In 1881, the first cabaret, Le Chat Noir, opened its doors in Paris. It had grown from a society of artists, who presented
works for one another, so the gist was avant-garde, anti-establishment, anti-conventional morality, anti-capitalism, anti-academic
art etc. etc. It had a naturalist agenda, borrowing from incidents and characters of the neighborhood and its language was
the vernacular. It adopted its style from popular culture -- the music hall, circus, variety, vaudeville -- and it presented
itself in small forms, and not just musical ones -- monologues, sketches, shadow plays, as well as song. It was basically
an artistic reaction to the grandiosity of the 19th century.
Cabaret traveled through Europe and reached Germany by
the turn of the century. Many literary and musical talents were involved in its history -- Arnold Shoenberg, Frank Wedekind,
Bertolt Brecht and Eric Satie, to name a few.
In TELL ME THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE, we explore the music of classical composers
who were under the influence of cabaret, with some more popular fare tossed into the mix.