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The Threepenny Opera (1954 New York Cast) (Blitzstein Adaptation) [Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Cast Recording]

Lotte Lenya, Beatrice Arthur, Charlotte Rae, Marc Blitzstein, Jo Sullivan Loesser, John Astin, Scott Merrill, Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht, Various ArtistsAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

Price: $11.18 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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MP3 Music, 23 Songs, 2000 $11.49  
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

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

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Prologue "The Threepenny Opera" (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Gerald Price0:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Overture "The Threepenny Opera" (1954 Original Broadway Cast)Samuel Matlowsky 1:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Ballad Of Mack The Knife (1954 Original Broadway Cast)Gerald Price 3:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Morning Anthem (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Martin Wolfson0:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Instead-Of-Song (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Charlotte Rae 1:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Army Song (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)John Astin 2:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Wedding Song (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)John Astin 1:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Love Song (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Jo Sullivan 1:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Ballad Of Dependency (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Charlotte Rae 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. The World Is Mean (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Jo Sullivan 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Melodrama And Polly's Song (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Jo Sullivan 2:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Pirate Jenny (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Lotte Lenya 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Tango-Ballad (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Lotte Lenya 4:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Ballad Of The Easy Life (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Scott Merrill 1:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Barbara Song (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Beatrice Arthur 3:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Jealousy Duet (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Jo Sullivan 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. How To Survive (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Charlotte Rae 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Useless Song (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Martin Wolfson0:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Solomon Song (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Lotte Lenya 2:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Call From The Grave (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Scott Merrill 3:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Death Message (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)Scott Merrill 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Finale (The Threepenny Opera/1954 Original Broadway Cast/Remastered)William Duell 3:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. The Ballad Of Mack The KnifeLotte Lenya 2:38$0.99  Buy MP3 


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The Threepenny Opera (1954 New York Cast) (Blitzstein Adaptation) + Lotte Lenya sings Kurt Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins & Berlin Theatre Songs + Lotte Lenya Sings Kurt Weill / Levine, Lenya, Armstrong, Gilford, et al
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 29, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: 1954
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Cast Recording
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B00004X09T
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,583 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Celebrate the Kurt Weill centenary with the return of the acclaimed original American cast recording of The Threepenny Opera starring Lotte Lenya! And don't miss the bonus track-an unreleased recording of Lenya singing Mack the Knife accompanied by Marc Blitzstein on piano!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lotte Lenya and Bea Arthur in Kurt Weill's masterpiece! November 11, 2003
Format:Audio CD
THE THREEPENNY OPERA is indeed Weill and Brecht's masterpiece. The darkly humorous, anarchic and gritty musical has influenced many works throughout the ensuing decades (a recent example being URINETOWN). The now-legendary 1954 off-Broadway revival at the Theatre de Lys is still agruably the greatest production of THREEPENNY, which featured new lyrics translated by Marc Blitzstein (JUNO).
Decca Broadway's reissue of the cast album is average, though. Several dropouts and surface hiss are slightly off-putting to the ear.
Lotte Lenya plays the role of the streetwalker Jenny Diver, and her rendition of "Pirate Jenny" is one of the two major highlights from the set. The other highlight is Bea Arthur's portrayal of Lucy Brown; her reading of "Barbara Song" is full of grit and she belts it in grand style.
Jo Sullivan (who would later marry Frank Loesser) gives a sparkling performance as Polly Peachum, joining Bea Arthur for the caustic "Jealousy Duet". Scott Merrill adds his silvery voice to the menacing "Mack the Knife". The cast also features Charlotte Rae and Martin Wolfson.
Also included is a rare recording of Lotte Lenya singing "Mack the Knife", accompanied by Marc Blitzstein at the piano.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good despite watered-down lyrics April 8, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is an excellent recording, marred only by the fact that the record company forced Blitzstein to censor a number of the lyrics, including some of the best and brightest ones. If you've seen a stage production of this play, you may be disappointed by the toning-down of the lyrics on this.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! August 29, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
At last, the groundbreaking 1954 off-broadway cast recording is available. Bea Arthur and Lotte Lenya give stand-out performances. All-in-all a superb rendition of this stunning score with a very accessible translation by Marc Blitztein. Everyone has their favorite but, for me, this version gives a much more "raw" and "authentic" interpretation, on par with (if not better than) the Lincoln Center production (with Raul Julia as Mack -- which one hopes will also be on CD soon) and certainly more engaging than the Donmar Warehouse version. If you haven't heard this one yet, give it a try.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic returns February 6, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I've been looking for this CD for years (I played my LP to groovy death). I'm overjoyed. It's conventional wisdom these days to knock the Blitzstein translation of Dreigroschenoper as tamer than the Brecht original. So what we get instead are closer to Brecht's literal meaning and a long way from his wit. Blitzstein is the only translator so far to actually produce decent lyrics in English. His translation is freer, in both senses of the word, though it's still pretty close to Brecht. Furthermore, it actually gets the blood racing. Add to this a terrific performance, headed by Weill's widow, keeper of the flame, and one of the greatest actress of the 20th century, Lotte Lenya and including Jo Sullivan, Bea Arthur, John Astin, a host of others, and a crisp, brash chamber ensemble, all wonderfully seedy, and you have the finest English recording of this visionary score.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant- and like nothing else you've heard December 20, 2001
Format:Audio CD
What a find! To hear the original 1954 cast of this show is such a treat. To hear actresses like Charlotte Rae and Bea Arthur, now best known for mediocre 1970s and 80s sitcoms, performing in their prime- well, that alone is worth the price of the album.
The feel of this production is, I suspect, very close to the plays Brech and Weill were writing back in Germany in the Weimar days- certainly more so than attempts to recreate it in shows like "Cabaret". And the sound of the remastered recording is absolutely stunning- close your eyes and you're sitting there in the front row of a tiny off-broadway theater, listening to the show unfold before you.
And the music- well, these are songs that are still being recorded and interpereted by artists today. Sting's version of Mack the Knife. Stan Ridgeway's "Army Song".
What else can I say? Buy it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Threepenny Opera at Laast December 17, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Finally the original New York cast recording has been made available on CD! All I can say is that this is one of the greatest theatrical works that I have ever been exposed to, and I can't believe that I can finally listen to it on CD as opposed to my original vinyl copy. Also, the chilling bonus track of "Mack the Knife" featuring Lotte Lenya on vocals and Marc Blitzstein on piano makes buying this score all over again well worth it. The re-release of the Threepenny Opera is not to be missed.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Set the stage for the entire VIetnam protest era! December 17, 2007
Format:Audio CD
I happen to think this is a grand performance and the Blitzstein lyrics right on target, but forget all that for a moment and consider this:

This Theater de Lys program captivated a young and very hip New York City audience for three significant years---from 1954 to '57. There are two basic elements here that I find terribly important.

First, the essentially hostile attitude of the performers toward their public. When I saw it I recall the musicians coming out and actually thumbing their noses at the audience. Hey Mick Jagger, were you there by any chance? I assumed this was part of the atmosphere of the first production in Berlin back in the pre-Nazi Weimar days. But why was that relevant to New Yorkers in the "silent generation" 1950s?

Secondly, there is the basic concept around which the entire work is constructed---The poor, the hopeless, the great unwashed, taking to the streets in all their wretchedness to confront and seek to embarass and humiliate the establishment (read U.S. federal government instead of British Royalty). And of course the goal is to make it coincide with an important establishment politicaal event: Coronation Day.

Does anyone still remember the opening of the New York World's Fair in the mid-sixties? THe reverend Al Sharpton's threats of violence in the streets meant almost no one turned out to see or hear Lyndon Johnson's appearance at the World's Fair site.

Given the time frame, this version of the Threepenny Opera was more than prescient. It helpled create the methodology for the anti-war and pro-civil rights demos that followed just a few years later. Quite an achievement for an off broadway version of a 30 year old German musical comedy!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. A joy to listen to which I do ...
Excellent. A joy to listen to which I do quite frequently. Would highly recommend.
Published 25 days ago by Sheri Souleiman
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Miracle, a Phenomenon, a Shining Landmark in the History of the...
Marc Blitzstein, who furnished the above quotation, didn't write THE THREEPENNY OPERA but he translated and adapted Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's 1920s German piece, a landmark... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Allen Smalling
5.0 out of 5 stars Threepenny Opera was Outstanding
The production was excellent from beginning to end. Excellent singers and actors. Excellent staging and costumes and music. Highly recommended. Read more
Published 5 months ago by karl holtzschue
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Mom
My mom saw the play and had the album. She asked me to get the CD. She loves the soundtrack especially with Bea Arthur on it.
Published 5 months ago by Charles Nadler
5.0 out of 5 stars Best English language cast album.
Great album, excellent. A great adaptation of the German language original classic. A must have for any threepenny opera fan.
Published 6 months ago by Christopher Dunne
5.0 out of 5 stars Great rerelease of the 1954 Blitzstein adaptation
The women steal the show. Charlotte Rae as Mrs Peachum is venomous, as suits the part. Bea Arthur and Jo Sullivan as Lucy and Polly are perfect antagonists in the battle for... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A revisit of great theatre.
I saw this original performance in New York and it was a
wonderful experience. This brings back a lot of
happy memories of great theater.
Published 14 months ago by P. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Threepenny Opera Blitzstein Translation
Just before recording, record company execs arrived at the studio
and said 'Those lyrics can't go through the Post Office; they'll violate
the obscenity laws. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Max The Piano Player
5.0 out of 5 stars an older dvd
what can i say? i am totally familiar with this work and of course would not have ordered it if i didn't like it. it came on time and was professionally wrapped
Published 20 months ago by neuriarnold
5.0 out of 5 stars A great listening experience
I don't understand the fulminating about the number of seconds between cuts and the sanitization of some crude bits. Read more
Published on October 1, 2012 by MSY
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