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Elliot Fisch
American Record Guide, September 2017

If you’re attracted to 12-tone and atonal music you might find something to appreciate here. The sound is excellent, and the conductor leads the orchestra through the intricate scores very well. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Uwe Krusch
Pizzicato, May 2017

Early works in dodecaphonic style as well as film music of Hanns Eisler show the composer’s very personal music style in excellent performances. © 2017 Pizzicato

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, April 2017

The Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin under Johannes Kalitzke do the honors for these works and their dedication gives us what sound to be very fitting performances, spirited and detailed.

The pronounced modernist edge to the music recorded here reminds us that, after all, Eisler was a pupil of Schoenberg and even when composing film scores there can be heard an unwavering contemporary slant. He presents a wealth of thematic elements that attract and are situated within masterful developmental and orchestrational poetics.

…I can vouch for its excellence. © 2017 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Norman Lebrecht
Musical Toronto, March 2017

Hangmen Also Die was a film her worked on by Fritz Lang, based on a Brecht narrative on the assassination of the SS chief Reinhard Heydrich. Eisler’s score was nominated for a 1942 Oscar. The plot is well known. You don’t need to watch the film to know what’s going on, so expressive is the music, and so coherent. Eisler makes no concessions to directorial expectations. It is clear that this score was composed as a complete entity, leaving Lang to make decisions as to which parts he used.

There are two other film compositions on this illuminating album, beautifully played by the Berlin radio orchestra under Johannes Kalitzke’s direction. The Grapes of Wrath is an alternative score to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, which was being filmed at the time by John Ford with music by the malleable Alfred Newman. Eisler’s work, with a searing twelve-tone lament, is infinitely preferable. © 2017 Musical Toronto Read complete review

Records International, March 2017

Did you know that Eisler wrote 11 minutes of alternative music for The Grapes of Wrath (scored by Alfred Newman)? Commissioned by whom and why? The notes don’t say but there are five pieces, two alternates for one scene and three more for another. The longest group here is the 29 minutes for the 1939 documentary on Japan’s attack on China The 400 Million. The Fritz Lang 1943 film about the assasination of Reinhard Heydrich got Eisler nominated for an Oscar even though there were only around 15 minutes of music in the film! Most everything in these scores is in Eisler’s personal twelve-tone style, sounding tonal even though, on the page, it’s not. © 2017 Records International

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