Matthias Goerne / Lothar Zagrosek

Eisler: Deutsche Sinfonie

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Performed by various vocal soloists with the Ernst Senff Chor Berlin and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig conducted by Lothar Zagrosek. Part of London's Entartete Musik [Degenerate Music, music suppressed by the Third Reich] series. At various times dubbed an "anti-fascist cantata," a "concentration camp symphony" and an "anti-Hitler symphony," this soul-moving, humanist, provocative and important work for chorus, soloists and orchestra is in 11 sections, written for the most part from 1935 through 1957. Eight of its movements have words by Berthold Brecht, with the eighth movement also containing portions from Ignazio Silone's novel Bread and Wine (1936), who was called a "renegade" by the USSR after he condemned the show trials as a "slaughtering of the opposition." The Symphony's history can also be viewed as biographical of the composer's tumultuous life: The final movement is an "Epilogue," a plea to save children from the literal cold and the coldness of man's previous acts.

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