Ute Lemper sings Kurt Weill

Two contrasting recitals by one unique singer reappear refreshed on DVD

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Michael Nyman, Kurt (Julian) Weill

Genre:

Vocal

Label: Decca

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

Stereo
DDD

Catalogue Number: 074 165-9DH

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Prospero's Books (Michael) Nyman Band
Michael Nyman
Michael Nyman Composer
Je ne t'aime pas Jeff Cohen
Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Ute Lemper
Lady in the Dark Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Ute Lemper
Jeff Cohen
(A) Letter and a Riddle Michael Nyman Composer
Michael Nyman
(Michael) Nyman Band
Ute Lemper
Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, 'Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny' Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Ute Lemper
Jeff Cohen
(Das) Berliner Requiem Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Ute Lemper
Jeff Cohen
(L') Orgie Parisienne Michael Nyman
(Michael) Nyman Band
Michael Nyman Composer
Ute Lemper
Youkali Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Jeff Cohen
Ute Lemper
Marie Galante Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Ute Lemper
Jeff Cohen
Lady in the Dark Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Jeff Cohen
Ute Lemper
(Der) Dreigroschenoper, '(The) Threepenny Opera' Ute Lemper
Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Jeff Cohen
(Der) Dreigroschenoper, '(The) Threepenny Opera' Ute Lemper
Jeff Cohen
Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, 'Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny' Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Ute Lemper
Jeff Cohen
Marie Galante Ute Lemper
Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Jeff Cohen
Knickerbocker Holiday Jeff Cohen
Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Ute Lemper
Lost in the Stars Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Ute Lemper
Jeff Cohen
Complainte de la Seine Ute Lemper
Jeff Cohen
Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
One Touch of Venus Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Ute Lemper
Jeff Cohen
Happy End Ute Lemper
Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Jeff Cohen
Happy End Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Jeff Cohen
Ute Lemper
Marie Galante Ute Lemper
Jeff Cohen
Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Lady in the Dark Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Jeff Cohen
Ute Lemper
(The) Firebrand of Florence Kurt (Julian) Weill Composer
Ute Lemper
Jeff Cohen
(6) Songs (Michael) Nyman Band
Michael Nyman Composer
Michael Nyman
Ute Lemper
As she demonstrated in London’s Chicago cast, Ute Lemper is a consummate musical star with an engaging line in gamey sensuality à la Marlene Dietrich; but her full, sour-sweet voice and mordant expressiveness lend themselves to deeper things.

The Weill recital, filmed at the magnificently decrepit Les Bouffes du Nord in Paris, covers similar ground to her Decca CDs, spanning the composer’s career from Brecht and Berlin to his disastrous Paris sojourn and final apotheosis in the America he had so often traduced. It’s here, though, in his Broadway hits – especially One Touch of Venus – that she is most successful.

Despite the peeling-plaster ambience, this is a sophisticated little staging, keenly directed and lit; and for all the rolled r’s and vibrant bitterness she brings to the Brecht songs, they seem just too slick and smooth, far removed from Lotte Lenya’s agitprop-laden rasp. This might be fair enough, recalling the Brecht who had his ‘proletarian’ clothes expensively tailored, but ‘Moritat von Mackie Messer’ especially is stylised to the point of emasculation.

The Michael Nyman recital is filmed with added video imagery – by Volker Schlöndorff, no less. The Mozartian Letter and a Riddle is unexciting, but Nyman’s free-wheeling blend of minimalism, classical and jazz idiom suits Rimbaud’s off-the-wall imagery in L’Orgie Parisienne, as does Lemper’s cheerfully louche delivery (despite variable French). By contrast, she delivers his grim settings of Celan’s Holocaust poems with the searing, gritty power that the Brecht songs lacked. She makes it amply clear she’s to be taken seriously – but without forgetting her fun value, either.

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