Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956)

Various Recordings

Bertolt Brecht Sings Two Songs from "Die Dreigroschenoper" (rec. 1928/29)

Die Moritat von Mackie Messer
Lied von der Unzulänglichkeit menschlichen Strebens

Musik: Kurt Weill
Historische Aufnahme, 1928/29
(Nachpressung mit frdl. Genehmigung des Suhrkamp Verlages Frankfurt am Main)

Brecht spricht das Gedicht An die Nachgeborenen
Historische Aufnahme, 1955

Brechts Ausführungen in einem Rundfunkgespräch über das Buch „Theaterarbeit“ 1952

Brechts Ausführungen in einem Rundfunkgespräch mit jungen Regisseuren und Dramaturgen

Brechts Diskussionsbeitrag auf dem IV. Deutschen Schriftstellerkongreß Berlin, 1956

Brechts Rede auf dem IV. Deutschen Schriftstellerkongreß Berlin, 1956

Brecht's Testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, 1947
(Originally released by Folkway Records, New York)

Aus Brechts Proben zur Inszenierung „Der kaukasische Kreis“ im Berliner Ensemble, 1954.

Personen und ihre Darsteller, soweit in den Probenauszügen hörbar: Grusche Vachnadze – eine Magd: Angelika Hurwicz
Ein alter Milchbauer: Harry Gillmann
Eine Bäuerin: Lotte Meyer
Natella Abaschwili – Gouverneursfrau: Käthe Reichel
Die Sachverständige aus der Hauptstadt: Isot Kilian
Inspizient: Horst Güldenmeister

Delegierte vom Ziegenzuchtkolchos Galinsk:
Alleko Bereschwili: Friedrich Gnass
Makinä Abakidze: Carola Braunbock

Delegierte vom Obstbaukolchos Rosa Luxemburg:
Surab – ein Bauer: Georg-August Koch
Ein verwundeter Soldat: Norbert Christian
Eine junge Bäuerin: Hilde Frank

Tonaufnahme (1954), Auswahl und Kommentartexte: Hans Bunge

Aus Brechts Proben zur Inszenierung „Leben des Galilei“ im Berliner Ensemble, 1955/56.

Personen und ihre Darsteller, soweit in den Probenauszügen hörbar:
Galilei: Ernst Busch
Frau Sarti – seine Haushälterin: Angelika Hurwicz
Andrea Sarti – ihr Sohn: Jochen Scheidler
Cosmo de Medici – Herzog von Toscana:
Hans-Jürgen Tunk
Hofmarschall: Georg-August Koch
Philosoph: Ralf Bregazzi
Hofdame: Annemarie Schlaebitz
Souffleuse: Paula Regier

Tonaufnahme (1956), Auswahl und Kommentartexte: Hans Bunge

Brecht Composers - A Musical Brecht-fest (November 10, 1986), Part 1
Brecht Composers - A Musical Brecht-fest (November 10, 1986), Part 2

Russ Jennings is joined by theatrical director R. G. Davis in a program dedicated to the various composers that worked with Bertolt Brecht. Davis describes the evolution of Brecht’s political philosophy and how that was reflected in the composers he chose to work with. Particular attention is paid to the period of 1927 to 1933 which saw Brecht’s most successful collaborations with Kurt Weill give way to the more Marxist influenced agitprop theater he created with Hanns Eisler. Davis also plays excerpts from a number of early operas by Arnold Schoenberg that illustrate the early influences of both Eisler and Weill and set the stage for their transition of serious music from concert halls to musical theaters.

BBC Radio Plays

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Part 1
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Part 2

BBC WS - Bertolt Brecht's 'The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui'
Translated by Ralph Mannheim
Adapted by John Foley
Music by Colin Sell
Directed by Marion Nancarrow
Broadcast in two parts August 12 & 19, 2006
Coded from tape at 128/44.1

An allegorical satire written in1941. It describes the rise Hitler & his pals as fictional Chicago mobster Arturo Ui's takeover of the cauliflower racket.

The details of each scene were drawn from history; such as:
The fate of Cicero, Illinois = The Anschluss
The Cauliflower Trust = Prussian Junkers
The warehouse fire = the Reichstag Fire
The Dock Aid Scandal = Die Osthilfeskandal (East aid scandal)

Brecht said of the work:
"Ui is a parable play, written with the aim of destroying a dangerous respect commonly felt for great killers... Plain everyday logic must never let itself be overawed once it goes strolling among the centuries; whatever applies to small situations must be made to apply to big ones too. The petty rogue whom the rulers permit to become a rogue on the grand scale can occupy a special position in roguery, but not in our attitude to history... If the collapse of Hitlerís enterprises is no evidence that he was a half-wit, neither is their scope any guarantee that he was a great man."

Cast includes
Ui (Hitler) - Allan Corduner
Roma (Ruhm) - Clive Rowe
Dogsborough (von Hindenburg) - John Woodvine
Giri (Goring) - Paul Brennan

Mr Puntila & His Man Matti

BBC R3 - Bertolt Brecht's 'Mr Puntila & His Man Matti'
Adapted by Lee Hall
Directed by Polly Thomas.
Broadcast October 10, 2004
Coded from tape at 128/44.1

Exploits of a drunk and his chauffer.

Mr Puntila - Vincent Ebrahim
Matti - Derek Riddell
Judge - Robert Pickavance
Eva/Milkmaid - Emma Cunniffe
Attache - Mark Chatterton
Moonshine - Emma Julia Rounthwaite
Chemist's Assistant - Vashti Maclachlan
Telephonist - Paula Sims
Lawyer - Graeme Hawley
Parson - Declan Wilson

Chris Larner - musical director
Mark Cresswell - Ukelele
Sian Hicks - Double bass

In The Jungle of Cities

Directed by Caroline Raphael
BBC Radio 3 (early 80s I think)

In the Jungle of Cities premiered at the Residenz Theater (Residenztheater) in Munich on May 9, 1923. The premiere was interrupted several times by Nazis, hooting, whistling and throwing stink bombs at the actors on the stage.

In the prologue to the play, Brecht informs his audience that:
"You are in Chicago in 1912. You are about to witness an inexplicable wrestling match between two men and observe the downfall of a family that has moved from the prairies to the jungle of the big city. Don't worry your heads about the motives for the fight, concentrate on the stakes. Judge impartially the technique of the contenders, and keep your eyes fixed on the finish."

The Cast:

George Garga..............Gerard Murphy
Shlink....................Harry Tawb
Mary Garga................Shelley Thomson
Mae Garga.................Gwen Cheryl
John Garga................John Blufel
Jane Larry................Avril Clarke
Baboon....................Carl Johnson
Worm......................Tom Georgson
Pat Manky.................Daniel Webb
C.Maynes..................Garard Green
Preacher..................Gordon Reid
Narrator..................Elaine Claxson

Directed by Caroline Raphael. source: tape recording of broadcast material

The Life Of Galileo (Directed by David Hare)

Berthold Brecht's 'The Life Of Galileo' (BBC Radio 3)
Dramatised by David Hare
Music by Jonathan Dove

Richard Griffiths (Galileo)
Bernard Hepton (Cardinal Barbarini)
Maurice Denham (the old cardinal)
Stephen Tomkinson
Derek Waring

(full cast list at end of audio file)

The Life of Galileo, Part 1 (2007)
The Life of Galileo, Part 2 (2007)

The American Premiere of a new translation by leading playwright David Hare. Straight from London's National Theatre. Unrelenting in his search for what he called "simple truth," Galileo shattered beliefs held sacred for two thousand years. Under threat of torture by the Holy Inquisition, his scientific and personal integrity are put to the test as he argues for his very life.

Starring Stacy Keach, Joanne Whalley, Roy Dotrice, Simon Templeman, and Christopher Neame. Directed by Martin Jarvis.

------- LA Theatre Works 'Life of Galileo' Oct.17-21, Radio Recorded

Straight from London's National Theatre to L.A. Theatre Works, Stacy Keach and Julian Sands star in the American Premiere of David Hare's streamlined version of Bertolt Brecht's The Life of Galileo. LATW opens its 2007-08 season with five performances at the Skirball Cultural Center, October 17-21, each recorded to air on LATW's nationally-syndicated weekly radio theater series, "The Play's The Thing."

The Life of Galileo, Brecht's masterpiece about the conflict between reason and faith, will be recorded to air as part of the Relativity science series, created by a major grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. On the first Saturday of each month, "The Play's the Thing" broadcasts a science-themed play as part of this new series.

Also included in the cast, directed by Martin Jarvis, are stage and screen veterans Kenneth Danziger, Jeannie Elias, Jill Gascoine, Christopher Neame, Moira Quirk, Darren Richardson, Alan Shearman, W. Morgan Sheppard, Simon Templeman, Douglas Weston and Matthew Wolf.

"Unrelenting in his search for 'simple truth,' Galileo's astonishing proof that the earth moves around the sun shatters a belief held sacred for two thousand years. But, under threat of torture by the Holy Inquisition, his scientific and personal integrity are put to the test, as he argues for his very life in a passionate debate over science, politics, religion and ethics that resonates to this day," declare press notes, "Brecht's play about the founder of modern science, written on the brink of World War II, questions whether the scientist should be subservient to the State, allowing it to use scientific knowledge for its own questionable purposes."

The Trial of Lucullus

KPFA Readers' Theatre, technical production by John Whiting. Translation HR Hays. Broadcast March 18, 1963 on KPFA, Berkeley, California.

Bertolt Brecht radio play from 1940. Lucullus, a general, is in underworld and stands trial before members of the lower classes that adorn a frieze.

128kbps/44kHz MONO mp3

A Respectable Wedding

BBC R4 [1982] Afternoon Theatre - A Respectable Wedding by Bertolt Brecht Translated by Jean Benedetti
Adapted and directed by Jeremy Mortimer
Initially broadcast as part of Afternoon Theatre on Radio 4: 1982-07-28

A perfectly respectable wedding, yes: Heinrich's new father-in-law tells embarrassing stories, his best man sings a completely unsuitable song and a friend's wife breaks up his furniture.

Stacy Dorning ................... The bride
John Carson .................... Her father
Alex Jennings ...........,........ Heinrich
Patience Tomlinson ..... The bride's sister
William Nighy ....................... Peter
Frances Jeater ................... Emmeline
David Gooderson .................... Egbert
Simon Hewitt ......................... Hans

Mitch Dalton on guitar

Schweik in the Second World War

Schweik in the Second World War by Bretolt Brecht
with Music by Hanns Eisler
Adapted and Directed by Clive Bennet & Ian Cotterell
BBC Radio 3 1980s

Written during Brecht's exile in the United States from 1941 to 1947, Schweik in the Second World War transposes Jaroslav Hašek timeless character, the ingenious fool and The Good Soldier Švejk, to the reign of Hitler and the Third Reich's occupation of Poland.

Schweik in the Second World War (Schweyk im Zweiten Weltkrieg) is a play by German dramatist and poet Bertolt Brecht. It was written by Brecht in 1943 while in exile in California, and is a sequel to the 1923 novel The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek. It is set in Prague and on the Russian Front during World War II. It is a satirical tale of a common man, Schweyk, who is forced into war and manages to survive. He overcomes dangerous situations in Gestapo Headquarters, a military prison, and a Voluntary Labor Service. The ending finds Schweyk lost in a snowstorm near Stalingrad. He meets an equally lost and bewildered Hitler, whose path is blocked by snow, frozen corpses, the Soviet Army, and the German people. Finally, Hitler does a grotesque dance and disappears into the snow.

Jaroslav Hašek The Good Soldier Švejk is one of the 20th century's greatest fictional characters. His book should be compulsory reading for all those who have faith in authority, they will soon be disillusioned. Its also profoundly funny -- hiliarious in fact, an antiwar novel that wanders throughout the realm of the old Austro- Hungarian Empire. Švejk is the ideal Czech dissident, the fat, beer-loving, bumbling, self-proclaimed, certified idiot of a soldier, who circumvents and subverts authority by the simple strategy of fulfiling his orders to the point where it causes trouble.

The Cast:

In the Higher Regions:
Hitler..................Peter Nash (baritone)
Himmler.................Dennis Wicks (bass)
Goering.................Paul Wilson (bass)
General Von Boch........Peter Hall (tenor)

In the Lower Regions:
Schweyk..................Michael Williams
Ana Kopecka..............Dilys Laye
Bullinger................Michael Spice
Baloun...................Roger Hammond
Katy.....................Rosalind Adams
Prochazka................John McAndrew
Bresttschneider..........Hugh Dickson
Ana......................Wendy Murray
Chaplain.................Anthony Newland
1st SS Soldier...........Jim Reid
2nd SS Soldier SS........Haydn Wood
Russian Peasant..........Maddy Head
Adolf Hitler.............Nigel Graham
Customers................James Kelly,
Man from the Dept
of voluntary work........Ben Saunders
Czech Prisoners..........Simon Hewitt, Steve Hodgson, Alex Jennings, Peter Tuddenham.

Music by Hanns Eisler

played by:
Richard Rodney Bennet & Susan Bradshaw - 2 pianos.
The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Lionel Friend.
Music Coach Chris Walker
Technical presentation Tony Kine, John Whitehall & Collin Duff.
Adapted and Directed by Clive Bennet & Ian Cotterell
Source: tape recording of broadcast material

The Threepenny Opera

The Threepenny Opera (BBC R3 2009)

18 October 2009, 20:00 on BBC Radio 3

Berthold Brecht and Kurt Weill's famous 1928 play with music, featuring a collaboration between BBC Radio Drama and the BBC Philharmonic.

When Peachum discovers that his daughter Polly has secretly married London's most notorious gangster Macheath 'Mack the Knife', he wants revenge. Will Macheath be forced to go on the run?

Macheath ...... Joseph Millson
Polly/Whore ...... Elen Rhys
Mrs Peachum/Whore ...... Ruth Alexander-Rubin
Mr Peachum/Rev Kimball ...... Zubin Varla
Lucy/Whore ...... Rosalie Craig
Jenny ...... Ute Gfrerer
Tiger Brown ...... Conrad Nelson
Matt ...... Kevin Harvey
Jack/Beggar ...... Sean Oliver
Walter ...... Declan Wilson
Sawtooth Bob/PC Smith ...... Peter Edbrook
Jimmy/Filch/Policeman ...... Graeme Hawley
Ballad Singer ...... HK Gruber
Betty ...... Olwen May
Chorus ...... Manchester Chamber Choir
Music by the BBC Philharmonic
HK Gruber (conductor)

Directed by Nadia Molinari
A BBC Radio Drama North and BBC Philharmonic co-production.

Eric Bentley - Bentley On Brecht (1965)

  • About Poor B.B.
  • Ballad Of The Dead Soldier
  • Memory Of Marie
  • Doomed Generations
  • A Visit To The Exiled Poets
  • Easter Sunday
  • The Ballad Of Marie Sanders
  • To A Little Radio
  • To My Countrymen
  • Hymn Of The Great Baal
  • A Man's A Man
  • Mack The Knife
  • Ballad Of Sexual Submissiveness
  • Supply And Demand
  • That's How It Should Be
  • Song Of A German Mother
  • Song Of Mother Courage
  • Ballad Of The Wise Woman And The Soldier
  • Keiner Oder Alle!

    Composed By – Hanns Eisler, Kurt Weill (tracks: B3, B4), Paul Dessau, Stefan Wolpe
    Lyrics By – Bertolt Brecht
    Piano, Harmonium – Eric Bentley

    Klaus Kinski Singt Und Spricht Brecht
    1. Und Was Bekam Des Soldaten Weib? 6:16
    2. Der Anstreicher Spricht Von Kommenden Grossen Zeiten (Intro) 0:56
    3. Der Barbara-Song Oder Die Ballade Vom Nein Und Ja 10:58
    4. O Du Falada, Da Du Hangest... 7:06
    5. Ballade Vom Weib Und Dem Soldaten 6:17
    6. An Die Nachgeborenen 6:39
    7. Kinderkreuzzug 1939 14:05
    8. An Meine Landsleute 3:50
    9. Vier Aufforderungen An Einen Mann Von Verschiedener Seite Zu Verschiedenen Zeiten 1:36
    10. Vom Sprengen Des Gartens 0:54
    Guitar – Ingo Insterburg (tracks: 1, 3 to 5, 7)