The Eternal Road, Weill

The Eternal Road, Weill

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Composed By: Kurt Weill

German title: Der Weg der Verheißung

Purchase sheet music at Schott

recording, program notes and lyrics here

Voicing: SATB, divisi

Language: German or English, some Hebrew

Difficulty: somewhat challenging

Country: Germany, America

Solos: soprano, alto, tenor, bass, speakers

Instruments: orchestra

Lyrics: Franz Werfel, translated by Ludwig Lewisohn

Year Composed/Published: 1934-1936

Timing: 175 minutes to perform the complete work (concert version is 105 minutes)

Tempo: various

description: The American theatre manager Meyer Weisgal brought Max Reinhardt, Franz Werfel and Kurt Weill together in 1934 to enlist their help in the implementation of his concept of a musical drama which would sketch out a vision of the future of the Jewish people. Werfel embedded the biblical history of the people of Israel in a framework plot: members of a Jewish community flee from a pogrom into a synagogue while the mob continues to rage outside. The Rabbi brings alive the various stages of Jewish history as preserved in the Torah – a tale of expulsion, exile and visions of the Promised Land. Ultimately, biblical history is merged with real events: as a parallel to the destruction of the temple in the Bible story, the real synagogue is devastated and both the people in the Torah story and the real Jewish community in prayer are forced to continue their journey towards the Promised Land. (description from Schott’s website)

A concert version, “The Road of Promise” is also available from the publisher, Universal Edition.

The movement “This Is a God” makes an effective excerpt and can be performed with just piano.

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