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Ute Lemper: Sings Kurt Weill/Michael Nyman Songbook

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Mar 11, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews


Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Ute Lemper, Michael Nyman, Beverley Davison, Madeleine Mitchell, Anne Morfee
  • Directors: Jean-Pierre Barizien, Volker Schlöndorff
  • Writers: Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Celan
  • Producers: Eberhard Junkersdorf, Herbert Chappell, Tony Staveacre
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Best of, Color, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Unknown
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Decca
  • DVD Release Date: March 11, 2003
  • Run Time: 154 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006LJAS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,046 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ute Lemper: Sings Kurt Weill/Michael Nyman Songbook" on IMDb

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Top Customer Reviews

This DVD contains two separate Ute Lemper concerts.
The first is a 1992 concert filmed for French TV which consists of her highly regarded interpretations of Kurt Weill's work. She sings Weill's work in its original language; thus, the songs from "Threepenny Opera" and early Weill are sung in German, songs from Weill's (brief) Paris period are sung in French, and late Broadway Weill is sung in English. A booklet is provided with English translations; however, no on-screen subtitles are supplied. (Why? Why? Why?). Ms. Lemper's performances run the gamut from serious to vivacious and funny. This part of the disc (about 1.5 hours) is superb and highly recommended for all audiences.
The second concert is also from 1992 and was filmed by famed German director Volker Schlöndorff ('The Tin Drum', 'Lost Honor of Katerina Blum'). But forget that, the direction is subtle, almost opaque and ultimately not important to the concert. The focus here is on the music. The concert consist solely of Michael Nyman's music, with texts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (yes, WORDS by Mozart), Arthur Rimbaud, and Paul Celan. Nyman's art songs definitely won't be everybody's cup of tea. This is 'SERIOUS ART,' self-consciously so. Some will enjoy; other will find it pretentious and a bore. It's about an hour.
Since this is a double feature, this is quite a bargain. If you enjoy Ute Lemper's Weill interpretations, by all means take a chance on this disc. You may or may not enjoy the Nyman concert; even if you don't consider it a freebie tossed onto a great, great Kurt Weill recital.
The sound quality is quite good, and the picture quality is above average. The format is 4:3; this disc is not enhanced for 16:9 sets.
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Ute Lemper Chante Kurt Weill concert on this disc is absolutely stunning. It's just Ms. Lemper and an awesome piano player, providing a very intimate atmosphere. Her live versions of "Le Grand Lustucru" and "Bilbao" are even better than the recorded versions and, for me, the standout here is "Youkali." Ms. Lemper performs 20 classic Weill songs and the second concert features higlights from her collaboration with the British composer Michael Nyman; as the other reviewer noted the second concert may not be for everyone but a nice booklet is included with the dvd that provides lyrics and translations and some background notes. So if you want to be entertained or love literature Ms. Lemper is the ultimate choice!
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The terms Ute Lemper" and phenomenon" are synonymous. That could already sum up any product her name signs with. In case of the DVD "Ute Lemper sings Kurt Weill" one has to add a few words. As in many cases customers have to read the fine print". The real sensation on this DVD is the second concert called Michael Nyman Songbook".
Since it doesn't really surprise that Lemper is a stupendous interpreter of Kurt Weill's music, the confrontation with Michael Nyman's' songs is a real discovery. Best known for his legendary film scores (THE PIANO, THE COOK THE THIEF HIS WIFE & HER LOVER etc.), Nyman demonstrates his versatility as a writer of songs based on lyrics by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart(!), Paul Celan and Arthur Rimbaud.
The presentation of the concert, featuring Lemper, Michael Nyman and the Michael Nyman Band turns out to be a piece of art of it's own, since Oscar® winner Volker Schloendorff (best known for THE TIN DRUM and DEATH OF A SALESMAN) is responsible for the direction. Filmed by the internationally acclaimed cinematographer Igor Luther, starring Ute Lemper and Michael Nyman, music by Michael Nyman, directed by Volker Schloendorff, transfers MICHAEL NYMAN SONGBOOK into a movie of it's own kind.
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