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Love Song: The Lives of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya Hardcover – October 16, 2012

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Twenty years ago, Mordden published the best book on the greatest team in the history of the American musical, Rodgers & Hammerstein (1992). Now he presents the best book on the foremost couple in twentieth-century musical theater, who depended on one another for 25 years, during 5 of which they were divorced, yet did a mere handful of pieces together. Of course, one of those is the arguably greatest work of twentieth-century musical theater, Die Dreigroschenoper—The Threepenny Opera. Only after his death, in 1950, did she become for the world what she was for him, his definitive exponent. Mordden portrays them as an odd couple, she the quintessential good-time girl, who exploited her magnetic attractiveness to captivate theater audiences as well as plenty of lovers; he a dedicated, adventurous composer, ever seeking a new theatrical challenge, who could have only one woman in his life. Mordden doesn’t show them developing into their characters or more than mention their nonworking lives, so that this isn’t the dual biography the subtitle suggests. But then, good biographies of each already exist, as Mordden acknowledges in a fine bibliographical essay (there’s also a marvelous discographical essay). Mordden instead appreciatively chronicles Weill’s and Lenya’s careers, writing with flair and personality rarely found in anyone who knows his subject so thoroughly. --Ray Olson

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"With smart, chatty and occasionally hilarious prose...Mordden ably captures both artists and their ever-changing geographical and professional locales."―Kirkus Reviews
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312676573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312676575
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,404,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Yes, Lotte Lenya's in there, too. But it's really the story of a man who set out to create his own life and art in defiance of every norm and restriction. I have a particular interest in this era of German history, and I've never seen a better reconstruction of life in the Weimar Republic than Mordden provides. He has a tendency to stray from
the matter at hand to elaborate on some apparently minor point. But by the time he's done, you realize that it isn't a minor point at all. This is a rich story told in a very lively, even sprightly manner. I mostly know the author's work from his quixotic fiction, and he has the same personality when narrating his non-fiction. It's all storytelling, with
cliffhanger chapter endings and sudden twists. I like his theory that there aren't two different Kurt Weill careers, one in Germany and one in the U. S. Mordden says Weill was interested in creating a new kind of music play all the way along, and in America he perfected it. Readers should also look up Foster Hirsch's Kurt Weill book, because he goes into details about the Weill shows that Mordden doesn't get to.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A must read for those interested in World and American musical theatre; well researched and nice insider feel for those profiled.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is not really a bio of either, and it is pretty limited even in describing their life together. It is very disjointed. I found it a big disappointment.
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Love Song: The Lives of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya
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