Creative crises were more or less unknown to Kurt Weill, so his multifaceted oeuvre is impressive, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The list of works of purely instrumental compositions remained short only because Weill concentrated almost exclusively on music theatre in his later Berlin period and then again in American exile. The 1925 Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra and the Second Symphony, partly written in exile and premiered in Amsterdam under the direction of Bruno Walter, already represent the composer’s last contributions to absolute music. Both works are on this programme with conductor Marie Jacqot and the scholarship holders of the Karajan Academy. The soloist is Kolja Blacher, who was first concertmaster of the Philharmoniker between 1993 and 1999.
When the previously close and productive partnership with Kurt Weill began to dissolve at the end of the 1920s, Hanns Eisler gradually took the place of Berthold Brecht’s most important musical collaborator. Brecht was involved as a scriptwriter in the early sound film Kuhle Wampe oder: Wem gehört die Welt?, set in the world of the working-classes, with music composed by Eisler. In view of the economic crisis depicted in the film, the score forgoes all despair and sentimentality and uses rhythmic energy to bolster the political awakening evoked by Brecht. The Third Suite of the music from the film performed in this concert ends with an instrumental version of the famous Solidarity Song.