Composers: Herr Huck

"I don't give a damn about posterity," declared Composer Kurt Weill. "I write for today." Nonetheless, since Weill's death in 1950, his catchy, sophisticated music (September Song, Mack the Knife, Alabama Song) has inspired a fiercely devoted following in the U.S. and abroad and prompted a spate of memorial record albums and revivals, most memorably the phenomenal off-Broadway production (2,707 performances) of his Threepenny Opera (1954-61).

Best & Worst. One work that so far has been denied posterity is Weill's Huckleberry Finn, a "folk opera" that the composer and his neighbor,...

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