Zaubernacht. Weill's first surviving work for the stage, composed in 1922, lost for eighty years, and edited from rediscovered instrumental parts for the Kurt Weill Edition. Now a complete recording of Weill's original score by the Arte Ensemble, a chamber group made up of soloists from the NDR Philharmonic, is at hand. This sprightly dance piece is rapidly winning converts after stagings in Stuttgart, London, and Chicago, and this audio recording will show you why. The early work, composed during Weill's studies with Ferruccio Busoni, will give Weill fans some foreshadowings of his more familiar later works but holds up just fine on its own as a dance piece intended for young audiences. CPO Records 777 767-2.
Knickerbocker Holiday. From 1938, Weill's second Broadway show, and Maxwell Anderson's first musical, is finally available in a complete recording. The Collegiate Chorale and the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Bagwell, joined forces for two acclaimed concert performances of the show at Alice Tully Hall in January 2011. Both performances were recorded and distilled into this overdue recording of a neglected Broadway score, which features not only the classic "September Song" but "It Never Was You," "Nowhere to Go but Up," and "How Can You Tell an American?" A stellar cast led by Kelli O'Hara, Victor Garber, Ben Davis, and Bryce Pinkham gives a compelling performance. Ghostlight Records 8-4450.
LoveMusik. Original cast recording. Music by Kurt Weill; book by Alfred Uhry; directed by Harold Prince. Immortalizes the original production of the daring musical conceived by Prince and Uhry based on the correspondence of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya. The show's Broadway run in the spring of 2007 saw the lead roles enacted by Broadway stars Michael Cerveris and Donna Murphy, whose performances are preserved on this disc. A selection of nearly twenty-five of Weill's songs, orchestrated by Jonathan Tunick, are brought to life by the outstanding cast. Ghostlight Records 8-4425.
Happy End. First recording in English; translation by Michael Feingold. The American Conservatory Theatre's acclaimed 2006 production of Weill's and Brecht's follow-up to the Threepenny Opera is preserved on CD. Now fully recovered from a catastrophic world premiere in 1929, Happy End is entrenched in the repertoire and includes favorites like the "Bilbao-Song," "Sailors' Tango," and "Surabaya-Johnny." Featuring Charlotte Cohn and Peter Macon in the lead roles; conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos. Ghostlight Records 7915584418-2.
Hoppla! Die Weill-Lenya Biographie. Weill authority Dr. Jürgen Schebera has created a new audiobook (Hörbuch) that covers the lives and careers of Weill and Lenya. Buttressed by 27 musical excerpts drawn from existing recordings, the narrative ambitiously attempts a complete overview of their lives, with emphasis on their works and performances, including Lenya's life after 1950. Sophie Rois, Tom Pauls, and Goetz Kronburger play Lenya, Weill, and the narrator, respectively. In German. Bear Family BCD 16082 F6; ISBN: 3899162196 (6 CD's with 36-page booklet, 500 minutes of audio).
Symphonies 1 and 2, Symphonic Nocturne from Lady in the Dark. World premiere recording of Symphonic Nocturne. The first new recording of both of Weill's symphonies in several years. The early and underappreciated Symphony no. 1 (1921), composed during Weill's studies under Busoni, gets a sympathetic reading. The pairing with the "theatrical" Symphony no. 2 (1934) gives the listener a sense of Weill's development in the first half of his career. The Symphonic Nocturne, arranged by Robert Russell Bennett from the musical Lady in the Dark, is a worthy addition to the Weill discography. A Gramophone magazine top ten pick for September 2005. Naxos 8.557481.
Lady in the Dark and Down in the Valley. First CD release of Down in the Valley. A reissue of two RCA recordings from the 1950's: one derived from the NBC-Television spectacular Lady in the Dark, featuring Ann Sothern (LP originally issued as RCA Victor LM-1882); and the folk opera Down in the Valley with Marion Bell, conducted by Peter Herman Adler (78 rpm recording originally issued as RCA Victor DM 1367), also broadcast on NBC. An opportunity to hear one of the two recordings of Down in the Valley made during Weill's lifetime. Sepia 1052.
Royal Palace and Der neue Orpheus. World premiere recording of Royal Palace. Weill's early works with librettist Yvan Goll form a natural pairing. Royal Palace, a one-act opera, and Der neue Orpheus, a cantata for soprano, solo violin, and orchestra, illustrate some of the shifts taking place in Weill's musical thought in the mid-1920's. Despite decades of neglect, they sound fresh and exciting, featuring appealing modernist scores and unusually poetic texts. Both works were recorded live in London during the celebration of Weill's centenary in January 2000, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Capriccio 60 106.
The Eternal Road (Highlights). World premiere recording. At long last, excerpts from Kurt Weill's largest and most legendary work are available as one of the first releases of the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music. A cast of American singers, accompanied by a German orchestra and chorus, deliver some of the most touching and exalted scenes from the vast pageant written by Franz Werfel and staged by Max Reinhardt in 1937. The recording includes the stories of Jacob and Rachel, Miriam and Moses, the giving of the Ten Commandments, Ruth and Boaz, Jeremiah, and others. Sung in English. Conducted by Gerard Schwarz. Naxos American Classics 8.559402.
The Firebrand of Florence. World Premiere Recording. An almost unknown work from Weill's Broadway period is lovingly restored in a live recording from the London celebration of Weill's Centenary in 2000. Nearly all the critics praised the score by Weill and Ira Gershwin, but the operetta ran only 43 performances in 1945. The complete score is recorded here, while the book is replaced by clever verse summaries of the action written by Sam Brookes and narrated by Simon Russell Beale. Rodney Gilfry leads an all-star cast; the BBC Symphony is conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Capriccio 60 091 (2 CD's).
This Is New. Inspired by Weill, the great jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater has issued a new album of eleven of his finest songs, from "Alabama Song" to "Lost in the Stars." Backed by an outstanding combo, she takes a variety of stylistic approaches to the music, bringing a fresh, surprising treatment to each one and setting a remarkable new standard for popular renditions of Weill. Not to be missed. Verve 016 884-2 (U.S. release: Verve 440 016 884-2).
Der Protagonist. World Premiere Recording. Weill's first opera, composed in 1924-25 and premiered in Dresden in 1926. A one-act work with a libretto by expressionist playwright Georg Kaiser, this early stage composition helped consolidate Weill's reputation as one of Germany's leading young composers. The new recording was made in the wake of a well-received concert performance and radio broadcast in Germany, April 2000. Conducted by John Mauceri. Capriccio 60 086.
Die Bürgschaft. World Premiere Recording. Weill's largest work from the German period, this three-act opera (libretto by Caspar Neher) premiered in 1932 and has been revived only a few times. This complete recording captures the highly-praised performance at the 1999 Spoleto Festival USA. Conducted by Julius Rudel. EMI 7243 5 56976 2.
Die Dreigroschenoper. A newly edited version of the music of Die Dreigroschenoper (part of the Kurt Weill Edition, edited by Stephen Hinton and Edward Harsh) is recorded for the first time by the Ensemble Modern led by HK Gruber. Singers include Max Raabe, Sona MacDonald, Nina Hagen, and Gruber himself. The songs are connected by Brecht's own brief narrations, also recorded here for the first time. RCA 74321-66133-2.
Charming Weill: Dance Band Arrangements. Weill maven HK Gruber leads the Palast Orchester and vocalist Max Raabe in performances of twenty Weill songs in popular arrangements. These numbers were re-scored by Weill's publishers for commercial exploitation (with his approval) and cover nearly his entire career, from Die Dreigroschenoper to Lost in the Stars. Released in the U.S. as "Life, Love, and Laughter." RCA Red Seal 09026 63513 2.
DISCLAIMER: These recordings are listed purely as a service to users of the Kurt Weill web site. The fact that they are listed on this page does not imply endorsement or approval by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music.