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Lotte Lenya Sings Kurt Weill Original recording remastered

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Jan. 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Music
  • ASIN: B0000029YI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,337 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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By A Customer on 5 July 2001
Format: Audio CD
For the uninitiated Lenya's voice seems crude and untrained yet her interpretations of her late husbands work are the most compelling and astonishing. Here we hear some of her finest recordings of Weill's repetoire - The Seven Deadly Sins and a number of songs from The Threepenny Opera, The Happy End and Mahagonny. In the Seven Deadly Sins she engages emotionaly with the music in a manner unparalleled in recent recordings. Although her deep voice does not provide the contrast with the orchestra achieved in its origional scoring (see for example, Fassbaender or Ross's recordings) the fact that this is music written with Lenya's voice in mind makes up for this. The music is, perhaps, Weill's most stunning. Brecht's scathing attack on Bourgeois morality, personified in Anna's conflicting drives towards sensuality and wealth, is perfectly set to music by Weill, who's constant changes in tempo and style underpin Anna's schizophrenia. Of the songs included in this compliation "Subaraya Johnny" has never sounded so beautifull. Also included are her famous recording of "Pirate Jenny" from the Threepenny Opera, the well known "Alabama Song" from Mahagonny and a very old version of "Mack the Knife" played with a fairground organ. For anyone who has recently got into Kurt Weill and not experienced how it should be heard then I would wholeheartedly recomend this compilation as a fantasic introduction.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
OK, this is about as marvellous a performance as you could expect in the 1950s. I really enjoyed listening to the tracks on this CD. We live in a world that is quite different from 1928/9. When listening to this CD you may be able to recreate the impression that songs from the Threepenny Opera might have had at that time it was written, but watch the movie to get the real sense of that world. I prefer the original 1930 recordings, but this is without doubt one of the best of the later recordings by great artists.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had an old tape recording of the Berlin theatre songs but it's no longer fit for purpose. This CD had the tracks I wanted - Surabaya Johnny, Bilbao song, Mack the Knife, etc , and more songs, unknown to me, which are good finds. There was a bit of jumping on the last track of the disc - but I can live with that. Good buy for lovers of Lenya and Weil.
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Wonderful recordings from the 1950s of Lotte Lenya singing songs with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht (save for 2 by George Kaiser) and music by Lenya's former husband, Kurt Weill. Brecht and Weill were the outstanding exponents of musical theatre of the late 20s/early 30s and Lenya perhaps the finest performer of their work. These recordings perfectly capture the atmosphere of the period.
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Lotte Lenya - unique singer/ Kurt Weill & Poetengen: cutting edge songs & libretto . No one can adequately imitate them - a one-off partnership. Superb.
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By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 April 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Lotte's cracked voice rasps through her husbands repertoire with the consummate ease of someone inhabiting the songs from the inside. Her tongue and larynx coil around the cadences and eject the emotion. Knowing the nuances has an advantage, the smooth dull overproduced timbre of rhythm n beats to soothe the brow of the salesman's brow was never Brecht/Weil's modus. It was always about challenge and change. Those born in the 60's will remember Lotte as Rosa Klebb in From Russia with Love, the woman with the blade dagger shoes.

As with Orwell in writing his Keep the Aspidistra Flying and George Grosz with his art, Brecht/Weill and Lotte wanted to throw a brick into the greenhouse, a boulder into the pond and introduce moles to the lawn. Shattering sterile complacency was their mission. With some justification in historical retrospect as the post war German generations swept towards their lemmingesque self destruction on the steppes of the East in the early 40's then dragged Europe into its wake.

The version of Mack the Knife with fairground organ has a special potency as I heard whilst in the middle of Berlin in late Autumn, standing next to the wall, as it blasted out of a radio full blast into the cold dank day, just as the sun broke through the clouds and lit up the scene transforming it from Warszawa into Cabaret.

Lotte's voice cracked the smooth dulcet tones of opera and choir to connect with the bawd of the music hall. It became the tone for a different form of singing, emotion rather than technique, articulating destruction, vice, loss and decay.

All the greats are on the album, Surabaya Johnny, Mack the Knife, Alabama Song, Havana Song as well as others I was introduced to for the first time. All sung primarily in Deutsche.
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