Song of the Day: January 26

Written by David T. Little

Composer

January 26, 2016

unnamedThis week our SoTD curator is composer David T. Little who will host and curate the opening evening of NYFOS Next 2016 on February 4th. Little’s operas Soldier Songs and Dog Days have received wide critical acclaim, the latter having received performances this season at Fort Worth Opera and Los Angeles Opera and hailed by The Wall Street Journal as “one of the most exciting new operas of recent years.” Little’s “sharp, elegantly bristling” music (New York Magazine) is potent and dramatic, drawing as much upon his experience as a punk/metal drummer as his classical pedigree. Thank you and welcome, David!

I first encountered this song as part of Heiner Goebbels’ theater piece Eislermaterial, and later tracked down this version of Hanns Eisler singing and playing himself. I immediately fell in love with how perfect it feels: simple and straightforward–it is a patriotic song for children, after all–but highly sophisticated and elegant in its construction. The subtle harmonic shifts, slight changes in accompaniment, secondary melody that enters at just the right time make it, for me, a miniature masterpiece.

Hanns Eisler (1898 -1962) and Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) – Anmut sparet nicht noch Mühe (1950)

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