Kurt Weill: The Threepenny Opera

Kurt Weill: The Threepenny Opera

by Kurt WeillKurt Weill


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This German-language studio cast recording of The Threepenny Opera, made in Frankfurt in 1999 with the Ensemble Modern conducted by HK Gruber, reflects the newly published official Kurt Weill Edition prepared by Stephen Hinton and Edward Harsh for the Weill estate. As Hinton makes clear in his liner notes, the work has existed in various versions since its premiere in Berlin in 1928, and this one doesn't so much resolve the conflicts as elucidate them. Hinton has opted to include "Lucy's Aria," written for the show but not used originally because it was beyond the range of the actress cast in the role, only as a supplement at the end of the second disc, while he has included other material, notably "Ballad of the Prisoner of Sexuality," which was eliminated because the actress initially playing Mrs. Peachum refused to sing it, in the body of the musical. (German rock singer Nina Hagen, portraying Mrs. Peachum here, has no such scruples and performs the song with gusto.) Even less standard for this standard edition, Hinton has adapted spoken introductions to the songs written by lyricist Bertolt Brecht, but never previously used, to link the songs, otherwise eliminating most of the dialogue, for what would work as a concert version of the show rather than a theatrical staging. It also makes for a highly listenable recording and one that allows for some understanding of the contours of the plot, especially for those who understand German, although a complete English translation is provided in the CD booklet. Along with Hagen, Max Raabe makes an effective Macheath, while conductor Gruber steps in to play Mr. Peachum with evident relish.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/12/1999
Label: Rca Victor Europe
UPC: 0743216613328
catalogNumber: 166133
Rank: 6147

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kurt Weill   Primary Artist
Nina Hagen   Vocals
Bertolt Brecht   Narrator
Bruce Nockles   Trumpet
Wolfgang Stryi   Alto Saxophone
Uwe Dierksen   Trombone
Rumi Ogawa-Helferich   Percussion
Jürgen Ruck   Banjo,Guitar,Vocals,Hawaiian Guitar
Ensemble Modern   Ensemble
Timna Brauer   Vocals
Rainer Römer   Percussion,Vocals
Eva Böcker   Cello
Dietmar Wiesner   Flute,Vocals
Max Raabe   Vocals
HK Gruber   Conductor,Vocals
William Forman   Trumpet
Hermann Kretzschmar   Piano,Celeste,Harmonium

Technical Credits

Marc Blitzstein   Text Translation
Bertolt Brecht   Lyricist,Adaptation,Book
Michael Feingold   Text Translation
Thomas Eschler   Engineer

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