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 Posted:   Feb 8, 2020 - 8:57 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

A really great album, if you have not heard it, is Hal Wilner's Weill tribute Lost in the Stars. Weill songs done by Bley, Waits, Faithful, Sting, Ridgeway, and so many more. In the 80s this was THE album that turned me on to Kurt Weill.

I had no idea the great Hal Willner--he of the Charles Mingus tribute and producer of that great Allen Ginsberg boxed set--did a Kurt Weill album! I adore what I've heard of Tom Waits, who seems to be as much of a pop culture vulture as I am. wink

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 8, 2020 - 9:01 AM   
 By:   villagardens553   (Member)

Well, Mr. Phelps, your mission, etc, etc, is to get this album. Wilner also did a fantastic Rota/Fellini tribute and a Thelonious Monk tribute.

 
 Posted:   Feb 8, 2020 - 9:07 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Yep, all of those tributes are fantastic albums - I particularly recall the Weill and the Monk.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 8, 2020 - 9:09 AM   
 By:   Nono   (Member)

As someone who knows nothing of this score and its motives, I would say that the similarity is uncanny. Thanks for the post.

Although it's a French classic, I must say that I have never seen the movie. But I wouldn't be surprised if The Threepenny Opera is actually played somewhere in the film.

Maurice Jaubert and Kurt Weill were also friends, and Jaubert helped Weill when he had to leave Germany, according to François Porcile.

 
 Posted:   Feb 8, 2020 - 9:36 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

While this thread was started in 2013(!), my renewed interest--as Sean Nethery may already know--is due to my newfound obsession with 1920s German art. This gives me another way into Brecht-Weill and the music influenced by it--a refreshed view of their work, if you will. Every interest needs its soundtrack, and I never approach a previous interest in the same way twice. Hope that makes sense. wink

 
 Posted:   Feb 8, 2020 - 12:19 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Maurice Jaubert and Kurt Weill were also friends, and Jaubert helped Weill when he had to leave Germany, according to François Porcile.

That in itself is an interesting story. I need to find a Brecht and/or Weill biography.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 9, 2020 - 7:27 AM   
 By:   villagardens553   (Member)

I've read a couple of Weill bios. The Days Grow Short by Ronald Sanders is thorough and entertaining.

 
 Posted:   Feb 9, 2020 - 1:38 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I've read a couple of Weill bios. The Days Grow Short by Ronald Sanders is thorough and entertaining.

Scrolling quickly through Amazon, and The Days Grow Short (OOP) looks to be the lone proper Weill biography. Everything else I've seen deals with his relationship with Lotte Lenya or with distinct aspects of his career.

Speaking of which, "The Partnership: Brecht, Weill, Three Women, and Germany on the Brink" looks promising.

"Among the most creative and outsized personalities of the Weimar Republic, that sizzling yet decadent epoch between the Great War and the Nazis' rise to power, were the renegade poet Bertolt Brecht and the rebellious avant-garde composer Kurt Weill. These two young geniuses and the three women vital to their work—actresses Lotte Lenya and Helene Weigel and writer Elizabeth Hauptmann—joined talents to create the theatrical and musical masterworks The Threepenny Opera and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, only to split in rancor as their culture cracked open and their aesthetic and temperamental differences became irreconcilable.

"The Partnership is the first book to tell the full story of Brecht and Weill's impulsive, combustible partnership, the compelling psychological drama of one of the most important creative collaborations of the past century. It is also the first book to give full credit where it is richly due to the three women whose creative gifts contributed enormously to their masterworks. And it tells the thrilling and iconic story of artistic daring entwined with sexual freedom during the Weimar Republic's most fevered years, a time when art and politics and society were inextricably mixed."


https://www.amazon.com/Partnership-Brecht-Weill-Three-Germany/dp/0385534914

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2020 - 7:17 AM   
 By:   villagardens553   (Member)

I just ordered Phillip Lambro's Los Angeles, 1937. Haven't heard it yet, but one review I read said that it had a Kurt Weill flavor to it--which, frankly, conflicts with everything I've heard about Lambro's score. Looking forward to hearing it. Reading the new book on Chinatown has put me in the mood.

 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2020 - 12:02 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I just ordered Phillip Lambro's Los Angeles, 1937. Haven't heard it yet, but one review I read said that it had a Kurt Weill flavor to it--which, frankly, conflicts with everything I've heard about Lambro's score. Looking forward to hearing it. Reading the new book on Chinatown has put me in the mood.

Let us know your thoughts on Los Angeles, 1937 once you've "taken it all in"; specifically its more Weillian passages.

Speaking of things putting one in a mood, this thread and the suggestions within it have led me to all manner of Brecht-Weill-era-related things. I've just "discovered" Margo Lion (the cabaret performer, not the recently-deceased Broadway producer) and Lilian Harvey, the German "girl next door" actress from the early '30s.

 
 Posted:   Sep 20, 2020 - 3:59 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Bryan Ferry's "Bitter-Sweet" has a Brecht-Weill sound. I really like Ferry's smoky, world-weary vocal and lyrics--he even breaks out into German.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 20, 2020 - 10:51 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Slightly OT: I realize most FSMers deeply fear rock and roll music, but other than nodding appreciatively at the royalty checks, does anyone know what Lotte Lenya, Kurt Weill's widow--and sublime interpreter of Brecht-Weill music--thought of Jim and the boys' rendition of "Alabama Song"?

I would be interested in knowing this. I remember reading that Jerome Kern's widow practically had a heart attack when she heard the Platters' version of "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," which by today's standards sounds very tame.

On the other hand, Meredith Wilson's widow had positive things to say about the Fabs' cover of "Till There Was You."

 
 Posted:   Sep 20, 2020 - 3:02 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Slightly OT: I realize most FSMers deeply fear rock and roll music, but other than nodding appreciatively at the royalty checks, does anyone know what Lotte Lenya, Kurt Weill's widow--and sublime interpreter of Brecht-Weill music--thought of Jim and the boys' rendition of "Alabama Song"?

I would be interested in knowing this.


Forget it, Onya, it's FSM.

(My cursory searches for "What Lotte Lenya thought" has turned up bupkis.)

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 20, 2020 - 6:23 PM   
 By:   villagardens553   (Member)

The Kurt Weill tribute album produced by Hal Wilner is fantastic with covers by rockers, jazzbos, and eccentrics of all types and it is really an eye-opener into Weill's music. When I first heard this, mid-eighties, I was floored, and I've been a Weill nut ever since. It's called Lost in the Stars.

Also, Richard Peaslee's bizarre song-score for Marat/Sade indicates some Weill influence.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2020 - 1:49 PM   
 By:   LoungeLaura   (Member)

I thought Mr. Birri had posted this, but looks like he failed to add:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LDBqP9pX5E

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2020 - 1:59 PM   
 By:   LoungeLaura   (Member)

Bryan Ferry's "Bitter-Sweet" has a Brecht-Weill sound. I really like Ferry's smoky, world-weary vocal and lyrics--he even breaks out into German.



Speaking of Ferry, this might fit the bill:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SS-J1tCQwvg

 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2020 - 5:19 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Ferry re-did "The Bogus Man" in his now-patented '20s/early '30s style, and it is among my favorites of his--the song has that "Depths of the Great Depression" sound that obsesses me lately. Such is my love for that 1920s sound, I avoid Ferry's better-known '70s and '80s music--do forgive this madman's indulgences. wink

 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2020 - 5:34 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)



"Zen Archer" would sound better if it were "Ferry-fied", but I like it, despite Rundgren's vocal. wink

 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2020 - 4:08 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

And speaking of covers of Brecht (but not Weill), there's always Bowie's recording of Baal

Not a big David Bowie fan (though I admire and respect his ambition and huge influence on countless other artists) but I enjoyed this quite a bit. Bowie was an artist in the best sense of the word.


"The Drowned Girl"- David Bowie



This is on my shortlist of favorite Bowie vocals.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2020 - 8:49 PM   
 By:   EricHG30   (Member)

I don't think it's ever had an official release, but John Kander's score for Something for Everyone has a Weill quality to it (no big surprise since Kander often evoked Weill in his musicals with Fred Ebb--Cabaret, particularly the original stage version with Lotte Lenya's songs which were cut in the film as was that storyline,and I know it's been mentioned, and to a much lesser degree Chicago, in particular).

Though Weill changed his sound somewhat for his Broadway work, there's a lot of great stuff there too (not just My Ship, The Saga of Jenny, Speak Low and September Song, the best known Broadway stuff). I really recommend Jerry Hadley's album of Weill's Broadway songs, conducted by John McGlinn who restored for the first time their original Kurt Weill's orchestrations. http://castalbums.org/recordings/Kurt-Weill-On-Broadway-1996-Thomas-Hampson/5096

 
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