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Film: Songs of Exile and War

The programme ‘Songs of Exile and War’ was designed to give an introduction to Brecht’s work as a poet and song-writer, and to provide a sketch of his life in turbulent times in anti-Nazi exile in Europe and America.

The evening programme followed an afternoon symposium which drew together UK scholars working on Brecht. The day’s events were conceived as a ‘launch-party’ for Writing Brecht.

The recital features the music of Brecht’s long-term collaborator Hanns Eisler, interpreted and performed by Dominic Muldowney, alongside professional actors and singers.

The poems in the programme include: Bad times for lyric poetry, motto to the Svendborg Poems, To those born later, Questions of a worker who reads, The plum tree, Buying oranges, Ballad of the Jew’s whore Marie Sanders, Spring 1938, Visit to the banished poets, poems from German War Primer, two sonnets, Children’s Crusade 1939, Song of a German mother, four quatrains from War Primer, Homecoming, epilogue to Arturo Ui, Children’s anthem, And I always thought ...

Performers: Claire Brown, Peter Clements, David Constantine, Tom Kuhn, Dominic Muldowney (piano)

With thanks to the Brecht Estate, W.W. Norton & Company, the Akademie der Künste (Berlin) and Universal Edition.