In Monday’s (8/17) New York Times, William Grimes reports, “David Drew, a music critic and musicologist who almost single-handedly rescued the work of Kurt Weill from neglect and promoted him to his present position as an important 20th-century composer, died on July 25 in London. He was 78. … Mr. Drew, a lifelong champion of under-recognized 20th-century composers, took on the cause of Weill, regarded as little more than as an appendage to Bertolt Brecht, shortly after the composer’s death in 1950. Working with the singer Lotte Lenya and other members of the Brecht-Weill circle, he identified and located previously unknown stage and orchestral works, songs and choruses by Weill. … As the music critic of New Statesman from 1959 to 1967, Mr. Drew charted an idiosyncratic course, turning the spotlight on obscure composers whom he regarded as unfairly marginalized by mainstream historians and seeking out performances off the beaten track. … He published the authoritative ‘Kurt Weill: A Handbook’ (1987), an annotated catalog of Weill’s work, and edited two books in German that were published in 1975, ‘Über Kurt Weill’ and Weill’s collected writings.”

Posted August 18, 2009