Ute Lemper: Sings Kurt Weill/Michael Nyman Songbook
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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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ute Lemper gives you her best. These songs by Kurt Weill come to life in her performance. Thank you so much.Published on January 1, 2014 by Mr. Ed
Although there's a booklet, I miss subtitles.
You'll not regret buying it.
Both shows are very good. Read more