Eisler: Deutsche Sinfonie
for solos, mixed choir and orchestra

The „Deutsche Sinfonie“ took on ist definitive conceptional form around 1943, when Eisler discovered the four-line „Seht unsre Söhne” (from Brecht’s “Kriegsfibel”). The devastating events of the war compelled him not to write an optimistic ending, which should follow such a deadly serious orchestral allegro (Etude 3), but to close with a tragic epilogue. This short epilogue, however, did not take on a musical form – in a style greatly simplified on that of the past – until much later when Eisler had long since returned to Berlin, and finally saw the possibility of performing the “Deutsche Sinfonie”. Set to music in 1957, “Seht unsre Söhne” also served as an introduction to other “images” from Brecht’s “Kriegsfibel”. The premiere of the “Deutsche Sinfonie” took place on 24 April 1959 at the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin. It was performed under the baton of Walter Goehr, who had fled Nazi Germany for Britain in 1933.

(Eberhardt Klemm)

Table of contents
1. Prelude „Oh Deutschland, bleiche Mutter“
2. To the Fighters in the Concentration Camps (Passacaglia) „Kaum Erreichbare ihr“
3. Etude 1 (Orchestra)
4. Erinnerung „Zu Potsdam unter den Eichen“
5. Sonnenburg „Es steht in Sonnenburg ein deutsches Lager“
6. Etude 2 (Orchestra)
7. Burial of an Agitator in a Tin Coffin „Hier in diesem Zink liegt ein toter Mensch“
8.a Peasant Cantata: Crop Failure „Wenn Gott sich nicht um den Regen kümmert“,
8.b Peasant Cantata: Security „Während des ganzen Lebens“
8.c Peasant Cantata: Whispered Conversations (Melodrama) „Wenn sie wenigstens den Prozess den Verhafteten machen würden“
8.d Peasant Cantata: Peasant Ditty „Bauer, steh auf“
9. The Song of the Class Enemy (Workers’ Cantata) „Als ich klein war“
10. Allegro (Etude 3, Orchestra)
11. Epilogue „Seht unsre Söhne, taub und blutbefleckt“