Listen to music from the Kurt Weill Fest in Dessau, with music by Weill, Krenek and Stravinsky performed by Germany's Orchestra of the Year in 2015, the German State Philharmonic of the Rhineland Palatinate.
In the 1920s, World War I was over, business was booming, women were demanding suffrage rights, passenger planes were shortening the distance between the continents, and jazz made its way from the US to Europe.
It was a time of rapid change in the arts. While some composers were making a radical break with the recent past, others looked back further in history for inspiration, even to the Baroque era.
Igor Stravinsky was one such artist. 1920 saw the premiere of Pulcinella, one of his most popular works. It was written as music for a ballet in Paris with stage sets designed by no less an artist than Pablo Picasso.
Kurt Weill's own festival
Born in 1900 as the son of a cantor at the Dessau Synagogue, Kurt Weill eventually emigrated to the US and became a composer on Broadway. In postwar Germany, Weill and his music were largely neglected, however. He was even nearly forgotten in his home town, Dessau - but after German reunification, local citizens set about rectifying the situation. The first festival in the composer's name was held in 1992 in collaboration with the Kurt Weill Foundation in New York.
Dating from 1921, Weill's first symphony was nicknamed the Berlin Symphony. Based on a stage play by expressionist playwright Johannes R.Becher, it's titled, "Workers, Farmers, Soldiers - Lifting a People to God."
Off the beaten track
Based in Ludwigshafen, the German State Philharmonic of the Rhineland Palatinate ("Rheinland Pfalz" is the state's name in German) is led in this concert by French conductor Ariane Matiakh, who brings out a light, exhiliarating quality from the instrumentalists.
The orchestra won last year's Echo Klassik Prize as Orchestra of the Year in recognition of its programming that often focuses on composers who are not actually forgotten but whose works have been neglected on the contemporary music scene.
Symphony No. 1 (Berlin Symphony)
German State Philharmonic of the Rhineland Palatinate
Ariane Matiakh, conductor
Recorded by DeutschlandRadio Berlin (DLR) in the Anhaltinian Theater, Dessau, on February 26, 2016.
Movement for string quartet, arranged for string orchestra
NFM Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra
Ernst Kovacic, conductor
Recorded by DeutschlandRadio Berlin (DLR) in the Anhaltinian Theater, Dessau, on March 12, 2016.
Rebroadcasting rights: one broadcast before April 18, 2017.