Eisler for plays by Brecht (Die Massnahme et al.), "mass songs" such as the United Front Song (Einheitsfrontlied), and selections from the Hollywood Liederbuch, with texts written by Brecht while he and Eisler were living in Southern California. In some cases, Eisler set Brecht poems which were also set by Kurt Weill; the comparison is enlightening. This is a fine introduction to the work of an important, complex, and (until recently) neglected 20th century composer.
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