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Kurt Weill Reading & Listening

Selected Readings for General Audiences

 

IN ENGLISH

Drew, David. Kurt Weill: A Handbook. London: Faber; Berkeley: University of California, 1987.

Farneth, David with Elmar Juchem and Dave Stein, eds. Kurt Weill: A life in pictures and documents. New York: Overlook, 1999. (Paperback edition: Overlook, 2004.)

Graber, Naomi. Kurt Weill’s America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021.

Hinton, Stephen. Weill’s Musical Theater: Stages of Reform. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012.

Hinton, Stephen, ed. Kurt Weill: The Threepenny Opera. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Hirsch, Foster. Kurt Weill on Stage: From Berlin to Broadway. New York: Knopf, 2002.

Katz, Pamela. The Partnership: Brecht, Weill, Three Women, and Germany on the Brink. New York: Doubleday/Nan A. Talese, 2015. (Paperback edition: Anchor Books, 2015.)

Sanders, Ronald. The Days Grow Short: The Life and Music of Kurt Weill. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980.

Schebera, Jürgen. Kurt Weill: an Illustrated Life. Trans. Caroline Murphy. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.

Weill, Kurt and Lotte Lenya. Speak Low (When You Speak Love): The Letters of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya. Trans. and ed. Lys Symonette and Kim H. Kowalke. Berkeley: University of California, 1996.

Volumes of the Kurt Weill Edition contain substantial essays and commentary on Weill’s works.

Information on Weill’s writings, including links to full texts of his writings and interviews in English can be found HERE.

 

IN GERMAN

Farneth, David with Elmar Juchem and Dave Stein. Kurt Weill: Ein Leben in Bildern und Dokumenten. Trans. Elmar Juchem. Berlin: Ullstein, 2000.

Schebera, Jürgen. Kurt Weill: Eine Biographie in Texten, Bildern, und Dokumenten. Leipzig and Mainz: VEB Deutscher Verlag and B. Schott, 1990.

Schebera, Jürgen. Kurt Weill: konzis. Mainz: Schott, 2016. (Serie: Musik.)

Weill, Kurt. Musik und Musikalisches Theater: Gesammelte Schriften mit einer Auswahl von Gesprächen und Interviews. Revised and expanded edition edited by Stephen Hinton and Jürgen Schebera with Elmar Juchem. Mainz: Schott, 2000.

Weill, Kurt and Lotte Lenya. Sprich leise wenn Du Liebe sagst: Der Briefwechsel Kurt Weill/Lotte Lenya. Ed. and trans. by Lys Symonette und Kim H. Kowalke. Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 1998.

 

IN FRENCH

Bélicha, Roland, Kurt Weill et la France. Paris: Editions au Net, 2011.

Bélicha, Roland. Perdu dans les étoiles, ou, Le destin juif de Kurt Weill. Paris: Editions au Net, 2018.

Huynh, Pascal. Kurt Weill, ou la conquête des masses. Arles: Actes Sud, 2000.

Huynh, Pascal, et al., ed. Kurt Weill de Berlin à Broadway. Paris: Cité de la Musique, 2021.

 

IN ITALIAN

Bassi, Adriano. Kurt Weill. Milan: Targa Italiana, 1988. (I grandi musicisti del XX secolo)

 

Selected Weill Song Anthologies

Ballade von der sexuellen Hörigkeit und andere Songs für Gesang und Klavier. Universal Edition, 1929 (UE 9787). Originally published as “Song-Album.”

Kurt Weill Songs: A Centennial Anthology. Warner Bros., 1999. 2 volumes (PF 9921, PF 9922). Reprints of sheet music published during Weill’s lifetime. Over 100 songs arranged alphabetically by title.

The Unknown Kurt Weill: A Collection of 14 Songs, edited by Lys Symonette, as sung by Teresa Stratas. European American Music, 1982 (EA-493).

Unsung Weill: 22 Songs Cut from Broadway Shows and Hollywood Films, edited by Elmar Juchem. European American Music, 2002 (EA-830).

Selected Recordings of Works by Weill

The following are recommended recordings, organized in three broad groups, Stage Works, Concert Works, and Song Collections, according to work title. Those recordings currently available for streaming on Spotify are provided with a direct hyperlink.

STAGE WORKS

Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny). Trans. Michael Feingold. La Fura dels Baus, Teatro Real Madrid, Alex Ollé and Carlus Padrissa, dir., Pablo Heras-Casado, cond. With Measha Brueggergosman, Michael König, Jane Henschel. BelAir Classiques BAC067 (DVD)/BAC467 (Blu-ray), 2011 (rec. 2010).

Die Bürgschaft. Spoleto Festival USA, Westminster Choir, Julius Rudel, cond. With Frederick Burchinal, Dale Travis, Margaret Thompson. EMI Classics CD 7243 5 56976 2 2, 2000 (rec. 1999).

Down in the Valley. Cast of 1950 NBC-Television Broadcast. RCA Victor Orchestra and Chorus, Peter Herman Adler, cond. With Marion Bell, William McGraw, Kenneth Smith. Sepia Records Sepia CD 1052, 2005 (rec. 1950).

Down in the Valley. Recording supervised by Weill. Maurice Levine, cond. With Alfred Drake, Jane Wilson, Norman Atkins. Stage Door Records CD STAGE 2490, 2019 (rec. 1950).

Die Dreigroschenoper. Ensemble Modern, HK Gruber, cond. With Max Raabe, Nina Hagen, Sona MacDonald. BMG Classics 74321-66133-2, 1999.

Die Dreigroschenoper. Die Dreigroschenoper: Berlin 1930. Telefunken Legacy 0927 42663 2, 2002 (rec. 1928-1930).
Note: These historic recordings have been re-released many times on CD.

Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera). Marc Blitzstein, adaptor. Original Off-Broadway Cast. Samuel Matlowsky, cond. With Lotte Lenya, Scott Merrill. Decca Broadway 012 159 463-2, 2000 (rec. 1954).

The Firebrand of Florence. BBC Symphony and BBC Singers, Sir Andrew Davis, cond. With Rodney Gilfry, Lori Ann Fuller, George Dvorsky, Sam Brookes, Simon Russell Beale. Capriccio 60 091, 2003 (rec. 2000).

Happy End. Pro Musica Köln, König Ensemble, Jan Latham-König, cond. Capriccio 60 015-1, 1990 (rec. 1988).

Happy End. Trans. Michael Feingold. American Conservatory Theater, Constantine Kitsopoulos, cond. With Charlotte Cohn, Peter Macon, Linda Mugleston, Sab Shimono, et al. Ghostlight Records 7915584418-2, 2007 (rec. 2006).

Der Jasager. Düsseldorf Children’s Chorus and Chamber Orchestra, Siegfried Köhler, cond. With Willibald Vohla, Joseph Protschka, Lys Bert Symonette. Naxos Classical Archives, 2000; Polydor 839 727-2, 1989 (rec. 1955).

Johnny Johnson. Boston Camerata and the Otaré Pit Band, Joel Cohen, cond. Erato 0630-17870-2, 1997 (rec. 1996).

Knickerbocker Holiday. Live recording of concert performance. Collegiate Chorale, American Symphony Orchestra, James Bagwell, cond. With Kelli O’Hara, Victor Garber, Bryce Pinkham, Ben Davis. Ghostlight Records 8-4450, 2011.

Knickerbocker Holiday. Excerpts from radio broadcast of 1945. Maurice Abravanel, cond. With Walter Huston, Ray Middleton, Harry Meehan. AEI-CD 007, 1984 (rec. 1945).

Der Kuhhandel. Volksoper Wien, David Pountney, dir., Christoph Eberle, cond. With Ursula Pfitzner, Dietmar Kirschbaum, Michael Kraus. Phoenix Edition DVD 803, 2008 (rec. 2007).

Lady in the Dark. Radio version, excerpts. Maurice Abravanel, cond. With Gertrude Lawrence, Macdonald Carey. AEI-CD-003, 1992 (rec. 1947).

Lady in the Dark. Original London Cast, Royal National Theatre. Mark W. Dorrell, cond. With Maria Friedman, James Dreyfus, Steven Edward Moore. JAY Records CDJAY 1278/TER CDTER 1244, 1998 (rec. 1997).

Lost in the Stars. Original Broadway Cast Recording. Maurice Levine, cond. With Todd Duncan. Decca Broadway CD 0881 10302-2, 2001 (rec. 1949).

Lost in the Stars. Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Julius Rudel, cond. With Arthur Woodley, Gregory Hopkins, Cynthia Clarey, Carol Woods. MusicMasters Classics CD 01612-67100-2, 1993.

LoveMusik. Original Broadway Cast. With Michael Cerveris, Donna Murphy, et al. Ghostlight Records 8-4425, 2007.

Mahagonny Songspiel. Ensemble Modern, HK Gruber, cond. Ensemble Modern Medien EMCD-040, 2019.

One Touch of Venus. Excerpts. Maurice Abravanel, cond. With Mary Martin, Kenny Baker. MCA Classics MCAD 11354, 1996 (rec. 1943); Pearl CD GEMM CDS 9189.

One Touch of Venus. National Symphony Orchestra, John Owen Edwards and James Holmes, cond. With Melissa Errico, Brent Barrett, Ron Raines, et al. Jay Records CDJAY2 1362, 2014 (rec. 2000, 2012).

One Touch of Venus (Ein Hauch von Venus). Trans. Roman Hinze. Dresden Staatsoperette, Peter Christian Feigel, cond. HitSquad Records CD 668416, 2019.

Der Protagonist. Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, John Mauceri, cond. Capriccio 60 086, 2001 (rec. 2000).

Railroads on Parade. Original Cast. Radio broadcast from 1940 consisting of over half the show. Transcription Recordings, Inc., 2012 (rec. 1940).

Royal Palace. BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis, cond. Capriccio CD 60 106, 2004 (rec. 2000).

Die sieben Todsünden. Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg, cond. Lotte Lenya, Anna I. Sony Masterworks Heritage MHK 63222, 1997 (rec. 1955); re-issued as Sony Classical 82876 78754 2, 2006; re-issued on Line Music 5.00991, 2007; re-issued Membran Music 232580, 2009; re-issued on Sony Classical 88691932192, 2012. Low-voice arrangement by Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg.

Die sieben Todsünden. NDR-Sinfonieorchester, John Eliot Gardiner, cond. Anne Sofie von Otter, Anna I. Speak Low. Deutsche Grammophon DGG CD 439 894-2, 1994. Original keys and orchestrations.

Die sieben Todsünden. Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Herbert Kegel, cond. Gisela May, Anna I. Berlin Classics 0013752BC, 2006 (rec. 1966); original: Polydor 429 333-2. Low-voice arrangement by Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg.

Der Silbersee. London Sinfonietta, Markus Stenz, cond. With Heinz Kruse, HK Gruber, Juanita Lascarro. BMG Classics 09026-63447-2, 1999 (rec. 1996).

Street Scene. Original Broadway Cast. Maurice Abravanel, cond. CBS Masterworks MK 44668, rec. 1947.

Street Scene. John Mauceri, cond. With Josephine Barstow, Samuel Ramey, Angelina Réaux, Jerry Hadley. London CD 433 371-2, 1991 (rec. 1990).

Street Scene. Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Francesca Zambello, dir., James Holmes, cond., José Montes-Baquer, video dir. With Ashley Putnam, Marc Embree, Teri Hansen, Kip Wilborn. Image Entertainment ID9240RADVD (DVD), 2001 (rec. 1995).

Der Weg der Verheißung (The Eternal Road): Highlights. Excerpts performed in English. Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Ernst Senff Chor, Gerard Schwarz, cond. With Karl Dent, James Maddalena, Ted Christopher, Barbara Rearick. Milken Archive of American Jewish Music /Naxos American Classics CD 8.559402, 2003 (rec. 2001).

Der Zar lässt sich photographieren, op. 21. Kölner Rundfunkorchester, Jan Latham-König, cond. With Barry McDaniel, Marita Napier. Capriccio 10 147, 1989 (rec. 1984); re-issued on Capriccio C7184, 2015.

Zaubernacht. Original version published as part of Kurt Weill Edition. Arte Ensemble. With Ania Vegry. CPO CD 777 767-2, 2012.

 

CONCERT WORKS

Suite from Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, arr. Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg. Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariss Jansons, cond. EMI 50999 6 97185 2 6, 2009 (rec. 1997).

The Ballad of Magna Carta. Pro Musica Köln, Kölner Rundfunk Orchester, Jan Latham-König, cond. Capriccio CD 60 012-1, 1990 (rec. 1987).

Bastille Music. Ensemble Modern, HK Gruber, cond. Largo CD 5114, 1990. Arranged by David Drew from Weill’s incidental music to Gustav III, ca. 1970.

Das Berliner Requiem. Choeur de la Chapelle Royale, Ensemble Musique Oblique, Philippe Herreweghe, cond. With Peter Kooy, Alexandre Laiter. Harmonia Mundi NMC 901422, 1992.

Das Berliner Requiem. Reconstructed version by David Drew. Rundfunkchor Berlin, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, John Axelrod, cond. With Jan Remmers, Christian Immler. Nimbus NI 5807, 2007 (rec. 2006).

Berlin im Licht. Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Gerd Müller-Lorenz, cond. Orfeo CD C 539 01 A, 2000.

Chansons des quais. Ensemble Modern, HK Gruber, cond. With Ute Gfrerer. Ensemble Modern Medien EMCD-040, 2019. Arranged by Kim Kowalke from Marie galante, 2016.

Concerto, violin & wind orchestra, op. 12. Soloists of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Christian Tetzlaff, cond. and violin. Virgin Classics VC 5 45056 2, 1995 (rec. 1994); re-issued on Virgin Classics 5 62053 2, 2002.

Concerto, violin & wind orchestra, op. 12. Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariss Jansons, cond. Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin. EMI 50999 6 97185 2 6, 2009 (rec. 1997).

Concerto, violin & wind orchestra, op. 12. Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Claudio Abbado, cond. Kolja Blacher, violin. Deutsche Grammophon 476 4144, 2010 (rec. 2007).

Die Dreigroschenoper, Blues-Potpourri (Tanzpotpourri I). Palast Orchester, HK Gruber, cond. With Max Raabe. Charming Weill: Dance Band Arrangements. RCA Red Seal 09026 63513 2, 2001 (rec. 2000). U.S. title: Life, Love, and Laughter. Re-issue: Sony BMG 88697279652, 2008.

Die Dreigroschenoper, Foxtrot-Potpourri (Tanzpotpourri II). Palast Orchester, HK Gruber, cond. With Max Raabe. Charming Weill: Dance Band Arrangements. RCA Red Seal 09026 63513 2, 2001 (rec. 2000). U.S. title: Life, Love, and Laughter. Re-issue: Sony BMG 88697279652, 2008.

Die Dreigroschenoper, Sieben Stücke nach der Dreigroschenoper. arr. Stefan Frenkel (ca. 1930). Kolja Blacher, violin; Özgür Aydin, piano. Blacher. Jazzwerkstatt Philharmonie 06029, 2016.

Die Dreigroschenoper, Suite from Die Dreigroschenoper, arr. Max Schönherr (1956). Basel Sinfonietta, Mark Fitz-Gerald, cond. Tonkühn CD 001.

Four Walt Whitman Songs. Ian Bostridge, tenor, Antonio Pappano, piano. Requiem: The Pity of War. Warner Classics 0190295661564, 2018.

Hatikvah (Weill’s orchestration of the Israeli national anthem). Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and Catalonia National Orchestra, Karl Anton Rickenbacher, cond. Milken Archive of American Jewish Music/Naxos American Classics 8.559461, 2006 (rec. 2000).

Kiddush. Amor Artis Chamber Choir, Johannes Somary, cond. Grayson Hirst, tenor; Ray Pellerin, organ. Newport Classic CD NCD 60098, 1989.

Kleine Dreigroschenmusik. Ensemble Modern. HK Gruber, cond. Ensemble Modern Medien EMCD-040, 2019.

Lady in the Dark, Symphonic Nocturne. Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop, cond. Naxos 8.557481, 2005 (rec. 2004). Arranged by Robert Russell Bennett, ca. 1949.

Lied vom blinden Mädchen (Lied vom weißen Käse). Ute Gfrerer, soprano; Shane Schag, piano. Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, 2018.

Der Lindberghflug/Der Ozeanflug. Pro Musica Köln, Kölner Rundfunk-Orchester, Jan Latham-König, cond. Capriccio 60 012-1, 1990 (rec. 1987); re-issued on Capriccio C7178, 2015.

Love Life, Ho, Billy, O! The Gregg Smith Singers. Songs of Humor and Satire. Premier CD PRCD 1030, 1994.

Marie galante, Suite panaméenne. Ensemble Modern, HK Gruber, cond. Berlin im Licht. Largo CD 5114, 1990. Suite prepared by David Drew and HK Gruber, ca. 1990.

Der neue Orpheus. BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis, cond. Kathryn Harries, soprano; Michael Davis, violin. BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis, cond. Capriccio 60 106, 2004 (rec. 2000).

Ofrahs Lieder. The New York Festival of Song. Cyndia Sieden, soprano; William Sharp, baritone; Steven Blier, piano. Unquiet Peace: The Lied Between the Wars. Koch International Classics 3-7086-2H1, 1992 (rec. 1991).

Öl-Musik. Ensemble Modern, HK Gruber, cond. Largo CD 5114, 1990. Arranged by David Drew from music composed for Konjunktur, 1975.

Der Protagonist, First Pantomime. London Sinfonietta, David Atherton, cond. Deutsche Grammophon 289 459 442-2, 1999, (rec. 1975).

Quodlibet, op. 9. Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Antony Beaumont, cond. Chandos CHSA 5046, 2006 (rec. 2004).

Recordare, op. 11. World premiere performance. N.C.R.V Radio Vocal Ensemble, Boys’ Choir “Cantasona,” Marinus Voorberg, cond. Radio Nederland LP 6808 041 (rec. 1971).

Royal Palace, Filmszene. Ensemble Recherche, Lothar Zagrosek, cond. Auvidis Montaigne CD MO 782068, 1995.

Der Silbersee, Suite from Der Silbersee, arr. Karel Salomon (1955). M.I.T. Symphony Orchestra, David Epstein, cond. Vox/Turnabout LP TV 34760, 1980.

Song-Suite for Violin and Orchestra, arr. Paul Bateman (2015). “September Song” only. Daniel Hope, violin. For Seasons. Deutsche Grammophon 479 6922, 2017.

String Quartet no. 1, op. 8. The Sequoia String Quartet. Nonesuch LP 79071-1, 1984 (rec. 1983).

String Quartet in B minor. The Sequoia String Quartet. Nonesuch LP 79071-1, 1984 (rec. 1983).

Symphony no. 1 (Symphonie in einem Satz). Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. Antony Beaumont, cond. Chandos CHSA 5046, 2006 (rec. 2004).

Symphony no. 2 (Fantaisie symphonique). Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen; Antony Beaumont, cond. Chandos CHSA 5046, 2006 (rec. 2004).

Symphony no. 2 (Fantaisie symphonique). Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariss Jansons, cond. EMI 50999 6 97185 2 6, 2009 (rec. 1997).

Two Worlds of Kurt Weill, arr. Morton Gould (ca. 1965). Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, John Mauceri, cond. The Hollywood Bowl on Broadway. Philips 446 404-2, 1996 (rec. 1994).

Die Verheißung (The Road of Promise). Live recording of U.S. premiere. MasterVoices, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Ted Sperling, cond. Navona CD NV6059, 2016 (rec. 2015). Oratorio version of Der Weg der Verheissung prepared by Ed Harsh, ca. 2012.

Vom Tod im Wald, op. 23. Ensemble Musique Oblique, Philippe Herreweghe, cond. Harmonia Mundi NMC 901422, 1992.

Where Do We Go From Here? Complete feature film, starring Fred MacMurray, June Haver, Joan Leslie. 20th Century Fox Cinema Archives, 2012 (rec. 1944), DVD.

You and Me. Complete feature film, starring George Raft and Sylvia Sidney, issued as part of “Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers,” vol. 2. TCM Vault Collection, 2014 (rec. 1938), DVD.

Songs and music from Where Do We Go From Here? and You and Me. Ariel LP KWH 10, 1982.

Zu Potsdam under den Eichen. BBC Symphony Chorus, Stephen Jackson, cond. Testimonies of War = Kriegszeugnisse: 1914-1945. Largo 5130, 1995.

 

SONG COLLECTIONS

American Songbook Series: Kurt Weill. Various performers. Sony/Smithsonian Collection of Recordings RD 048-17/A 23954, 1994.

Berlin Theatre Songs. With Lotte Lenya, Roger Bean, cond. Sony Masterworks Heritage MHK 63222, 1997 (rec. 1955).

Brecht/Weill Songs. With Gisela May. Capriccio CD 10 180, 1989.

Eric Dolphy and John Lewis Play Kurt Weill. Lonehill Jazz LHJ10349, 2009 (rec. 1964-65).

J.J. Johnson Plays Mack the Knife and other Kurt Weill Songs. With André Previn, Red Mitchell, and Frank Capp. Lonehill Jazz LHJ10376, 2009 (rec. 1961).

Julie Wilson Sings the Kurt Weill Songbook. William Roy, piano. DRG Records CDSL 5207, 1988.

Kurt Weill on Broadway. With Thomas Hampson, Elizabeth Futral, Jerry Hadley, and the London Sinfonietta conducted by John McGlinn. EMI Classics 5 55563 2, 1996 (rec. 1994). (Reissued 2006 on EMI Classics 0946 3 58245 2 0. Reissued 2012 on EMI Classics 50999 6 78434 2 8.)

Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill. Sting, Stan Ridgway, Marianne Faithfull, John Zorn, Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Todd Rundgren, Charlie Haden, et al. (produced by Hal Willner and Paul M. Young). A&M Records CD 5104, 1985.

Lotte Lenya sings Kurt Weill: American theatre songs. Also included: songs from The Threepenny opera, Brecht on Brecht, and Cabaret. Sony Masterworks Heritage MHK 60647, 1999 (rec. 1957).

September Songs: The Music of Kurt Weill. Various artists, including Betty Carter, Nick Cave, Elvis Costello, Charlie Haden, Lou Reed, Teresa Stratas. Sony SK 63046, 1997. From film directed by Larry Weinstein.

Stranger Here Myself. Angelina Réaux, soprano, with Robert Kapilow, William Schimmel, and Bill Ruyle. Koch International Classics 3-707-2, 1991.

Stratas sings Weill. Teresa Stratas, soprano, Y Chamber Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz, cond. Nonesuch 9-79131-2, 1986.

This Is New. Dee Dee Bridgewater with ensemble. Verve 016 884-2. 2002.

The Unknown Kurt Weill. Teresa Stratas, soprano; Richard Woitach, pianist. Nonesuch 9-79019-2, 1981.

 

For More Complete Listings…

Kurt Weill Bibliography

Kurt Weill Discography

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