Leben in dieser Zeit
Coverbild: Zeichnung von Marcellus Schiffer (1892-1932), Tusche aquarelliert Ende der zwanziger Jahre
Der Dichter, Schriftsteller und Maler Schiffer war der Ehemann der Sängerin Margo Lion und gehörte zum Freundeskreis um Kästner und Nick.
Original: Stiftung Archiv der Akademie der Künste
→ CD-Onlineshop and Hörbeispiele
→ Ein Radiospiel aus der Pionierzeit des Rundfunks
→ „Leben in dieser Zeit“
→ Edmund Nicks und Erich Kästners Experiment
→ Der Inhalt von “Leben in dieser Zeit”
→ Im Spiegel zeitgenössischer Kritik
→ Die Rekonstruktionsarbeit
» Dagmar Nick: Breslau Radio with Edmund Nick and Erich Kästner
Edmund Nick 1891-1974
Leben in dieser Zeit
Lyrische Suite in drei Sätzen (1929), Text von Erich Kästner (1899-1974)
Sprecher Marcus Günzel Bariton
Schmidt Christian Grygas Bariton
Chansonette Elke Kottmair Sopran
Herrenquartett Ralf Simon Tenor I Markus Günzel Bariton I Gerd Wiemer Bariton I Herbert G. Adami Bass
Eine Frauenstimme (in Nr. 2) Gritt Gnauck Mezzosopran
Eine Männerstimme (in Nr. 2) Gerd Wiemer Bariton
Erste Männerstimme (in Nr. 12) Marcus Günzel
Zweite Männerstimme (in Nr. 12) Gerd Wiemer
Sprecher in den Dialogen:
Erste Frauenstimme Rita Schaller Sprecherin
Zweite Frauenstimme Jutta Richter-Merz Sprecherin
Erste Männerstimme Walter Niklaus Sprecher
Zweite Männerstimme Peter Ensikat Sprecher
Chor der Staatsoperette Dresden (Einstudierung: Thomas Runge)
Orchester der Staatsoperette Dresden
Dirigent Ernst Theis
1 Einleitung (Sprecher)
3 Nr. 1 Kurt Schmidt, statt einer Ballade (Sprecher)
5 Nr. 2 Das Chanson von der Majorität (Schmidt, Eine Frauenstimme, Eine Männerstimme, Chor)
7 Nr. 3 Der kleine Rekordgesang (Schmidt, Sprecher, Chor)
9 Nr. 4 Das Lied von der Rumpfbeuge (Schmidt, Chor
11 Nr. 5 Die möblierte Moral (Männerquartett, Männerchor)
13 Nr. 6 Das Wiegenlied väterlicherseits (Schmidt)
15 Akustischer Auftakt (Geräuschmontage)
17 Nr. 8 Die Elegie in Sachen Wald (Schmidt, Männerquartett, Eine Frauenstimme)
19 Nr. 9 Entrée für eine Chansonette (Sprecher)
21 Nr. 10 Das Liebeslied mit Damenchor (Chansonette, Damenchor)
23 Nr. 11 Der Gesang vom verlorenen Sohn (Chansonette)
25 Nr. 12 Der Song “Man müsste wieder…“ (Blues) (Schmidt, 1. und 2. Männerstimme)
26 Dialog und Sentimentale Hörmontage
3 Nr. 13 Das Lied mit den Pistolenschüssen (Schmidt)
5 Nr. 14 Hymnus auf die Zeitgenossen (Schmidt, Chor)
7 Nr. 15 Das Chanson für Hochwohlgeborene (Chansonette)
9 Nr. 16 Der Appell an den Trotz (Schmidt, Sprecher, Chor)
11 Nr. 17 Das Trompetenstoßgebet (Chor, Sprecher, Schmidt)
12 Nachempfundener Beginn des Funkspiels
13 Nachempfundenes Ende des Funkspiels
Gespielt wird auf zwei Konzertflügeln E-205 der Bayreuther Klaviermanufaktur Steingraeber & Söhne
Soundcollagen unter Verwendung von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy „Der Jäger Abschied“ aus: 6 Lieder op. 50 für 4 Männerstimmen
Edmund Nicks Kompositionen für die Konzertfassung von „Leben in dieser Zeit“, die die entsprechenden Rundfunk-Klangmontagen ersetzen
14 Kleines Vorspiel
15 [ohne Nr.] Einleitung 1. Satz
16 Nr. 7 Einleitung 2. Satz (Chor)
17 Nr. 12a Einleitung 3. Satz (Chorsolisten)
18 Erstaufnahme des Songs „Kurt Schmidt, statt einer Ballade“
Robert Koppel, Bariton
Leitung: Edmund Nick
Erfasst in: „Schallaufnahmen 1929-1931, Sender Königsberg am 13. 12. 1930
Tonträger: Rundfunkschallplatte, Quelle: DRA
19 Dagmar Nick liest aus ihren literarischen Erinnerungen „Leben in dieser Zeit. Edmund Nick und Erich Kästner“, Aufnahme MDR 2009
20 Edmund Nick singt „Juni“ aus dem Zyklus „Die 13 Monate“ von Erich Kästner
Klavier und Gesang: Edmund Nick
Die Privat-Heimtonbandaufnahme des Achtundsiebzigjährigen Komponisten entstand im Oktober 1969 im seinem Münchner Wohnzimmer.
Original im Besitz von Dagmar Nick
Künstlerische Aufnahmeleitung: Eric Lieberwirth
Recording Engeneer: Holger Siedler
Redaktion: MDR FIGARO, Dr. Jens Uwe Völmecke
Aufnahme: 19.-23. August 2008, Lukaskirche Dresden
Produktion: MDR Figaro
A Radio Play from the Pioneer Days of Radio
December 1929: the signs of the times point to storm. On 24/25 October 1929, the so-called Black Thursday/Black Friday, the stock exchange on New York’s Wall Street plummets and plunges the international economy into an unprecedented crisis. Events occur in rapid succession. One hears of the suicides of bankrupt bankers who put all their eggs in highly speculative baskets, millions of people lose their entire life savings, and mass dismissals send the unemployment figures skyrocketing.
The international crisis is not merely »on the forward march,« as Leben in dieser Zeit (Life in these Times), a radio play broadcast by the Breslau Radio on 14 December 1929 formulates it, but already in full swing.
At the time a comprehensive network of radio stations had existed in Germany for a good five years. Radio editors were working nonstop to create programs to keep up with the swift pace of technological progress. Record concerts, lecture/recital evenings, feature reports, and live broadcasts of operas, operettas, and symphony concerts were popular. Broadcasts with entertaining music from the major hotels and dancehalls were also presented. The program designers in the music departments, however, had an ambitious goal.
They wanted to create a distinctive »radiophonic music« – a music tailored to the technological possibilities of the loudspeaker, which was just beginning its march to victory and replacing the extremely uncomfortable headphone, a music that was also supposed to be tailored to the acoustic circumstances in the recently constructed radio studios.
The Baden-Baden Festival Weeks in June 1929 were very much marked by such a still-to-be-invented radio music.
Edmund Nick, born in Reichenberg, Bohemia, in 1891 and since 1924 the director of the music department at the Breslau Radio, and his friend eight years his junior, the writer Erich Kästner from Dresden, thus found themselves faced with a genuine challenge: on the one side, the worldwide depression, on the other side, the demand for a distinctive musical form of expression adapted to the technological resources of the radio. How might it be possible to bring to expression the real existential fears of the present with the assistance of this new yet-to-be-developed listening aesthetic?
The result of Nick and Kästner’s joint considerations was Leben in dieser Zeit, a lyric suite in three movements for which Kästner compiled a series of poems and interlocked these with dialogues set in verse form. The fitting, richly colorful composition delivered by Nick for these texts was, on the one hand, musically at the height of the times and availed itself, on the other hand, of many cita- tions from the classical and popular-traditional music literature. Montages of sound effects and music were also involved, so that in the end a work was produced that indeed could be realized with the then current resources of radio technology. The experiment was a success.
On 14 December 1929 Leben in dieser Zeit was broadcast by the Breslau Radio and was such a great success that it was revised several times during subsequent years – until in the end even a stage version was made.
Leben in dieser Zeit, like all of Erich Kästner’s texts, ended up on the bonfires of the National Socialist book burnings in 1933 – that is, seventy-five years ago. The author’s writings were banned, and during the same year the composer Edmund Nick was removed from all his posts at the Breslau Radio. The two survived the twelve years of the so-called thousand-year Reich. The one, Kästner, »wintered« with inoffensive, entertaining pieces and in 1943 was even allowed to write the screenplay for the UA jubilee film Münchhausen – though under a pseudonym. The other, Nick, became the music director at the Theater des Volkes in Berlin. His Biedermeier singspiel Das kleine Hofkonzert, written in 1935 and filmed shortly thereafter, enjoyed enduring success and contributed quite substantially to his personal livelihood.
From 1952 to 1956 Edmund Nick was the director of the music department at the WDR (Western German Radio) in Cologne. During these years he produced many old and new chansons by his friend Erich Kästner, who after 1945 had again increasingly focused on the cabaret in Munich. Nick also remained linked to the radio medium beyond his active professional years in his role as an author of feature broadcasts that he moderated himself and as an expert piano accompanist in cabaret productions. Nick died in April 1974, and Erich Kästner, his artistic companion of many years, followed him in death four months later.
The lyric suite Leben in dieser Zeit was freshly recorded in a joint production by Figaro, the Culture Radio of the MDR (Central German Radio), and DeutschlandRadio Kultur in the complete original ver- sion. The recording sessions were held from 19 to 23 August 2008 in St. Luke’s Church in Dresden.
The soloists, choir, and orchestra of the Dresden State Operetta under its principal conductor Ernst Theis made this pioneering work of German radio history, which even almost eighty years later has lost nothing of its relevance, a genuine listening experience.
The press acclaimed the public performance of the work on 28 August in conjunction with the opening of the performance season at the Dresden State Operetta as a sensational rediscovery. On 8 and 9 November 2008 theproduction was broadcast on three stations. In addition to MDR’s Figaro and DeutschlandRadio Kultur, WDR 4 also presented it in its Das Samstagkonzert (The Saturday Concert) broadcast series.
It was thus that the work has been able to make its way from the radio days of the Weimar Republic to the multimedial present of the twenty-first century.
© Textauszug aus dem CD-Booklet
RadioMusik – „Leben in dieser Zeit“
The radio medium represents one development in a series of many developments in the area of sound-carrier media. Already in 1877 Thomas Alva Edison first succeeded in capturing the human voice: he developed the first mechanical sound carrier, the phonograph, from which the gramophone then developed. He thus laid the foundation of the history of sound-carrier technology that has continued until the present day.
The telephone was then an extremely popular medium for the conveying of music and covered wide distances (in 1877 the first concert was broadcast live via telephone from Philadelphia to New York), but the wire continued to be required as a linking medium. A transmission of voices and music without a wire was still beyond the realm of imagination. Although the American John Harworth had applied for a patent for a wireless telegraph as early as 1862, it was the German physicist Heinrich Hertz who had used a spark coil to make electromagnetic waves leap over wirelessly at the Karlsruhe College in 1887 – that is, had made the sparks spring. He thus laid the foundation for the wireless transmission of voices and music and ultimately for the radio medium as well. Among others, it was the Italian Guglielmo Marconi who played a decisive role in developments enabling us to receive music via radio just by pressing a button. In German-speaking Europe regular radio broadcasts begin being transmitted from the VOX-Haus in Berlin in 1923; already in March 1924 the Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk AG »mirag« began broadcasting as the second German radio station, and Austria followed a year later.
In the field of music this new development had consequences that could hardly have been foreseen: first, many new jobs and new work areas, also for musicians, also for composers. What music should one transmit via radio?
Should it be old music, serious music, light music, contemporary music?
This was a discourse that left its firm imprint on the works from the first years of the radio. Music especially for the radio was composed.
These compositions were works that were commissioned by the then new radio medium from the best-known contemporary composers toward the goal of developing works adapted to the technological resources of the new mass medium. Composers such as Eduard Künneke (whose music was once played in the symphony concerts of the Berlin Philharmonic) and Edmund Nick, who mostly wrote entertaining music, belonged to this circle.
But the borders demarcating contemporary music were flexible, as is shown by the names involved – for Kurt Weill, Paul Hindemith, Pavel Haas, Ernst Toch, and Franz Schreker, who went into music history as important innovators of their time, were among the composers who were solicited for such compositions.
It is this period, the years from 1923 to 1933, that is reflected in radio music project of the Dresden State Operetta and the partners, the Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk, DeutschlandRadio Kultur, and cpo.
The prohibitions and persecutions of Jewish and politically nonconformist authors during the Third Reich were in many cases responsible for the oblivion into which this music eventually fell. This music was produced when German entertaining music was experiencing it final zenith. The radio compositions represent an interface between entertaining music and all sorts of different currents in contemporary music from the Weimar Republic. They exhibit hardly known facets of a music composed for the public and deriving its power from the innovations of its own times. A forgotten modern art form can be experienced once again in the recordings of the RundfunkMusiken edition, which in many cases present world-premiere releases. These musical experiments, which were written for live broadcast with only a single microphone, know no musical generic borders; dance and jazz occur side by side with classical symphonic forms and avant-garde innovations of the times.
The radiophonic solitaire Leben in dieser Zeit, which in the view of those involved represents what is perhaps the most unusual work from its period, was composed in 1929.
The text was written by the great Erich Kästner himself and the music by Edmund Nick, who was then the head of the music department at the Breslau Radio.
It is Nick’s musical commentary on the harshly socialcritical undercurrent of the Kästner texts that first makes the harshness of these texts bearable. In congenial fashion, these two highly substantial minds combined the truth of real life and the all-encompassing power of music and produced a work that is timeless in every sense of the word. For these reasons, this work exemplifying what were socially as well as musically turbulent times opens the RadioMusiken series.
The Experiment by Edmund Nick and Erich Kästner
The music of the big city by Kurt Weill from The Threepenny Opera numbers among the influential models for the chanson series by Erich Kästner and Edmund Nick premiered during the same year: Leben in dieser Zeit.
A title already anticipating programmatically what is involved here: a picture of society at the end of the Golden Twenties and – what nobody could imagine might come – on the eve of the Great Depression. The massive economic collapse in all the industrial nations, which led, among other things, to the insolvency of business enterprises and massive unemployment, admittedly had its quite visible omens of doom in the collapse of the stock market on the New York Stock Exchange on 24/25 October 1929, which would go into history as Black Thursday/Black Friday.
Leben in dieser Zeit was an experiment in many a respect. The new form sought for the still young radio medium, the treatment of texts and music for a large public that could not be seen and did not react directly, was a new experience. The technological requirements of a live performance and a broadcast with only a single microphone as well as the limited resonance of the sound on the receiving end through the radio loudspeaker called for new acoustic approaches from the author of the text and from the composer.
The radio and the radio play were the object of philosophical and aesthetical discussion in the feuilletons and magazines of the time. The Silesian Radio of Breslau belonged to the outriders on this path.
»Breslau transformed the montage into audio series, sequencings of songs, feuilletons of sharp wit, and poems,« wrote Wolf Zucker – not with- out criticism – in June 1930 in the weekly magazine Die Weltbühne. »The unity,« he continued, »was given not by a specific radio moment but by a guiding literary idea. […] One presented a radio series by Kästner, which was divided, like a musical symphony, into several movements in which themes are intoned, developed, repeated, and varied.«
This radio series was Leben in dieser Zeit. For it Kästner had mounted what in part were previously published poems, cabaret texts, a chorus, sound effects, and intermediary texts to form a collage occupying itself with the Moloch of the big city, the human masses, the fate of the individual in modern times, and other critical themes then in fashion. Chansons of song character with their poetic imagery and generically typically strong concentration on the textual message covered the great many critical and satirical themes and changing moods. Edmund Nick’s music, with its succinct rhythmic figures and grand melodic ideas, its catchiness and its wealth of contrasts, was congenially designed.
It was a music of its times, dancy and jazzy but also lyrically and artfully intensified to produce a constant series of new high points.
Just how much this work captured the tone of its times is reflected in numerous rave reviews.
The Volkszeitung of Dresden, for example, wrote in mid-March 1931, »Orchestra, sung songs, spoken poems, speak- ing voices, speaking chorus. Everything magnificently interwoven, clear almost syllable for syllable, compelling, gripping because of the unity of the radio design; an invention that with sophisticated skill blended together a great many serious poems into a long, enthralling scene; a music that not only excellently enhanced and supported the whole but also even had its own expressive value (composed by Edmund Nick!). The whole, as we believe, the first complete victory in the struggle for radio art, in content a profoundly seri- ous, genuinely poetic, fully modern review concerning the meaning and value of the present-day existence of the average human being. Repeat! Yes, repeat! And then further efforts!«
The Content of „Leben in dieser Zeit“
Leben in dieser Zeit does not have a plot in the classical sense. The authors were also not sure about its generic classification; this experiment was too new for that. What was performed and printed as a »Lyric Suite in Three Movements« they also termed a radio play, a secular oratorio, and a cantata. Characterizing the con- tent rather than describing it, Kästner stated in the program of the Altona City Theater in 1931, »One will hardly call our cantata pious. It is a secular cantata.
It addresses itself to the inhabitants of the big city, it presents to their eyes and ears people of their own kind, it demonstrates their concerns, their futile wishes, and their methods for mastering ’Life in these Times,’ as difficult as it is to bear.« The contemporary piece in fact cannot be described with a clear sketch or a plot; it involves themes from its times but not dramaturgical courses of action.
The critic Fritz Rosenfeld in his review for the Arbeiter-Zeitung of Vienna on 21 January 1931 nevertheless undertook the attempt to describe its content:
»The ’hero’ of the work is named Kurt Schmidt and is one of the mass of millions who in the offices of the big cities are chained to desks, who spend their lives adding sums, who are dulled toward the passions because only the man who has money may live for his passions, who have been dulled toward nature because only the man who has money may enjoy nature. Resignation drives these millions of Kurt Schmidts to the spirit of semi-bourgeois self-contentedness under which grief and rage at a joyless, uniform existence only quietly subsists. Kästner situates his hero between a clarified, complacent, emotionally robust man of reason and the masses of workingmen represented by a speaking chorus. Kurt Schmidt does not have the phlegm with which the man of reason accepts the adversities of life as strokes of fate, but he also does not have the sharp protest spirit with which the mass of workingmen rebel against their mechanized life. In song this Kurt Schmidt runs through the most important phases of his experience. As a counteraction and as a supplement, Kästner gives him a female figure at his side; the chansonette that takes life more lightly and yet, as the mother of the men of this time, is closely related to the fate of the present.«
Edmund Nick and Erich Kästner produced three versions of Leben in dieser Zeit. One was a radio play for the new radio medium, and the others, since it was at the time of its writing so successful among the public, as a work for concert and stage presentation, which after the premiere went on to enjoy many further performances.
The RadioMusiken team has decided to present the radio play version, that is, so to speak, the original version, on compact disc. It is distinguished from the concert and stage versions by the technical production of its sound montages, which are mounted in part between the musical numbers and in part over them. Precisely this combination reflects the roaring speed of the 1920s but also the pressure that weighed people down, again so strongly that one thinks that one has been caught listening to a piece with contemporary contents.
This version is a reconstruction. It is the result of the juxtaposition of available sources of complementary character. The most important source here is the score,which was first printed by Universal Edition in 1997, that is, after Edmund Nick’s death, at the request of his daughter Dagmar.
It contains, however, no references to sound montages but merely to the sound effects integrated compositionally into the score – for example, the tooting of car horns, the ringing of telephones, and railway signals in the introduction to the first movement.
It was first Erich Kästner’s libretto, which was published as a typographical stage manuscript in the »Vertrieb von C. Weller & Co. Verlag, Leipzig« after the original broadcast and is the only source that transmits the dialogic intermediary texts, that contained in verbal form the instructions for the montages of the sound effects. These are found essentially at the beginning and ending of the three movements of the work. For the beginning of the first movement these instructions read: »Noise of the big city: beginning with typewriters and telephones. Then to these, current jazz music. Then to the office and entertainment noise, street racket, the tooting of car horns, the noises of the streetcar, the stamping of trains.« It was only after the examination of all these sources, which also include the piano reduction – differing from the score in descriptive details – published by Universal Edition in Vienna in 1931, that it was possible to reconstruct the radio play – along with consultation of the extant reviews and information from Edmund Nick’s estate papers.
Here we expressly extend our thanks to Dagmar Nick, Edmund Nick’s daughter.
We have faithfully followed the instructions supplied by Kästner and Nick – including the deliberately abrupt cessation of the sound montages, which with today’s technological resources would instead be reduced by a fading. These instructions also describe musical process- es (and their character) that have not been preserved in the score.
At the beginning of the second movement, for example, we read:
»Acoustical beginning: cowbells, evening bells, harmonium with ’Nun ruhen alle Wälder …’; dilettantish piano playing: ’Der fröhliche Landmann …’;
male quartet (sentimentally choked up): ’Wer hat dich du schöner Wald…’, only hint at it all! etc. Evening bells slowly ring out. Sentimental sound montage.«
Here a recording system is clearly being tested, one that aims at the integration of the new possibilities of radio technology, which would not be able to be captured with traditional music notation, into the course of the radio play.
Edmund Nick, evidently later, wrote musical introductions for concert and stage performances, with these introductions replacing the sound montages of the radio play. We are presenting them in an appendix, as bonus tracks on the second compact disc. A reconstructed radio signin in together with the identifying signal of the Breslau Radio and a radio signing-off are also found here, with both in their time being inseparable from the broadcasts of radio plays.
The goal was to prepare and to put together the available material with the greatest possible respect for the authors. It is our conviction that a document has been produced that was developed in keeping with the principles of source criticism and represents what is by musico-historical standards an adequate contribution to the genre of radio compositions of the Weimar Republic, a genre that has previously met with hardly any notice. Not least – entirely in keeping with Edmund Nick and Erich Kästner – the idea is to employ artistic means to interest the hearer in the musical experience of this socially so ambivalent era.
Uwe Schneider und Ernst Theis
Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten: »Playful Lightness – which is so difficult to realize!«
Dr. Steffen Lieberwirth, executive producer of the MDR Radio, concerning the ambitious RadioMusiken project:
On the occasion of an operetta gala at the Dresden State Operetta I heard the first movement of the Tänzerische Suite by Eduard Künnecke.
I was totally enthused by the music and by its performance, got goose pimples, and thought: That is indeed sensational!
That absolutely has to be produced for the radio – and in complete form!
I thereupon approached principal conductor Ernst Theis and met with absolute enthusiasm on his side.
We then also hit a genuine bull’s-eye with the radio broadcast of our previous productions of the Nick-Kästner radio review.
We experienced key works of the 1920s. In short: we felt and breathed the pulse of those times.
What is more, we felt how up-to-date and lively Kästner’s texts are – even eighty years later.
For this we owe a debt of gratitude above all to the members of the Dresden State Operetta, its soloists, the orchestra, and the chorus – for we had an inkling already after the first production that here an ensemble was performing that conveys the groove of the times, that is accustomed to working with the light Muse, has a perfect command of such music, and knows how to perform it in a playful and humorous manner.
In addition, an ambitious conductor who gets back into the feeling of the times and works out stylistic details with surefire precision. The resonance of the audience would show that we were right. It is thus that music becomes true joy and makes us eager for more!
Born in Upper Austria in 1961 • study at the Vienna College of Music and the Performing Arts • active as a conductor since 1987 • winner of the conducting competition held in conjunction with the Darmstadt Inter- national Summer Courses in 1996, with Peter Eötvös heading the jury.
Concertizing with ensembles such as the St. Peters- burg and Hamburg Symphonies, MDR Chamber Phil- harmonic, Slovak Philharmonic, MDR Symphony Orchestra of Leipzig, WDR Radio Orchestra of Cologne, NDR Radio Philharmonic of Hanover, ORF Symphony Orchestra of Vienna, Latvian National Orchestra of Riga, United European Chamber Orchestra of Milan, Monterrey Philharmonic Orchestra, Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trentino, Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra, Bruckner Orchestra of Linz, and Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt. Tours and guest conducting appearances have taken him to Stuttgart, Cologne, Dortmund, Bonn, Dresden, Hamburg, Essen, Magdeburg, Lucerne, Milan, New York, Tokyo, Nagoya, and many other cities.
Stage activities at the Volksoper in Vienna, Burgtheater in Vienna, and Vienna Chamber Opera, work with the Vienna State Opera Ballet • artistic director of the Austrian Chamber Symphony from 1990 to 2005 • first complete recording worldwide of Haydn’s piano con- certos in 2002 • frequent conducting at leading festivals such as Klangbogen in Vienna and Wien Modern • cooperation with soloists such as Anne-Sophie Mutter, Sona Ghazarian, Eva Lind, and Thomas Hampson • since the 2003/04 season principal conductor at the Dresden State Operetta • here music director of works such as the previously unknown operettas Der Carneval in Rom and Das Spitzentuch der Königin by Johann Strauss • debut with the WDR Radio Orchestra at Phil- harmonic Hall in Cologne in January 2009. Following the remarkable success of his interpretation of Gustav Mahler’s fifth symphony in the Bruckner House in Linz and in Philharmonic Hall in Bratislava with the Slovak Philharmonic, the international Bruckner Festival of Linz decided to entrust him with the conducting duties in this legendary work during the Gustav Mahler Commemorative Year in 2011.
Four-part CD series with works of the twentieth cen- tury by composers such as Bohuslav Martinu, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, and Erwin Schulhoff with the Austrian Chamber Symphony. In 2002 he produced the first complete recording of Haydn’s piano concertos with the Italian pianist Massimo Palumbo – ARTS MUSIC.
In 2008 he recorded Das Spitzentuch der Königin and Der Carneval in Rom, both by Johann Strauss, with the Dresden State Operetta Ensemble for cpo. In August 2009 he produced the first German complete recording of Jacques Offenbach’s La Périchole. La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein and Les brigands, both by Jacques Offenbach, will also be released in this series as complete recordings during the next years.
Born in Augsburg • study of voice at the Würzburg College of Music and at the Rostock College of Music and Theater • master class diploma in 1999 • prizewinner at the German Voice Competition and International Robert Stolz Competition in 1997 • guest contracts at various theaters in Augsburg, Baden near Vienna, Berlin, Coburg, Frankfurt, Lübeck, Munich, Ros- tock, and Würzburg • regular concertizing through Europe, Asia, and the United States • great successes in the chanson and cabaret fields.
Since 2005 Ernst Theis has regularly cooperated with the Central German Radio (MDR).
The RadioMusiken project arose from this coopera- tion and has as its aim the recording of the works com- posed for the radio medium during the years 1923 to 1933.
So far the following works have been presented:
Franz Schreker, Suite für Orchester; Ernst Toch, Bunte Suite für Orchester; Eduard Künnecke, Tänzerische Suite; Pavel Haas, Radio Overture; Kurt Weill, Berliner Requiem; Max Butting, Radiomusik Nos. 1 and 2 (Sinfonietta mit Banjo op. 37), Edmund Nick/Erich Kästner, Leben in dieser Zeit (radio cantata); Paul Hin- demith, Sabinchen (radio play) in the reconstruction of the instrumentation by Ernst Theis.
The recordings produced to date will also be released in the RadioMusiken CD edition on the cpo label. The radio music project will be continued with Walter Gronostay’s Mord (radio play) in the reconstruction of the instrumentation by Ernst Theis and with Mis- cha Spolianspy’s Charleston Caprice.
Prinz Methusalem by Johann Strauss has been recorded for the »The Unknown Johann Strauss« operetta project.