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Milken Archive - Weill: The Eternal Road (Highlights)


Release Date: 09/30/2003 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559402   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Kurt Weill
Performer:  Vale RideoutKarl DentIan DenolfoConstance Hauman,   ... 
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony OrchestraErnst Senff ChoirBerlin Radio Children's Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This world-premiere recording of scenes from Kurt Weill’s rediscovered masterpiece The Eternal Road brings to life a major 20th-century work that was a sensation of the 1937 New York season. Originally conceived as a biblical pageant, a profound music-drama, and a theatrical extravaganza, The Eternal Road combines the legends of timeless Jewish heroes and heroines with the all-too-familiar story of persecution in Europe. Set against a richly colored backdrop, Weill’s masterful score embodies the passions and aspirations of many dramatic characters in search of their Jewish Destiny.

"...the performance is fervent and touching." — John Rockwell, New York Times

"...exquisitely beautiful, heartfelt,
Read more and moving.... This is a music that penetrates to the very core of Weill's being, and ours when we listen to it. The performances—all of them—are beyond any criticism. ...Karl Dent as rabbi/narrator, and mezzo-soprano Barbara Rearick as Ruth are diamonds among a setting composed of nothing but precious gems. This is a standout recording." — Jerry Dubins, Fanfare

Full review from Classics Today:
Kurt Weill's The Eternal Road (1937) was by far his most ambitious theater work, involving more than 250 performers on five stages (as well as a synagogue in the orchestra pit). The production was so costly that despite positive reviews and strong audience attendance, the show's producer was bankrupt at the end of its 153-performance run. Not easily categorized, The Eternal Road artfully combines elements of Bach's Passions with Weill's Broadway shows to form a new type of pageant--sort of a St. Matthew Passion meets Street Scene. So you'll find beautifully florid neo-baroque arias juxtaposed with clever and catchy show tunes. This disc presents the main dramatic and thematic material from the complete work, which lasts more than six hours in performance. Set in an unspecified synagogue in which the Jewish community has taken refuge during a pogrom, The Eternal Road follows the history of the Jewish people from Genesis onward. Weill's main characters include Abraham and Isaac, Jacob and Rachel, Moses, Naomi, and Ruth, and Isaiah and Jeremiah.

Headlining the cast is James Maddalena, who takes on the roles of Joseph, Moses, The Seller of Idols, and Chananiah, singing all with his characteristic warm tone and directly communicative style. Barbara Rearick offers beautifully sung portrayals of Miriam and Ruth, where she's joined in a poignant duet by Hanna Wollschläger as Naomi. Other strong performances include Constance Haumann as the Soul of Moses and Ted Christopher as Jeremiah. The only real disappointment is Jacob, sung by a jittery-voiced Ian De Nolfo.

Weill's inimitable music renders the story with powerful effect, even when the translated text (originally in German) occasionally proves less than idiomatic. No matter, the spirit of the work carries through from the performers to the listener, aided by Naxos' spacious (though a touch reverberant) recording. Fans of the composer and followers of the faith surely will agree: it's great to have this Weill rarity available.

--Victor Carr Jr

Click here to view all available releases in the Milken Archive Series at ArkivMusic.
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Works on This Recording

1.
The Eternal Road: Abraham and Isaac by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Vale Rideout (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: English 
2.
The Eternal Road: Jacob and Rachel by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Karl Dent (Tenor), Ian Denolfo (Tenor), Vale Rideout (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: English 
3.
The Eternal Road: Jacob and the Angel by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Ian Denolfo (Tenor), Constance Hauman (Soprano), Karl Dent (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: English 
4.
The Eternal Road: The death of Jacob by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Karl Dent (Tenor), Ted Christopher (Baritone), Ian Denolfo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: English 
5.
The Eternal Road: In Egypt by Kurt Weill
Performer:  James Maddalena (Baritone), Karl Dent (Tenor), Barbara Rearick (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: English 
6.
The Eternal Road: Moses receives the commandments by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Ian Denolfo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: English 
7.
The Eternal Road: The Beam by Kurt Weill
Performer:  James Maddalena (Baritone), Ted Christopher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: English 
8.
The Eternal Road: Moses addresses the people by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Karl Dent (Tenor), James Maddalena (Baritone)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: English 
9.
The Eternal Road: Moses gives the commandments to the people by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Constance Hauman (Soprano), Ian Denolfo (Tenor), Karl Dent (Tenor),
James Maddalena (Baritone), Vale Rideout (Tenor), Ted Christopher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 15 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: English 
10.
The Eternal Road: Naomi and Ruth by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Ted Christopher (Baritone), Karl Dent (Tenor), Hanna Wollschläger (Mezzo Soprano),
Vale Rideout (Tenor), Barbara Rearick (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: English 
11.
The Eternal Road: Ruth and Boaz by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Vale Rideout (Tenor), Barbara Rearick (Mezzo Soprano), Karl Dent (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: English 
12.
The Eternal Road: Isaiah and Jeremiah by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Vale Rideout (Tenor), Ted Christopher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: English 
13.
The Eternal Road: The streets of Jerusalem by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Karl Dent (Tenor), James Maddalena (Baritone)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Children's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: English 
14.
The Eternal Road: Jeremiah scatters the idols by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Ted Christopher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: English 
15.
The Eternal Road: Chananiah the false prophet by Kurt Weill
Performer:  James Maddalena (Baritone), Karl Dent (Tenor), Barbara Rearick (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: This selection shares a track and timing with "The Eternal Road: The mob attacks Jeremiah." 
16.
The Eternal Road: The mob attacks Jeremiah by Kurt Weill
Performer:  James Maddalena (Baritone)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Language: English 
Notes: This selection shares a track and timing with "The Eternal Road: Chananiah the false prophet." 
17.
The Eternal Road: Transformation by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Vale Rideout (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Jesus Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: English 

Sound Samples

The Eternal Road: Act I, The Patriarchs, Scene 6: Abraham and Isaac
The Eternal Road: Act I, The Patriarchs, Scene 7: Jacob and the Angel
The Eternal Road: Act I, The Patriarchs, Scene 8: Jacob and Rachel
The Eternal Road: Act I, The Patriarchs, Scene 16: The death of Jacob - The Reconciliation of Joseph and his brothers
The Eternal Road: Act II, Moses, Scene 17: Egypt at the time of Moses' birth
The Eternal Road: Act II, Moses, Scene 20: The top of Mount Sinai - Moses receives God's Commandments
The Eternal Road: Act II, Moses, Scene 21: A Beam of Light appears, through which the Voice of God is heard
The Eternal Road: Act II, Moses, Scene 22: Moses addresses the people
The Eternal Road: Act II, Moses, Scene 23: Moses gives the Commandments to the People - The death of Moses
The Eternal Road: Act III, The Kings, Scene 24: Naomi and Ruth
The Eternal Road: Act III, The Kings, Scene 24 (cont.): Ruth and Boaz
The Eternal Road: Act IV, The Prophets, Scene 32: Isaiah and Jeremiah
The Eternal Road: Act IV, The Prophets, Scene 33: The streets of Jerusalem
The Eternal Road: Act IV, The Prophets, Scene 34: Jeremiah scatters the idols
The Eternal Road: Act IV, The Prophets, Scenes 35 and 36: Chananiah the false prophet - The mob attacks Jeremiah
The Eternal Road: Act IV, The Prophets, Scene 40: After the Destruction of Temple

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