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Kurt Weill: A portrait - from Berlin to New York



Kurt Weill was a completely groundbreaking composer in that he, along with Bertolt Brecht developed the characteristic cabaret style (Song) inspired by the American jazz music, minstrel shows and vaudeville with influences from Jewish klezmer music. Tango often played a major role, even in his operas. Often Weill sought after a Verfremdungseffekt, by using odd chords for the key, achieving a kind of desolation and unpleasant feeling. In the 1920s, his songs often sung by an actor. The perfomance was often characterized as Sprechgesang, recitative, helping the message to carry over the ramp. Lotte Lenya, Kurt Weill's wife, was a very successful actress with strong charisma but with an almost unlovely voice. She came to survive her husband by over 30 years and was his best ambassador.

When Weill came to Paris he changed his style. The songs then had a softer image. When he later came to New York he toned down some of the characteristic cabaret style in favor of a more Broadway-customed style. Nevertheless, there remain elements of Hebrew flavour and typical Weill touches in these songs. Many of these are now considered to belong to The American Songbook.

On this recording we have strived to portray the musical development of Kurt Weill, from Berlin to Broadway, from 1928 to 1950, and have selected songs that are characteristic for each period. Torsten Mossberg

Kurt Weill: A portrait - from Berlin to New York


"The Sterling label offers us, in a compact double, a journey through the compositions of the famous German composer Kurt Weill. For this they have made a chronological musical portrait of pieces that can be said that he was an innovative composer and that together with Bertolt Brecht he developed the musical style of the cabaret song, inspired by American jazz music, minstrel shows and the vaudeville, together with the influences of Jewish klezmer music. The first of the two compact ones presents songs in German, in Yiddish and in French, while on the contrary in the second all the compositions are in English. With this work led mostly by the tenor Torsten Mossberg, and as manifested in the notebook notes of the compact, the project has tried to "portray the musical development of Kurt Weill from Berlin to Broadway, from 1928 to 1950". The interpreted songs have a short duration of time and are arranged between the harp and the piano and the different vocal registers of the performers although it is also possible to listen to compositions in the canonical trio piano-contrabass-drums format as the theme "This Is New "," Speak Low "," Here I'll Stay ". The character of cabaret song is clearly palpable throughout the entire recording, all in order to demonstrate the temporary nature of Kurt Weill that is intended to be reflected in this compact double by Torsten Mossberg and the rest of training that accompanies him. A project that serves to demonstrate the value of Kurt Weill and that his followers and admirers will do well to take into account in order to include this recording in his club." - Joan Carles Abelenda