Montag, 20. Juni 2022

Kurt Weill - O Moon Of Alabama - Historic Original Recordings 1928 - 1933 & 1943/44

The son of a cantor, Kurt Weill was born in Dessau into a family that took in operatic performances as a main form of entertainment.
When Weill was in his teens the director of the Dessau Hoftheater, Albert Bing, encouraged him in the study of music. Weill briefly studied composition with Engelbert Humperdinck and was already working professionally as a conductor when he attended composer Ferruccio Busoni's master classes in Berlin.

Delighted to see the positive responses of an audience to his first collaboration with playwright Georg Kaiser, "Der Protagonist" (1926), he thereafter resolved to work toward accessibility in his music. In 1926 Weill married actress Lotte Lenya, whose reedy, quavering singing voice he called "the one I hear in my head when I am writing my songs."

In 1927 Weill began his collaboration with leftist playwright and poet Bertolt Brecht; their first joint venture, "Mahagonny-Songspiel" (1927), launched the number "Alabama Song," which, to their surprise, became a minor pop hit in Europe. The next show, "Die Dreigroschenoper" ("The Three-Penny Opera", 1928), was a monstrous success, in particular the song "Moritat" ("Mack the Knife").

Nonetheless, strain in their association was already being felt, and after the completion of their magnificent "school opera" "Der Jasager" (1930), the two parted company. Brecht and Weill were brought together once more in Paris to create "Die Sieben Todsünden" ("The Seven Deadly Sins") in 1934. In the meantime, Weill collaborated with Caspar Neher on the opera "Die Bürgschaft" (1931) and Georg Kaiser again on "Der Silbersee" (1933), works that garnered the hostile attention of the then-emerging Nazi party.

With the rise to power of Hitler, Weill and Lenya were forced to dissolve their union and flee Continental Europe. Weill found his way to New York in 1935; rejoining Lenya, Weill became a citizen and devoted himself to American democracy with a vengeance, preferring his name pronounced like "wile" rather than "vile." After a series of frustrating flops, Weill hit his stride with playwright Maxwell Anderson, producing his first hit, "Knickerbocker Holiday" (1938). In the dozen years left to him, Weill's stature on Broadway grew with a series of hit shows, including "Lady in the Dark" (1941), "One Touch of Venus" (1943), "Love Life" (1948), and "Lost in the Stars" (1949). Weill had ambitions to create what he regarded as "the first American folk opera"; the closest of his American works to reach that goal is "Street Scene" (1946), a sort of "urban folk opera" based on a play by Elmer Rice with lyrics by Langston Hughes.

On April 3, 1950, Weill unexpectedly suffered a massive coronary and died in Lenya's arms. Weill's estate was valued at less than 1,000 dollars, and Lenya realized that his contribution to musical theater was likewise undervalued. She commissioned composer Marc Blitzstein to adapt an English-language version of "Die Dreigroschenoper"; it opened off-Broadway in 1954 and ran for three years, touching off a Weill revival that continues to this day.

Here´s a collectoin of Kurt Weill related recordings called "O Moon Of Alabama - Historic Original Recordings 1928-1933; 1943/44":

1. Alabama-Song (2:53) - Marek Weber And His Orchestra
2. Tango Angèle (3:02) - Saxophon-Orchester Dobbri
3. Die Muschel Von Margate (Petroleum-Song) (2:55) - Lyrics By - Felix Gasbarra Piano - Alfred Schlee, Vocals - Otto Pasetti
4. Surabaya-Johnny (2:52) - Theo Mackeben And His Jazz-Orchestra
5. Bilbao-Song (2:56) - Theo Mackeben And His Jazz-Orchestra
6. Matrosensong (3:08)
7. Surabaya-Johnny (2:43)
8. Der Song Von Madelay (3:02)
9. Surabaya-Johnny (2:42) - "Red" Roberts And His Jazz-Orchestra
10. Surabaya-Johnny (3:14) - Orchestre Pierre Chagnon Vocals - Marianne Oswald
11. Alabama-Song (2:49)
12. Denn Wie Man Sich Bettet (3:22)
13. Querschnitt Aus Der Oper "Aufstieg Und Fall Der Stadt Mahagonny" (8:33) - Großes Ensemble Des Theaters Am Kurfürstendamm Conductor - Hans Sommer Orchestra - Orchester Des Theaters Am Kurfürstendamm
14. Das Lied Vom Schlaraffenland (2:55) - Conductor - Maurice de Abravanel Vocals - Ernst Busch
15. Der Bäcker Backt Ums Morgenrot (3:06) - Conductor - Maurice de Abravanel Vocals - Ernst Busch
16. Lost In The Stars (3:00) - Lyrics By - Maxwell Anderson
17. Lover Man (2:51) - Lyrics By - Maxwell Anderson
18. J'attends Un Navire (3:02) - Lyrics By - Jacques Déval
19. Complainte De La Seine (3:26) - Lyrics By - Maurice Magre
20. Surabaya-Johnny (3:06)
21. Denn Wie Man Sich Bettet (3:03)
22. Und Was Bekam Des Soldaten Weib (4:09)
23. Wie Lange Noch? (3:17) - Lyrics By - Walter Mehring


1 rec. Mar 1928, original release on Electrola (E.G. 853)
2 rec. Jan 1928, original release on Beka (B 6313)
3 rec. 1931, original release on Paloma (Wien) (3501)
4, 5 rec. 1929, original release on Orchestrola (2311)
6, 7 rec. 1929, original release on Electrola (E.G. 1590)
8 rec. 1929, original release on Electrola (E.G. 1569)
9 rec. 1930, original release on Ultraphon (A 198)
10 rec. 1931, original release on Columbia, Paris (DF 1114)
11, 12 rec. 1930, original release on Homocord (3671)
13 rec. 1932, original release on Electrola (E.H. 736)
14, 15 rec. Jan 1933, original release on Gloria (G.O. 10703)
16 to 21 rec. 1943, original release on Bost Records, New York (6 5017-19)
22, 23 rec. 1943/44, original release on Office of War Information (OWI) Washington

With special greetings to verde!

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