Ute Lemper at the late eighties, made a marvelous, dazzling idiomatic and if you may, historical collaboration with John Mauceri at the front of the RIAS BERLIN SINFONIETTA, remarking with major possible fidelity, the anger, hopeless, depravation and existential bitterness of Weimar Republic.
…Marianne has spent her life researching this work. She displays that rare intelligence that allows all "misfortunes" to be converted to her benefit. There is a detachment that allows one to be intimately involved with, but not consumed by this type of work. This is her best work in quite some time. She deserves all the accolades that come her way as a serious singer who can pull off the piece. A wonderful disc from one whose live presence we must count as miraculous considering what she has lived through.
Kurt Weill's ballet with songs is one of this century's greatest theatrical works. It has all the wit and melodic appeal of The Threepenny Opera and social conscience of Mahagonny, but more warmth and musical sophistication than either. It's also all over with in about 40 minutes. Some critics believe the piece was intended as a sort of love poem to Weill's wife, Lotte Lenya; given the tenderness of much of the music, it's hard to disagree. Lenya herself recorded the piece in the 1950s (a recording recently reissued by Sony) and this very much newer performance is welcome particularly for Anne Sofie von Otter's highly intelligent and musical way with the text. The other songs, from both Weill's Berlin and Broadway periods, make the perfect filler.