Thursday | 14.03.2019
8 p.m., Concert in the
Anhaltisches Theater Dessau
Bei mir bist du schön –
Jews and Jazz
Forgotten sounds of the Weimar Republic
Music by Werner Richard Heymann,
Kurt Weill, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen and Leonid O. Utjossow
Musical directo: Andrej Hermlin
Swing Dance Orchestra
Who doesn’t remember the popular song Bei mir bist du schön? Rather less well known, however, is the fact that this was originally a Yiddish song written in 1932 (and thus five years before the Andrew Sisters’ version became a global hit) by Sholom Secunda and Jacob Jacobs for a Yiddish musical: Bay mir bistu sheyn. Sadly, the two composers didn’t partake of this success, and, like so many other Jewish musicians, their names are forgotten today. Yet they not only helped establish a sophisticated form of popular music, but also made a significant contribution to jazz music.
At this concert, Andrej Hermlin and his Swing Dance Orchestra intend to remember how Jewish artists shaped the musical landscapes of America, Germany and the former Soviet Union. They will play melodies by George Gershwin and Oscar Kern, pay tribute to Werner Richard Heymann, the film, operetta and cabaret composer from Königsberg, as well as the Amsterdam pianist and resistance fighter Leo Kok. The audience can also enjoy pieces by the bandleader Leonid O. Utjossow, born Lejser Weissbein in Odessa, who conducted a jazz orchestra in Leningrad, or the Russian jazz pioneer Alexander N. Zfasman.
The Swing Dance Orchestra will play original arrangements by American, German and Soviet orchestras from the 1930s and 1940s, from Lady Be Good to Wenn der Wind weht and Teplochod. The Russian songs will be performed by Viola Manigk and Gena Desjatnik, in what will be a truly an international concert!
With kindly support of the