An evening of Songs by Berthold Brecht and Hanns Eisler, with Peter Geisselbrecht, Dafna Naphtali, Gisburg, Saman Samadi and Loui Terrier

Hanns Eisler and Bertold Brecht fled from the Nazis in the 1940s. In his “Hollywood Songbook”, Eisler set poems by Brecht to music: about flight, fear of being captured, leaving everything behind, and other refugee’s experiences. Eisler, by the way, got deported in 1948 after an investigation by the House Committee of Un-American Activities. 70 years later these songs are still relevant.

Friday, Sep 30th, 2016 at 8pm
The Firehousespace
246 Frost St, Brooklyn, New York 11211

Peter Geisselbrecht, born 1954, studied music in Cologne (piano, composition, improvisation) under Klaus Oldemeyer, Joachim Blume, Vinko Globokar and Klaus Runze. He specializes in 20th century piano music, and frequently tours with a program of compositions by victims and contemporaries of the Nazi regime. As an improviser he works primarily with musicians who are equally versed in free improvisation, jazz and contemporary classical music. Since 1985 he teaches piano and improvisation at Giessen University, Germany.

In a rare appearance at The Firehouse Space in NYC, German Pianist Peter Geisselbrecht will present songs by Brecht / Eisler expressing solitude, grieving and longing of the refugee – sung by Dafna Naphtali and Gisburg. A selection from Geisselbrecht’s CD with works by composer Federico Mompoú refer to a poem by Juan de la Cruz in which the poet describes a music that is the voice of the silence itself, while the solitude itself becomes music.

Longing is also the theme of traditional Persian singing presented by composer Saman Samadi, in a poem about homesickness by Mahmoud Davoudi.

The second part of the evening will see a collective improvisation by the participants, including Loui Terrier and Hans Tammen.