The American soprano Karyn Levitt… is one of the most important interpreters of Hanns Eisler's vocal music.
— Eisler Mitteilungen 70, November 2020
“Introduced me to a repertoire and stories that were mostly new to me…. A rich theme…. Terrific and expressive singing. Beautiful work!”
-- James Gavin, award-winning music journalist and acclaimed author
On Hollywood and Weimar, created by and starring soprano Karyn Levitt with pianist Jed Distler, celebrates the glorious music of old Hollywood by European composers from the Golden Age of Film. Musical geniuses, like Kurt Weill, Erich Korngold, Miklós Rózsa, Dimitri Tiomkin, and Hanns Eisler – many of whom had escaped to Southern California from Nazi Europe — brought from their respective homelands the highest level of culture, which they poured into the American film industry: they blended the music of the old world and the new, thereby creating and inventing the uniquely hybrid sound of Hollywood films. American music benefited as we became heir to their legacy.
Karyn Levitt is a leading interpreter of this impressive repertoire. She curated all the songs and wrote the narration, which together make the program a perfect homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood. As a distinguished artist/producer, Ms. Levitt is known for her historic collaboration with the foremost Brecht translator, Eric Bentley — whose centennial tribute (hosted by Michael Riedel and featuring Tony Kushner, Austin Pendleton, and other theater luminaries) she produced at The Town Hall and whose work she performs in concert and recorded on her CD, Eric Bentley's Brecht-Eisler Song Book.
Soprano/Producer/Writer: Karyn Levitt
Music Director/Pianist: Jed Distler
Directed by: Michael Unger
Artwork by Joan Chiverton
This CD is the culmination of Levitt’s journey, under the mentoring of Eric Bentley, into the world and music of Hanns Eisler. Eisler’s stylistic range is dazzling, and few would dispute that Eisler was as important a song composer as Schubert. Brecht and Eisler were one of the 20th century’s great musical partnerships.