Hanns Eisler about Brecht

The Program in German and Scandinavian Studies (UMass Amherst), together with the Department of German Studies (Smith College) and the German Department (Amherst College) are pleased to present:

Ask me more about Brecht: Hanns Eisler in Conversation with Hans Bunge

Dramatic Performance and Musical Recital

Friday April 27 at 2:00 PM

301 Herter Hall
University of Massachusetts Amherst

The composer Hanns Eisler was Bertolt Brecht's most politically committed collaborator. Between 1958 until shortly before his death in 1962, Eisler was interviewed by Hans Bunge. These recorded conversations are intriguing and informative personal reflections on half a century of artistic and political turbulence. Sometimes hilarious and at other times moving, they provide an insight into Eisler's political ideas and his thoughts on the social significance of music; his opposition to Hitler and subsequent exile; his friendship with Bertolt Brecht and their collaboration; the encounter with McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee; and the artistic, political and intellectual life in the German Democratic Republic.

Sabine Berendse, Hans Bunge's daughter, and Paul Clements have recently finished the first complete translation into English of these conversations. This afternoon you will see a dramatic reading of extracts from the conversations and hear recorded words and music from Eisler himself.

Soprano Karyn Levitt and pianist Tom LaMark will present live songs of Hanns Eisler: Settings of poems by Bertolt Brecht in English versions by Eric Bentley.

For information, please contact Prof. Jonathan Skolnik