Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera" Analytical Essay by sinkopayshun

Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera"
Explores to what degree Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera" exemplifies the musical concept of gestus.
# 112550 | 4,275 words | 15 sources | MLA | 2007 | US

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This paper reviews the musical structure and songs of Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera" and discusses how Weill specifically used gestic music in the work. The paper explains that gestus is the portrayal of the theatrical moment that expresses the social relationships and attitudes with which the play is concerned. The paper then concludes that, in "The Threepenny Opera", the overall combination of music and lyrics plus the individual songs result in the creation of a new type of musical theater, which makes Weill's composition a minor work of gestic genius.

From the Paper:

"This satirical gest is thrust upon the audience at the very moment the orchestra strikes its first note of the performance. The instrumentation shuns the traditionally operatic string ensemble in favor of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, timpani, banjo and harmonium. The prologue's description of an opera "so cheap even a beggar can afford it" is followed by a mockingly pompous Baroque-like overture, which is harmonically minor and rhythmically plodding. The listener can almost imagine Weill's mocking grin as he first wrote the scale-based, repetitive melody and the Haydn-like sforzandos of every single beat."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Abbott, Geoffrey. "The 'Dreigroschen' sound." Kurt Weill: The Threepenny Opera. Ed. Stephen Hinton. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. 161-180.
  • Blitzstein, Marc, Bertolt Brecht, and Kurt Weill. The Threepenny Opera. Hamburg: Polydor, 1954.
  • Brecht, Bertolt. Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic. 1957. Ed. Trans. John Willett. New York: Hill and Wang, 1964.
  • ---. The Threepenny Opera. 1928. Trans. Ralph Manheim and John Willett. London: Methuen Publishing, Ltd., 2005.
  • Drew, David. "Motifs, tags and related matters." Kurt Weill: The Threepenny Opera. Ed. Stephen Hinton. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. 149-160.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera" (2009, March 01) Retrieved February 05, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/kurt-weill-the-threepenny-opera-112550/

MLA Format

"Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera"" 01 March 2009. Web. 05 February. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/kurt-weill-the-threepenny-opera-112550/>