Cover image for The partnership : Brecht, Weill, three women, and Germany on the brink
Title:
The partnership : Brecht, Weill, three women, and Germany on the brink
Author:
Katz, Pamela, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, [2015]
Physical Description:
470 pages, 16 pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Summary:
"The first book to tell the full story of Brecht and Weill's impulsive, combustible partnership, the compelling psychological drama of one of the most important creative collaborations of the past century. It is also the first book to give full credit where it is richly due to the three women--[actresses Lotte Lenya and Helene Weigel and writer Elizabeth Hauptmann]--whose creative gifts contributed enormously to their masterworks. And it tells the thrilling and iconic story of artistic daring entwined with sexual freedom during the Weimar Republic's most fevered years, a time when art and politics and society were inextricably mixed"--Amazon.com.
Language:
English
Contents:
The first encounter -- Coming of age -- The women -- Moon of Alabama -- Off to Mahagonny -- The beggar's opera -- Le lavandou -- The bourgeois bandit -- The threepenny opera -- Grotesque and protest -- The beginning of the end -- If someone's getting kicked, it'll be you -- Last time in Germany -- Exile -- When the shark bites.
ISBN:
9780385534918
Format :
Book

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ML410.W395 K38 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Among the most creative and outsized personalities of the Weimar Republic, that sizzling yet decadent epoch between the Great War and the Nazis' rise to power, were the renegade poet Bertolt Brecht and the rebellious avant-garde composer Kurt Weill. These two young geniuses and the three women vital to their work--actresses Lotte Lenya and Helene Weigel and writer Elizabeth Hauptmann--joined talents to create the theatrical and musical masterworks  The Threepenny Opera  and  The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny , only to split in rancor as their culture cracked open and their aesthetic and temperamental differences became irreconcilable.  The Partnership  is the first book to tell the full story of Brecht and Weill's impulsive, combustible partnership, the compelling psychological drama of one of the most important creative collaborations of the past century. It is also the first book to give full credit where it is richly due to the three women whose creative gifts contributed enormously to their masterworks. And it tells the thrilling and iconic story of artistic daring entwined with sexual freedom during the Weimar Republic's most fevered years, a time when art and politics and society were inextricably mixed.


Author Notes

PAMELA KATZ is a screenwriter and novelist whose most notable works are films made in collaboration with legendary director Margarethe von Trotta, including Rosenstrasse;   The Other Woman;  and most recently  Hannah Arendt , which received international acclaim, and was selected as one of the New York Times' Top Ten Films of 2013. Katz teaches screenwriting at NYU's Tisch Graduate Film Program and lives with her family in New York City and Berlin.  

Visit her website: http://www.pkatz.com/


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Katz applies her screenwriter's gifts to limning the most significant collaboration in twentieth-century musical theater, that of Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) and Kurt Weill (1900-50). She brings their association to life, complete with their thinking and occasional outbursts, in scenes of its first bombshell, the pocket opera Mahagonny Songspiel, exploding at a staid chamber-music festival, and of the chaotic rehearsals of Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) in Berlin in late summer 1928. She richly conjures the domestic, class, social, and political environs in which Brecht and Weill respectively developed as well as those they found and made for themselves as quickly rising young artists even before they met. Though it lasted barely a decade, their association haunted them because of Dreigroschenoper's nonpareil success and influence and because each man brought the women they most loved into their working lives. Helene Weigel was Brecht's star actress, the mother of his children, and the manager of his household. Lotte Lenya was Weill's wife and, more important, his muse, whose voice he wrote for and whose many other men he tolerated. Then there was Elisabeth Hauptmann, Brecht's self-effacing right hand, who discovered for him the English basis of Die Dreigroschenoper and, since he knew no English, actually wrote Alabama Song. Through Katz's insightful and penetrating prose, they all blaze and dazzle as they did in life.--Olson, Ray Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

The culture of Weimar Germany is at its most provocative and profound in this scintillating portrait of its leading theatrical luminaries. Novelist and film maker Katz explores the partnership, starting in 1927, of Marxist playwright and enfant terrible Bertholt Brecht and German-Jewish composer Kurt Weill; their 1928 musical The Threepenny Opera, with its well-known song "Mack the Knife," gained fame for its tuneful satire of the sharklike soullessness of bourgeois society. She adds vibrant sketches of their female supporting cast: the singer Lotte Lenya, Weill's perennially unfaithful wife and muse; Brecht's wife Helene Weigel, an accomplished actress who managed Brecht's life and tolerated his mistresses; and Brecht's collaborator Elisabeth Hauptmann, who wrote a good chunk of his oeuvre, mostly without credit or pay, and also shared his bed. Katz gives an uproarious view of the ferment of interwar Berlin's theatrical avant-garde, with Brecht's tantrums, power plays, preening demands, and ideological conceits. But she also takes seriously the artistic and political ideas that drove Brecht and Weill to their innovations (and eventually estranged them). The result is a thoughtful, entertaining recreation of a watershed moment in 20th-century theater. Photos. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

The period of German rule classified as the Weimar Republic (established in 1919) represents one of the most fascinating and influential times in that nation's history. Though the time was fraught with domestic and international turmoil, some light in the form of cultural and social reform shone on the German people. Screenwriter Katz (film, New York Univ.) paints an intriguing portrait of the complexities of artistic reform by using recent research that considers a creative relationship between poet Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill. Katz's ability to incorporate the influence of significant German figures, such as Lotte Lenya, Helene Weigel, and Elisabeth Hauptmann upon these male figures is rare and admirable. The author excels in her ability to interpret previously unconsidered intricacies concerning the partnerships of these two figures and the women who influenced them. VERDICT Katz's poetic license with minor details feels uncomfortably like historical fiction, but plentiful facts bring the reader back to the work's main purpose. Those intrigued by social and cultural transformation during the Weimar Republic will also enjoy Anton Kaes's The Weimar Republic Sourcebook and Eberhard Kolb's The Weimar Republic. [See Prepub Alert, 7/21/14.]-Marian Mays, Butte-Silver Bow P.L., MT (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.