Work of the Week - Kurt Weill: The Road of Promise

The Collegiate Chorale presents the U.S. premiere of The Road of Promise, a new concert adaptation of Kurt Weill and Franz Werfel’s 1937 epic musical spectacle, The Eternal Road, at New York's Carnegie Hall on May 6-7. Conductor/director Ted Sperling leads the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, a 200-voice chorus, and a cast that features Anthony Dean Griffey, Mark Delavan, Philip Cutlip, Ron Rifkin, AJ Glueckert, Eli Tokash and Lotte Lenya Competition Winners Lauren Michelle, Megan Marino, and Justin Hopkins. Video projections are by Broadway designer Wendall Harrington.

Adapted by Ed Harsh from the original stage work, The Road of Promise combines a story about a synagogue under threat of persecution with defining stories from the Old Testament. As the congregation awaits their fate, a 13-year old boy appears who knows nothing of his Jewish heritage or faith. The Rabbi enlightens the boy and gives the community strength by recounting the stories of Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Miriam, Moses, Ruth, Isaiah, and more, all of which come alive through Weill's score. The young boy listens to the stories unfold and emerges as the new hope for his people.

While he composed The Eternal Road, Weill worked extensively to utilize the traditional and authentic Hebrew melodies that he had learned from his own father. Through his compositional process, Weill began to reflect on the parallels between his rediscovery of traditional melodies with the spiritual discoveries of the boy in the story. In a letter to Max Reinhardt (producer) Weill explains euphorically:

“I believe that this will be the most beautiful music that I ever wrote.” – Kurt Weill

In a special pre-concert talk on May 7 at 6 pm, presented in partnership with the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Collegiate Chorale Artistic Director Ted Sperling talks with Ed Harsh about the background, historical context, and score of The Road of Promise.

The performances of The Road of Promise will be recorded live at Carnegie Hall for release on the Navona Records label, distributed by Naxos Records.

Photo: collegiatechorale.org

(05/04/2015)

 

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05/04/2015

Work of the Week - Kurt Weill: The Road of Promise

The Collegiate Chorale presents the U.S. premiere of The Road of Promise , a new concert adaptation of Kurt Weill and Franz Werfel’s 1937 epic musical spectacle, The Eternal Road , at New York's Carnegie Hall on May ...

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