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Symphonic Concert - Jazz of old Berlin
Event type: Symphonic concert
Hall: Concert Hall
Subscription: A1 - Symphonic concerts, Z1 - Golden subscription
Price: 50-120 zł

Audiences already had a chance to hear the sounds of the amazing 1920s and 1930s (including elements of jazz) at the Philharmonic last autumn (24–25 November). But the same genre returns once more in the spring in the guise of two very interesting, very different and almost completely forgotten works of German composers. The charming Dance Suite (1929) by Eduard Künneke, who in his lifetime was primarily known as the author of popular operettas and film music – is a creative adaptation of jazz that features the striking sound of big bands. These relatively large ensembles of musicians were formed at the beginning of the decade in the USA (mainly as part of the Dixieland movement) to provide support for the sound of smaller combos with saxophones, trumpets and trombones. The trend quickly spread to Europe. Künneke combines in an interesting manner this genre with the music of Berlin’s dance bars, cabarets and cinemas during that crazy period that would soon became shrouded in the gloom of Nazism.

George Keiser’s play Der Silbersee was staged at the very beginning of this horrific time, in 1933, and was the last play to feature Kurt Weill’s music before he left Germany. Like other works of left‑leaning, socially engaged artists in that period, Silbersee also alludes to the issues of exclusion and inequality, telling the story of the difficult friendship between a former policeman, who suddenly became rich and equally quickly found him­self financially ruined, and the pauper whom he shot. Due to numerous allusions to the rise of Nazism, the play was fiercely attacked by the new authorities, and – despite the audience’s acclaim – was banned by the censors (“Entartete Kunst”). The considerable role played by the music, including demanding solo and choral vocal parts, turns the drama into something closely resembling a singspiel. It is written, to a large extent, in the vein of Brecht’s earlier The Threepenny Opera. Weil plays with vari­ous conventions and styles of opera, cabaret, jazz, dance, and marching music, often in a grotesque manner.


You are invited to this concert by PKO Bank Polski – Warsaw Philharmonic Strategic Patron of the Year