Shimmy from the opera "Jonny spielt auf", op. 45
Ernst Krenek (1900 - 1991)
The “shimmy” is a dance, the music of which immediately invites you to join in! About a hundred years ago, this snappy dance, which came from the USA, was also very popular in Europe. The rapid movements of the shoulders and hips were considered to be so wild and boisterous that the shimmy was sometimes forbidden.
Ernst Krenek integrated the shimmy into his opera Jonny spielt auf (“Jonny plays on”). Among other things, the opera shows how fast, loud, and garish the world had become a century ago. Krenek brought the technical inventions of the recent decades onto the stage: an automobile, a record player, and a telephone. What achievements would correspond to these today?