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Speak Low (Songs by Kurt Weill) & The Seven Deadly Sins [Die Sieben Todsunden] ~ von Otter

Anne Sofie von Otter , Karl-Heinz Lampe , Frederick Martin , Christfried Biebrach , James Sims , Kurt Weill , John Eliot Gardiner , Hannover North German Radio Orchestra , Bengt Forsberg Audio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 22 Songs, 1995 $11.49  
Audio CD, 1995 --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Weill: Die Sieben Todsünden - Introduktion: Andante sostenuto "Meine Schwester . . .Anne Sofie von Otter 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Weill: Die Sieben Todsünden - Faulheit: Allegro vivace "Müssiggang ist aller Laster"Frederick Martin 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Weill: Die Sieben Todsünden - Stolz: Allegretto, quasi andantino "Als wir aber"Frederick Martin 4:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Weill: Die Sieben Todsünden - Zorn: Molto agitato "Das geht nicht vorwärts"Frederick Martin 4:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Weill: Die Sieben Todsünden - Völlerei: Largo "Das ist ein Brief aus Philadelphia"Frederick Martin 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Weill: Die Sieben Todsünden - No.5 Unzucht "Und wir fanden einen Mann in Boston"Frederick Martin 5:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Weill: Die Sieben Todsünden - Habsucht: Allegro giusto "Wie hier in der Zeitung"Frederick Martin 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Weill: Die Sieben Todsünden - Neid: Allegro non troppo "Und die letzte Stadt"Frederick Martin 5:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Weill: Die Sieben Todsünden - Epilogue "Darauf kehrten wir zurück nach Lousiana"Anne Sofie von Otter 1:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Weill: Lady in the Dark - 3. My ShipAnne Sofie von Otter 2:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Weill: Lady in the Dark - 1. One Life to LiveAnne Sofie von Otter 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Weill: Buddy on the NightshiftAnne Sofie von Otter 2:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Weill: Nannas LiedAnne Sofie von Otter 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Weill: Happy End (1929) - 1. Bilbao SongAnne Sofie von Otter 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Weill: Happy End (1929) - 2. Surabaya JohnnyAnne Sofie von Otter 6:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Weill: Happy End (1929) - 6. Das Lied von der harten Nuss (Song of the Big Shot)Anne Sofie von Otter 1:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Weill: Je ne t'aime pasAnne Sofie von Otter 4:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Weill: SchickelgruberAnne Sofie von Otter 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Weill: Der AbschiedsbriefAnne Sofie von Otter 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Weill: One Touch of Venus - Foolish HeartAnne Sofie von Otter 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Weill: One Touch of Venus - Speak LowAnne Sofie von Otter 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Weill: One Touch of Venus - I'm A Stranger Here MyselfAnne Sofie von Otter 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Performer: Bengt Forsberg
  • Orchestra: Hannover North German Radio Orchestra
  • Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner
  • Composer: Kurt Weill
  • Audio CD (March 14, 1995)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GM3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,054 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

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. --David Hurwitz

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent reading from both singer and conductor January 26, 2005
By Sean
Format:Audio CD
THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS is such a brilliant mini-masterpiece (and, to me, the pinnacle of the Brecht-Weill years) that it is hard to screw up. It is a testament to the staying power of this work (and to the brilliance of Weill's music in general) that it can be performed by the likes of Lotte Lenya, Julia Migenes, Ute Lemper, Judy Kaye, Marianne Faithfull, Teresa Stratas, and -- as here -- Anne Sofie von Otter, and STILL work... and EACH of these women are totally successful in the piece on their own terms.

Here, Anne Sofie von Otter gives us an intelligent (and highly musical) rendering of the text, keeping the musical line very much intact. She sings with vibrato at times, and then will turn around and use straight-tones at moments where it is dramatically appropriate to do so. She balances the performance well, shifting gears between cool detachment (which she is often criticized for) and impassioned outbursts (which her critics often fail to notice).

John Eliot Gardiner surprised me with how easily this music seemed to come to him, especially as he seems to be a man more at home with "Period-Instrument-Mozart" than highly charged 20th century works. However, his reading of "The Rake's Progress" by Stravinsky was totally staggering. For example, his choice beginning the climactic moment of the score ("Envy") as slowly as he does caught me very much off guard at first, and I didn't really care for it at all. However, with each successive listen, I find myself "getting" this choice more and more.

Finally, the "filler." As to be expected, she is more successful with the European material than she is with the songs from Weill's Broadway years. But this is the case with about 99.9% of all opera singers who try to sing Weill's Broadway scores.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This outstanding singer has done a lot of marvelous work, including works by unfamiliar Swedish composers, songs of Korngold and Mahler, and recently a disc of songs by Cecile Chaminade. (And let's not forget her outing with Elvis Costello!)
This Weill disc is perhaps more familiar territory, but striking for the utterly intelligent singing on display. I recently heard her perform some of these songs live in recital, and they were the highlight of an afternoon that was chock-full of great moments. Yes, she has a fantastic instrument. But what distinguishes her from many others is her musical instinct - her ability to interpret, her impeccable phrasing, her total confidence in performing.
As just one example, listen to how she shapes "Surabaya, Johnny," bringing out its longing and sadness without a trace of excess. It is poignant without being maudlin. The beautiful "My Ship" sounds as effortless as if it had been written for her.
Other versions of "The Seven Deadly Sins" have been hits; Teresa Stratas and Ute Lemper's outstanding versions come to mind, and these singers are also great actresses. But for sheer vocal artistry, von Otter is hard to beat. Suave accompaniment also, by John Eliot Gardiner and the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra, and clear, natural sound. Totally engaging.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous July 15, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I've always found Ms. von Otter to be a very classy, intelligent singer. When I first bought this CD about six months ago, I was primarily interested in hearing the soprano version of "Seven Deadly Sins." Suffice it to say that this recording puts both the work and von Otter in the upper brackets of the classical music world. She sings with panache, ease, and lovely tone. Her pronunciation of each language she sings in is flawless (I challenge anyone to listen to her English and not think she could be a native speaker). On some of the songs, she betters Stratas and Lenya. I've fallen in love (so to say) with Ms. von Otter because of this recording, and have rediscovered my love for Weill's music. Give yourself a treat and get this disc.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Weill Alternative to Lenya and Lemper September 28, 2005
Format:Audio CD
`Speak Low Songs by Kurt Weill' is a great addition to the performances of Herr Weill's works by the prominent mezzo-soprano, Anne Sofie Von Otter. I have listened to many performances by Weill specialists from the archetype, Weill's wife, Lotte Lenys, for whom many of the songs were originally written to Ute Lemper and Gisela May, who lean heavily toward Lotte Lenya's gravel-voiced interpretation of Weill's songs.

Anne Sofie Von Otter breaks with this tradition and gives us what are easily the sweetest interpretations of Weill's songs from both his German and English works, which I have heard anywhere.

The flagship performance on this disc is `Die Sieben Todsunden' (`The Seven Deadly Sins') which was a cycle of songs to be sung on the stage, accompanied by dances done by a second performer. This takes the first nine (9) tracks and is at least as good as what I have heard from Weill specialist, Lemper. This album is the first time I have noticed that there are two versions of this work, and that Ms. Von Otter is performing the version for soprano.

But, I think the most moving performances come later, especially in von Otter's performances of the three numbers from `Happy End', `Bilbao-Song', `Surabaya-Johnny', and `Das Lied von der harten Nuss' (Song of the Big Shot). I have heard these done by many people, but never so sweetly. These numbers are so lovingly performed that I insist that you ignore the fact that the lyrics are in German. The accompanying booklet gives English translations, which I simply ignore and enjoy the musical talent with no filter. My understanding German has nothing to do with this, as I do the same with French, which I can just barely make out.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I expected
Let me say first that I am a von Otter FAN! I love her singing and artistry. Her recording of the early Berg songs is one of the great recordings in my humble opinion. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Kelly Martino
3.0 out of 5 stars Anne Sofie is SO not Lotte Lenya...
... and that might be all I need to write. Was it the best or the worst of a composer's luck that his first-performance interpreter should have given the all-time definitive... Read more
Published on March 19, 2009 by Giordano Bruno
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
This is a very nice selection of Weill pieces showing the full range of his output. These range from the ambitious Seven Deadly Sins to songs from Happy End to some of his... Read more
Published on January 2, 2006 by R. Albin
3.0 out of 5 stars Everything is right but the style
Weill and Brecht defined a nasty age with nasty art, writing some of the grittiest satire in the history of music. Read more
Published on September 23, 2005 by Santa Fe Listener
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant--The best of the 7 Deadly Sins recordings
Weill, and particularly anything Brecht-Weill, has suffered for too long with interpertations based on tired ham theatrics, burlesques of Lenya's style, to the point where we have... Read more
Published on October 11, 2002 by David DN
2.0 out of 5 stars Weill and A-S von Otter is NOT a good kombination
This is nothing wrong with music performance here and von Otters voice is as usual good BUT I stick to Ute Lemper (or Lotte Lenya)instead about Kurt Weill. Read more
Published on July 22, 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly great.
Anne Sophie von Otter has a fantastic voice and makes one wish there were more than just seven deadly sins and seven big cities to visit. Read more
Published on February 7, 1999 by
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