“The Golden Twenties”: A night at the Moka Efti

23 Feb 2021
Online festival: The Golden Twenties

Members of the Berliner Philharmoniker
Michael Hasel

Dagmar Manzel

  • Introduction (2 min.)

    Noah Bendix-Balgley

  • Kurt Weill
    Berlin Lit Up · Panamanian Suite (17 min.)

    Dagmar Manzel singer

  • Josephine Baker: Memories (0 min.)

    Dagmar Manzel narrator

  • Mátyás Seiber
    Two Jazzolettes (8 min.)

  • Trude Hesterberg: What I was about to say (1 min.)

    Dagmar Manzel narrator

  • Stefan Wolpe
    Suite from the Twenties (16 min.)

  • Lotte Lenya: Getting to know Bertolt Brecht (2 min.)

    Dagmar Manzel narrator

  • Kurt Weill
    Little Threepenny Music (23 min.)

What the three composers on the programme have in common is not only that, as Jewish artists, they were driven into exile by National Socialism, but also that their works combined an interest in the musical avant-garde with an open-mindedness towards contemporary light and dance music: Stefan Wolpe impressively mixed jazz and atonality in the pieces of the Suite from the Twenties, while in his Two Jazzolettes, Mátyás Seiber produced an encounter between blues and swing with twelve-tone rows.

This evening marks the conclusion of the festival’s focus on Kurt Weill. Whereas the Kleine Dreigroschenmusik is limited to wind instruments, the Suite panaméenne also features a small string ensemble. In the latter work, based on Weill’s stage work Marie galante, which he wrote while in exile in France, a tango, a march and a foxtrot frame the instrumental version of the famous song Youkali. In this concert, the authentic Berlin tone is completed by the participation of Dagmar Manzel, one of the city’s best-known film, theatre and television actors who has enjoyed great success in various productions at the Komische Oper.

Born in Berlin, Dagmar Manzel, a graduate of the Berlin acting academy “Ernst Busch“, belongs to Germanyʼs most successful actresses. From 1980 until 1983 she was a member of Staatsschauspiel Dresden, and from 1983 until 2001 she was part of the ensemble of Deutsches Theater in Berlin. Since then she has worked as a freelance actress and singer. From the 1980s she has also appeared in many films and on television. Works for the cinema include Die Unsichtbare (director: Christian Schwochow), Die verlorene Zeit (director: Anna Justice) and Zettl (director: Helmut Dietl). Dagmar Manzel has received numerous awards such as the Adolf-Grimme-Preis, Deutscher Fernsehpreis and Deutscher Filmpreis. Alongside theatre, film and TV, Dagmar Manzelʼs love belongs to music. She performed the title roles of Offenbach’s operettas Die Großherzogin von Gerolstein at Deutsches Theater and La Périchole at the Berliner Ensemble. At Komische Oper Berlin she sang in Anatevka, in Kiss me, Kate and Die sieben Todsünden. Dagmar Manzel has been a guest in the series Philharmonischer Salon several times since 2001 and has also participated in programmes on Berlin in the 1920s.

Michael Hasel began his musical activities learning the piano, organ and harpsichord to become a church musician. In addition he took flute lessons. He later studied at the Freiburg Musikhochschule with Aurèle Nicolet. His first engagement came in 1982 as principal piccolo in the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. Two years later he became a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Michael Hasel was principal flute of the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra for many years, and in 1988 he and four colleagues founded the Philharmonic Wind Quintet. In addition, Michael Hasel teaches at the orchestra’s Karajan Academy. As a conductor he has worked with the Ensemble Modern, the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the Scharoun Ensemble, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, the Gustav Mahler Orchestra and the Orchestra Simón Bolívar.

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