Talk:Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

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DVD Production wins 2 Grammy Awards[edit]

The 2007 production by the LA Opera that was released last year on DVD has won two Grammy awards: Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording. As far as I can tell, this is the first DVD to win for Best Classical Album, because NARAS just started accepting Opera DVDs as sound recordings if there is no appropriate audio-only release of the same production. Should this be mentioned in the article for this opera? Benpatient (talk) 20:57, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Synopsis too long?[edit]

The synopsis has been tagged as being too long. What do other people think? It looks fine to me. --Kleinzach 07:55, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Tag removed. Viva-Verdi (talk) 23:17, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

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File:Mahagonny Act2scene13.ogg Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]

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Jazz Opera Instruments[edit]

Though glossed over, Kurt Well's Lider music used instruments that were novel (for orchestral use) at the time. His Lieder style is essetially Jazz Opera in instrumentation, but not like the Jazz Operas of Scott Joplin.

Use or lack of use of these instruments changes the sound of the performed music. Opera houses generally use the originally prescribed instruments, but musical theatre performance groups generally don't.

Notably used, not a complete or authoritative list

  • Accordion (The Three Penny Opera)
  • Portable Organ (The Three Penny Opera, Der Alfstig Und Fall Der Stadt Mahagonny)
  • Saxophone (The Three Penny Opera, Der Alfstig Und Fall Der Stadt Mahagonny)
  • Banjo (The Three Penny Opera, Der Alfstig Und Fall Der Stadt Mahagonny)

Mahagonny/mahogony[edit]

I have read that the name Mahagonny is not based on the word "mahogony" but was rather invented to sound like a plausible American place-name. The statement in the article that it was based on the word "mahogony" has no reference. Can anyone find one? Otherwise, it should be removed. WordwizardW (talk) 20:00, 6 July 2021 (UTC)

I think you're right and that sentence should be removed, unless User:Arminden, who introduced it on 8 March 2015, can provide a reliable source for that claim. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 04:06, 7 July 2021 (UTC)

I have no proof for it and won't look for one. Unless Brecht himself made a statement somewhere, which I doubt he has, it's writer's imagination and there's nothing certain to say about it. But I would insist to leave a mention that the invented city's name is pronounced identically to the German word for mahogany (see https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amerikanisches_Mahagoni if you wish). It cannot possibly be a coincidence, that's out of the question. Arminden (talk) 12:25, 7 July 2021 (UTC)

According to Müller-Schöll, Nikolaus (Winter 1999). "'... just an invented word'". TDR. German Brecht, European Reading. 43 (4): 27–30., Brecht wrote in the epilogue to Mahagonny Songs, "Mahagonny—that is just an invented word." Then the paper goes on to explore all kinds of possible connections, from the colour, similar to the Nazis' Brown Shirts, to the Greek word agon, and more obscure paths. Basically, Müller-Schöll disputes that there can be such a thing as "an invented word". This note by David Drew at the Kurt Weill Foundation also calls Mahagonny an invented word and that it does not mean mahogany, but then opines that it is "suggestive of old-fashioned middle-class comfort" and makes a further connection to the Sanskrit Mahanagar, a large city or colony. The note also points out that actual place names in the text, like Alabama and Benares, have more of a phonetic than a locality significance. Harold C. Schonberg writes in The New York Times (2 December 1979, pp. D21, D28) that Brecht associated the colour of Mahagoni with "frontier-like crudity" and the Nazi storm troopers.
So, there's some discussion about the name, but nothing that can be condensed into the current short categorical sentence currently in the article. Until a more solid discussion is added, that sentence should be removed; the name of the city is not derived from the English word mahoganny; it's (much) more complicated. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 13:57, 7 July 2021 (UTC)
It is or it isn't. Brecht made it up, and everything we make up comes from somewhere. If you make up a word that sounds identical to a real, existing word from your own language... it's less than made up, and it comes with a bunch of ready-made connotations. As with Alabama and Benares, it's also a lot about how it sounds. From what you're quoting, others, too, have made the connection to the bourgeois associations of that type of wood. I never wrote that A = B, just gave an uncommented information, because I believe that the user has to gain from it. If you believe that in this case less is more, go ahead and delete. None of the quoted opinions offers more though, it's people like me and you guessing, while Brecht moves on with a smirk. Bye, Arminden (talk) 13:59, 9 July 2021 (UTC)
"Darum laßt uns hier eine Stadt gründen Und sie nennen Mahagonny Das heißt: Netzestadt!". I'd venture Mahagonny comes from Mahogany in exactly the same way Mahagonny means "city of nets". --jpgordon𝄢𝄆𝄐𝄇 14:07, 9 July 2021 (UTC)