Hanns Eisler: Music

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Fourteen Ways of Describing the Rain RealAudio Buy or Buy
Kammerensemble de Zürich, directed by Christoph Keller.

Joris Ivens film Fourteen Ways of Describing the Rain
Rain, the 1929 documentary that established Iven's reputation as one of the best avant-garde filmmakers of the 20th century.
In 1941, Eisler wrote music for the 1929 black-and-white documentary Rain by legendary Dutch director Joris Ivens. The Ivens website describes the film as "a very poetic film with changing moods, following the change from sunny Amsterdam streets to rain drops in the canals and the pooring rain on windows, umbrellas, trams and streets, until it clears up and the sun breaks through once again." Eisler's score was written as an experiment for the Rockefeller Foundation's Film Music Project at the New School in New York City. The music does not exactly correspond to the mood of each image in the film; instead, it explores the textures of sadness—an unusual theme for Eisler. The chamber suite based on the film score was one of Eisler's favorite works and is a study in his communicative style of twelve-tone music. It was premièred in Arnold Schönberg's home in Los Angeles for the elder composer's seventieth birthday celebration in 1944.

Music sample © 1998 Accord. Photo © Joris Ivens European Foundation.

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