On February 12, 2012, two short unpublished compositions by Hanns Eisler will be performed for the first time during the Retrospective “The Red Dream Factory”.
A few days before the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival began, co-curator of the Retrospective Günter Agde discovered two songs in the Hanns Eisler Archive at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. Hanns Eisler had composed them in 1931 for the film Vosstaniye rybakov (Revolt of the Fishermen, 1934). Director Erwin Piscator had asked Eisler to write the music for his film and to rehearse them with the orchestra of Moscow’s Mezhrabpom-Film production company. The collaboration fell apart, but Eisler had already composed two polyphonic pieces that were no longer needed. The scores for the songs ended up in the Hanns Eisler Archive, where they had evidently been overlooked until now.
Gabriel Thibaudeau - composer, conductor and pianist for the Cinémathèque québécoise and guest musician for the Retrospective - will present the two fragments on the piano. With the kind permission of Breitkopf & Härtel publishing company, the audience will experience the world premiere of these pieces before the screening of Piscator’s Vosstaniye rybakov. The film itself may also be regarded as a discovery: better known as a sound film, it will now be screened for the first time outside Russia in a shorter but narratively consistent silent version.
Hanns Eisler also composed the score for Pesn o geroyakh (Songs of Heroes, 1933; directed by Joris Ivens). Eisler’s probably best-known film music was written for the Prometheus production Kuhle Wampe oder Wem gehört die Welt? (Kuhle Wampe or Who Owns the World? 1932; directed by Slatan Dudow). Both of these films are screening during the Retrospective “The Red Dream Factory”.
February 10, 2012