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Kurt Weill: Three Penny Opera; Songs (rec. 1928-1944) / Lotte Lenya, Ernst Busch

Audio Samples

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera
>     Moritat
>     Kanonensong
>     Der Mensch lebt nur von Missetat allein
>     Ballade vom angenehmen Leben
>     Die Seeräuberjenny
>     Barbara-Song
>     Die Songs der Dreigroschenoper
>     Kanonensong
>     Zuhäilterballade
>     Die Seeräuberjenny
>     Barbara-Song
>     Chant de Barbara
>     Fiancee du pirate (Die Seeräuberjenny)
>     Chant des canon (Kanonensong)
>     Jomfru Dilemna (Barbara-Song)
>     Moritat (Slow-Fox Dance Arrangement)
>     Tanz-Potpourri aus Die Dreigsorchester (Slow-Fox Dance Arrangement)
>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera, Kleine Dreigroschenmusik fur Blasorchester
>     no 2. Die Moritat von Mackie Mess
>     no 4. Die Ballad vom angenehmen L
>     no 5a. Tango-Ballade
>     no 6. Kanonensong
>     Moritat und Choral
>     Tango-Ballade und Kanonensong
>Weill, Kurt : Alabama Song, for voice & orchestra (from "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny")
>Weill, Kurt : Der Zar Lasst Sich Photographieren
>     Tango-Angèle
>Weill, Kurt : Konjunktur
>     Incidental Music
>Weill, Kurt : Happy End
>     Surabaya-Johnny
>     Bilbao-Song
>     Matrosensong (Slow-Fox)
>     Surabaya-Johnny (Slow-Fox)
>     Der Song von Mandelay (One-Step)
>     Surabaya-Johnny
>     Surabaya-Johnny
>Unspecified : [Unspecified Track]
>Weill, Kurt : Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny
>     Denn wie man sich bettet
>     Querschnitt
>Weill, Kurt : Der Silbersee
>     Das Lied vom Schlaraffenland
>     Der Bäcker backt uns Morgenrot
>Weill, Kurt : Lost in the Stars, song for voice & piano (from Lost in the Stars)
>Weill, Kurt : Lover Man, song for voice & piano (from "Ulysses Africanus")
>Weill, Kurt : J'attends un navire (I'm Waiting for a Ship), song for voice & piano (from "Marie Galante")
>Weill, Kurt : Complainte de la Seine, song for voice & piano
>Weill, Kurt : Surabaya-Johnny
>Weill, Kurt : Denn wie man sich bettet, so liegt man (As You Make Your Bed), song for voice & orchestra (from "Auf
>Weill, Kurt : Und was bekam des Soldaten Weib? (The Ballad of the Soldier's Wife), song for voice & piano
>Weill, Kurt : Wie Lange Noch? song for voice & piano

Album Summary

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera
>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera, Kleine Dreigroschenmusik fur Blasorchester
>Weill, Kurt : Alabama Song, for voice & orchestra (from "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny")
>Weill, Kurt : Der Zar Lasst Sich Photographieren
>Weill, Kurt : Konjunktur
>Weill, Kurt : Happy End
>Unspecified : [Unspecified Track]
>Weill, Kurt : Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny
>Weill, Kurt : Der Silbersee
>Weill, Kurt : Lost in the Stars, song for voice & piano (from Lost in the Stars)
>Weill, Kurt : Lover Man, song for voice & piano (from "Ulysses Africanus")
>Weill, Kurt : J'attends un navire (I'm Waiting for a Ship), song for voice & piano (from "Marie Galante")
>Weill, Kurt : Complainte de la Seine, song for voice & piano
>Weill, Kurt : Surabaya-Johnny
>Weill, Kurt : Denn wie man sich bettet, so liegt man (As You Make Your Bed), song for voice & orchestra (from "Auf
>Weill, Kurt : Und was bekam des Soldaten Weib? (The Ballad of the Soldier's Wife), song for voice & piano
>Weill, Kurt : Wie Lange Noch? song for voice & piano
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Capriccio presents a valuable addition to the history of recorded music. Between 1928 and 1930 more than 40 recordings of Kurt Weill's Dreigroschenoper (Threeepenny Opera) songs were made - vocal recordings as well as instrumental versions and dance arrangements. The first disc of this new release offers a representative selection of the best of those recordings, featuring various members of the original cast at the Schiffbauerdamm. The second disc in this set offers historic restorations from other Weill works recorded between 1927 and 1933. Also included - rare recordings by Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya from 1943-44.

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
As far as a listening experience goes, one must keep in mind that especially on the first disk there are multiple versions of the most popular songs from the opera, all interesting but subject to a certain amount of repetition.

Ballet Review
Fascinating, with good notes... One reason for The Three Penny Opera's extraordinary success in 1928 was the ways its classically trained modernist composer adapted current dance rhythms to Bertolt Brecht's lyrics. Whether forceful or sly, these were words and tunes that lodge insistently in the memory and won't go away. No wonder these songs were immediately snapped up by dance bands and heard on records from Paris to Moscow.

Infodad.com
There is a great deal of music here... There are dance arrangements and woodwind arrangements as well as varying vocal stylings, with Lotte Lenya's being in retrospect the most authentic but certainly not the only ones worth hearing. The entire first CD is devoted to The Threepenny Opera, but the second disc is equally interesting. It includes, among other things, no fewer than five versions of "Surabaya-Johnny" from Happy End, one of them featuring Lenya singing as Weill himself plays a piano arrangement that he made of this and five other songs. There are other rarities on this CD as well, including two songs Weill wrote to further the Allies' war effort against the Nazis and several excerpts, including a medley, from Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. ... these CDs provide an opportunity, "through a glass darkly" (as it were), to hear Weill's music, well-known and less-known, performed when it was fresh rather than established, under Weill's own auspices or with his overt or tacit approval. These discs are a window into the distant past - more than 80 years in some cases - and as such cannot and should not be held to the quality standards of modern recordings. Rather, they should be seen and heard as important documentation of significant 20th-century music - performances against which it is quite fair to compare more-modern, better-sounding ones that may have fewer rough edges but cannot possibly match these for authenticity.



Reviews

When the shark bites
The main point of attraction to this new two disc set of selections from the best known of Kurt Weill's cabaret operas is that they are good quality transfers of the original shellac recordings, from the period 1928-1931. This is a very interesting collector's item on several levels. I am not particularly a lover of Kurt Weill, just on musical or artistic reasons (all mine and all personal taste), however, those who do love Weill will surely love this. There really is a certain charm and thrill to hear the original singers, most associated with the post-world war one German master; names such as Lotte Lenya and Ernst Busch are heard here. The singing is also a cause to hear this for what it is. Weill and other "cabaret" style composers needed a common man sound; filled with emotion (albeit melodrama) and not the usual "opera singer" timbre. Lenya is a perfect example. Another reason to hear and to have this set is the historical thrill of hearing things as they were heard. Sure, this is not audiophile stuff to be sure - although the transfers and remastering done by Hugo Gneipelt for Capriccio is about as good as can be had. Just listening is almost an imaginative exercise. One can imagine some smoke filled room with a not quite in tune piano as Germans still reeling from the first World War and just starting to hear the diatribes of Adolph Hitler listen attentively and commiserate. For me, it does paint such a picture. Lastly, there is something fascinating to see and hear that the conductors in the big works here are the same Maurice Abravanel and Otto Klemperer who went on to major artistic posts in post war Germany. I think it also nice to have some of Weill's most important but not as well known repertory here. Most people know at least "Mack the Knife" (in re Mackie Messer of the Three-Penny Opera) and many have heard selections from Weill's "Mahoganny", his "Alabama Song" - a reflection on Southern America in the 1930's. What is a treat is to here selections from "Silver Sea" and his "Six Songs", not to mention the "Two Songs for Short Wave Transmission to Germany" written in 1942 - right when things were the most chaotic. This is an important and fascinating collection for a number of reasons. As I said, the reasons to go buy this set are not for sonic amazement - but there are so many others
Submitted on 09/12/11 by Dan Coombs 
Early Weill, early recordings
The “cast album” was still years off when The Threepenny Opera opened, but most of the contemporary recordings by its first performers are gathered here. Other selections largely date from the early part of Weill’s career, before he and his wife Lotte Lenya escaped the Nazis and settled in the U.S. Those who only know Lenya’s voice as the sprechstimme foghorn of her later years may be surprised to hear her as a rather reedy soprano. She also sings eight songs accompanied by the composer at the piano. These two discs were originally issued separately, and are now combined into a budget package. Unfortunately, all the texts have been jettisoned, while keeping the dreadful translation of the notes (singers referred to as “popular French diseases”), and one track omitted from the listing of disc two. There’s more record hiss than you generally get on reissues of this type, but the engineers have kept the solo voices clear and prominent, so the collector will still want to have this set.
Submitted on 09/19/11 by Jim D. 
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Works Details

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Moritat
  • Performer: Harald Paulsen (Voice)
  • Conductor: Otto Klemperer
  • Running Time: 2 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Kanonensong
  • Performer: Harald Paulsen (Voice)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Der Mensch lebt nur von Missetat allein
  • Performer: Harald Paulsen (Voice)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Ballade vom angenehmen Leben
  • Performer: Harald Paulsen (Voice)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Die Seeräuberjenny
  • Performer: Carola Neher (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Barbara-Song
  • Performer: Carola Neher (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Die Songs der Dreigroschenoper
  • Performers: Carola Neher (Soprano); Arthur Schroder (Voice); Kurt Gerron (Voice)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Kanonensong
  • Conductor: Lewis Ruth
  • Running Time: 2 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Zuhäilterballade
  • Conductor: Lewis Ruth
  • Running Time: 3 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Die Seeräuberjenny
  • Performer: Lotte Lenya (Voice)
  • Conductor: Theo Mackeben
  • Running Time: 3 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Barbara-Song
  • Performers: Lotte Lenya (Voice); Erika Halmke (Voice)
  • Conductor: Theo Mackeben
  • Running Time: 3 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera, Kleine Dreigroschenmusik für Blasorchester :: no 2. Die Moritat von Mackie Mess
  • Conductor: Otto Klemperer
  • Running Time: 2 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera, Kleine Dreigroschenmusik für Blasorchester :: no 4. Die Ballad vom angenehmen L
  • Conductor: Otto Klemperer
  • Running Time: 2 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera, Kleine Dreigroschenmusik für Blasorchester :: no 5a. Tango-Ballade
  • Conductor: Otto Klemperer
  • Running Time: 2 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera, Kleine Dreigroschenmusik für Blasorchester :: no 6. Kanonensong
  • Conductor: Otto Klemperer
  • Running Time: 2 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera, Kleine Dreigroschenmusik für Blasorchester :: Moritat und Choral
  • Conductor: Theo Mackeben
  • Running Time: 3 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera, Kleine Dreigroschenmusik für Blasorchester :: Tango-Ballade und Kanonensong
  • Conductor: Theo Mackeben
  • Running Time: 3 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Chant de Barbara
  • Performer: Lys Gauty (Voice)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Fiancee du pirate (Die Seeräuberjenny)
  • Performer: Odette Florelle (Voice)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Chant des canon (Kanonensong)
  • Performer: Marianne Oswald (Voice)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Jomfru Dilemna (Barbara-Song)
  • Performer: Gerda Madsen (Voice)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Moritat (Slow-Fox Dance Arrangement)
  • Conductor: Hans Schindler
  • Running Time: 2 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : The Threepenny Opera :: Tanz-Potpourri aus Die Dreigsorchester (Slow-Fox Dance Arrangement)
  • Conductor: Marek Weber
  • Running Time: 5 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/1928-08/1928

>Weill, Kurt : Alabama Song, for voice & orchestra (from "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny")
  • Conductor: Marek Weber
  • Running Time: 2 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 04/1927-04/1929

>Weill, Kurt : Der Zar Lässt Sich Photographieren :: Tango-Angèle
  • Ensemble: Dobbri Saxophone Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 03/1927-08/1927

>Weill, Kurt : Konjunktur :: Incidental Music
  • Performers: Otto Pasetti (Voice); Alfred Schlee (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 03/1928

>Weill, Kurt : Happy End :: Surabaya-Johnny
  • Performer: Lotte Lenya (Voice)
  • Conductor: Theo Mackeben
  • Running Time: 2 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 06/1929-08/1929

>Weill, Kurt : Happy End :: Bilbao-Song
  • Performer: Lotte Lenya (Voice)
  • Conductor: Theo Mackeben
  • Running Time: 2 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 06/1929-08/1929

>Weill, Kurt : Happy End :: Matrosensong (Slow-Fox)
  • Conductor: Lewis Ruth
  • Ensemble: Lewis Ruth Band
  • Running Time: 3 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 06/1929-08/1929

>Weill, Kurt : Happy End :: Surabaya-Johnny (Slow-Fox)
  • Conductor: Lewis Ruth
  • Ensemble: Lewis Ruth Band
  • Running Time: 2 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 06/1929-08/1929

>Weill, Kurt : Happy End :: Der Song von Mandelay (One-Step)
  • Conductor: Lewis Ruth
  • Running Time: 3 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 06/1929-08/1929

>Weill, Kurt : Happy End :: Surabaya-Johnny
  • Conductor: Theo Mackeben
  • Running Time: 2 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 06/1929-08/1929

>Weill, Kurt : Happy End :: Surabaya-Johnny
  • Performer: Marianne Oswald (Voice)
  • Conductor: Pierre Chagnon
  • Running Time: 3 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 06/1929-08/1929

>Unspecified : [Unspecified Track]
  • Running Time: 2 min. 51 sec.

>Weill, Kurt : Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny :: Denn wie man sich bettet
  • Performer: Lotte Lenya (Voice)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 04/1927-04/1929

>Weill, Kurt : Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny :: Querschnitt
  • Performer: Lotte Lenya (Voice)
  • Conductor: Hans Sommer
  • Running Time: 8 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 04/1927-04/1929

>Weill, Kurt : Der Silbersee :: Das Lied vom Schlaraffenland
  • Performer: Ernst Busch (Voice)
  • Conductor: Maurice Abravanel
  • Notes: Composition written: 08/1932-01/1933.
  • Running Time: 2 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 08/1932-01/1933

>Weill, Kurt : Der Silbersee :: Der Bäcker backt uns Morgenrot
  • Performer: Ernst Busch (Voice)
  • Conductor: Maurice Abravanel
  • Notes: Composition written: 08/1932-01/1933.
  • Running Time: 3 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 08/1932-01/1933

>Weill, Kurt : Lost in the Stars, song for voice & piano (from Lost in the Stars)
  • Performers: Lotte Lenya (Voice); Kurt Weill (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 02/1949-09/1949

>Weill, Kurt : Lover Man, song for voice & piano (from "Ulysses Africanus")
  • Performers: Lotte Lenya (Voice); Kurt Weill (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 03/1939-08/1939

>Weill, Kurt : J'attends un navire (I'm Waiting for a Ship), song for voice & piano (from "Marie Galante")
  • Performers: Lotte Lenya (Voice); Kurt Weill (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Weill, Kurt : Complainte de la Seine, song for voice & piano
  • Performers: Kurt Weill (Piano); Lotte Lenya (Voice)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 05/1934

>Weill, Kurt : Surabaya-Johnny
  • Performers: Lotte Lenya (Voice); Kurt Weill (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 06/1929-08/1929

>Weill, Kurt : Denn wie man sich bettet, so liegt man (As You Make Your Bed), song for voice & orchestra (from "Auf
  • Performers: Lotte Lenya (Voice); Kurt Weill (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 04/1927-04/1929

>Weill, Kurt : Und was bekam des Soldaten Weib? (The Ballad of the Soldier's Wife), song for voice & piano
  • Performers: Lotte Lenya (Voice); Kurt Weill (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: circa 03/1942

>Weill, Kurt : Wie Lange Noch? song for voice & piano
  • Performers: Lotte Lenya (Voice); Kurt Weill (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944