In quick summary:
- If you're at all familiar with the Dreigroschenoper and all its incarnations, be sure to buy this album. It's the closest you could get to an 'original'.
- If you're completely new to the Threepenny story, I would recommend starting with the 1999 Nina Hagen concert version instead. It's got all the songs left out here, better recording quality, and a more modern approach to the music.
This is not a complete collection of original cast Dreigroschen songs. Rather, it's a selection of the best tracks from the play, often censored and cut short (in all the usual ways), and filled up with seemingly random extras in the genre.
The performers are all quite brilliant, and it's refreshing to hear a 3P without all the screaming and biting from recent versions. Though the songs are by no means slow, they're much more relaxed, more saccharine I would say, than what they've later evolved into. I love both type interpretations, but I often prefer this one.
One very nice bonus is the inclusion of a handful Threepenny songs in French. Otherwise pretty hard to come by. Also, the famous final lines of the movie version (Moritat reprise) are present, which I've only seen in one other recording (the 1981, also led by Miss Lotte Lenya). All in all, an essential CD for Brecht/Weill fans.