Donnerstag, 7. April 2016

Ute Lemper - Sings Kurt Weill (1988)

Ute Lemper is a multifaceted singer/actress closely associated with the Berlin cabaret style of songs and the music of Kurt Weill.

"Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill, Volumes 1 and 2" released in 1988 and 1993, plus the third album of Weill's two most important song cycles in German, "The Seven Deadly Sins" ("Die sieben Todsunden") and "Mahagonny Songspiel" released in 1990 unequivocally established Ms. Lemper as the leading Kurt Weill interpreter since Lotte Lenya, Weill's wife and the singer for whom many of his vocal pieces were written. These three disks, sample pieces from most major Weill works written in German, including his most famous musical play, "The Threepenny Opera" ("Die Dreigroschenoper").

The first disc has fourteen tracks with three from "Der Silbersee" with lyrics by Kaiser, three from "Die Dreigroschenoper" with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht, two from "Berliner Requiem" with lyrics by Brecht, two from "Mahagonny" with lyrics by Brecht, "Je ne t'aime pas" with French lyrics by Magre, and three from "One Touch of Venus" with English lyrics by S.J. Perelman and Ogden Nash.

The album is done with the backing of the RIAS Berlin Sinfonietta, conducted by John Mauceri who seems to get just the right tone of sleaze out of his ensemble to match the tone of the composition and lyrics by Weill and his various librettists, especially Berthold Brecht.

Lemper is a vocalist in that great European femme fatale tradition of Lenya, Piaf, and Dietrich and certainly to my lights the leading interpreter today of Weill's songs plus works by other European composers for the musical and cabaret (See her album `City of Strangers'). Compared to even some of the greatest contemporary American female vocalists on the stage such as Streisand and Minelli, both Yanks have their strength, but they can't or don't try to achieve the same depth of feeling behind the European `Weltschmertz' you hear from Lemper and her forerunners. The closest may be Minelli's performance as Sally Bowles in `Cabaret', but even there, she can't seem to hide her American innocence.

Of the three albums, the first of the three, "Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill" may be the best introduction, as it includes two of Weill's best English songs, "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" and "Speak Low".

Tracks Vol. I:*01. Fennimores Lied
*02. Cäsars Tod
*03. Die Moritat von Mackie Messer
*04. Salomon Song
*05. Die ballade Von  der sexuellen Hörigkeit
*06. Zu Potsdam Unter Den Eichen
*07. Nanna's Lied
*08. Lied des Lotterieagenten
*09. Alabama Song
*10. Denn Wie Man Sich Bettet
*11. Je Ne T'aime Pas
*12. I'm a Stranger Here Myself
*13. Westwind
*14. Speak Low

Ute Lemper - Sings Kurt Weill (1988)
(192 kbps, cover inluded)

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