Created on 23/10/2008
Latest update on 14/09/2009

Artist: Eric Bentley
Author: Bert Brecht/Hanns Eisler
Label: Folkways
Year: 1964

On lp Songs Of Hanns Eisler. Original German title: An den kleinen Radioapparat but apparantly never recorded as such during Eisler's lifetime (1898-1962). It started out as a poem by Brecht, part of his Finnische Epigramme (1940). Both men met in the States and collaborated: Eisler put music to a few of Brecht's poems, collected in his Hollywood Liederbuch (1943).



Sting [as The Secret Marriage; live sometimes as To The Little Radio]


Dagmar Krause [as An den kleinen Radioapparat]


Matthias Goerne [idem]


Esmé Bos [in Duveltjeskermis project]


Chumbawamba [in German]

Hanns Eisler, born in Leipzig, was a pupil of Arnold Schönberg. During the mid twenties he turned his back on Schönberg's elite musical mentality and devoted his piano to the Berlin working class and everyone fighting fascism. He started writing political songs with simple melodies. Lyrics were mostly provided by Bert Brecht. Following Hitler's takeover Eisler went to America, Hollywood more precisely, where in '42 he won an Oscar for scoring Fritz Lang film Hangmen Also Die. Eclectism was his trademark; a song as An den kleinen Radioapparat shows elements of jazz, Vienna classicism, agit-propaganda and German Lieder. After the war he was one of Senator McCarthy's easiest targets and was banned from the US, just like Brecht. Both met again in East Berlin where he became a tool in the hands of DDR-propagandists. Buried with state honors in the shadow of the wall in 1962.


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