Eric Bentley’s Brecht-Eisler Song BookGoethe-Institut Los Angeles (5750 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036) Map it Free
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In the dark times, tell me, Will there still be singing?
Yes, there will be singing: About the dark times.
Motto of part two of the Svendborg Poems cycle --Bertolt Brecht. 1939
"Eric Bentley’s Brecht-Eisler Song Book" features the songs of Austrian composer Hanns Eisler in English versions by Eric Bentley.
A world-renowned playwright, poet, translator, drama critic, editor, and cabaret singer, Bentley was the first translator of Bertolt Brecht’s plays and poems into English; introducing Brecht's work to American stages in the 1940s and 50s.
Now 97 years old, Eric Bentley has been collaborating with performer Karyn Levitt and pianist Eric Ostling on this repertoire since 2011.
Hanns Eisler created a vast and varied collection of works, and this concert presents a stunning sample of his versatility and genius.
Bentley Eric Bentley adapted the song texts (which are poems by Brecht and other master poets ranging from Goethe to Karl Kraus) from their original German into English, thus unlocking Eisler’s starkly beautiful songs for American audiences.
The concert is as much a literary offering as a musical one, as Karyn Levitt reads selected poems aloud before singing them.
"She is doing something which is new. Her approach is to negotiate a passage for these songs into the concert hall, allowing them to bloom in a beautiful and musically expressive way."
Irving Wardle, theater critic, London Times
“A unique program of seldom heard songs by Eisler, beautifully performed by Karyn Levitt whose range covers both the art song and cabaret.” -- Evert Sprinchorn, Professor Emeritus of Drama, Vassar College
Karyn Levitt, Soprano
Karyn Levitt creates and performs one-woman shows.
Ms. Levitt made her Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall in 2007 in her solo show, The Age of Romance: From Vienna to Broadway, featuring works of the great composers of romantic operetta.
Ms. Levitt has also performed her solo shows at Symphony Space in New York, Vassar College, Bates College, the Goethe-Institut Boston, Shakespeare & Company, Oberlin College, U Mass Amherst, and The Center for Arts Natick (TCAN), The Brecht Forum, Dante Alighieri Cultural Center, and many other cultural institutions.
Eric Ostling, Piano
Pianist and composer Eric Ostling has pursued careers in both the jazz and classical music worlds.
Eric’s classical works have received orchestral premieres in Louisville and Boston and performances by the Muir and Manhattan String Quartets.
A recording from his songbook of over 60 jazz compositions is scheduled for release later this year.
Blüthner grand piano provided by Kasimoff-Blüthner Piano Co., Hollywood
$1 validated parking (for events only) on weekdays after 6:00 pm and all day on weekends in the Wilshire Courtyard West underground garage-P1.