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Lotte Lenya Reading & Listening

Selected Readings for General Audiences


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. A composite of Lenya’s attempts at autobiography is included as the prologue and a biographical account of her career after Weill’s death comprises its Epilogue.

Lenya, the legend: a pictorial autobiography, edited by David Farneth. New York: Overlook Press, 1998. Lenya’s own words, from interviews, correspondence, and fragments of her attempts at a memoir, are arranged to give a chronological account of her life and art. Illustrated with over 300 photographs, many from her private collection.

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

Spoto, Donald. Lenya: A Life. Boston: Little, Brown, 1989.

Beams, David. “Lotte Lenya.” In Theatre Arts 46.6 (June 1962): 11-18, 66-72. [full text (PDF)]

Davis, George. “That Was a Time!” In Theatre Arts 40.5 (May 1956), p. 78-80, 92-93. Reprinted as the foreword to the Grove Press edition of Desmond Vesey and Eric Bentley’s translation of The Threepenny Opera (1964). Written by George Davis based on interviews with Lenya and Elisabeth Hauptmann. [full text (PDF)]

Reed, Rex. “Lotte Lenya.” In Do You Sleep in the Nude? (New York : New American Library, 1968), p. 82-94. [full text (PDF)]

Terkel, Studs. “Lotte Lenya.” In The Spectator (New York: The New Press, 1999), p. 233-39. [full text (PDF)]

Weaver, Neal. “‘Lenya, Whatever You Do Is Epic Enough for Me!’–B. Brecht: An Interview with Lotte Lenya.” In After Dark 11.3 (July 1969), p.32-41. [full text (PDF)]


Weill, Kurt and Lotte Lenya. Sprich leise wenn Du Liebe sagst: Der Briefwechsel Kurt Weill/Lotte Lenya, herausgegeben und übersetzt von Lys Symonette und Kim H. Kowalke. Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 1998. German translation of Speak low (when you speak love).

Lotte Lenya: Eine Autobiographie in Bildern, zusammengestellt und herausgegeben von David Farneth. Köln: Könemann, 1999. German version of Lenya, the legend, translated by Helmut Roß.

Katz, Pamela. Die Seeräuberin: ein Lotte-Lenya-Roman. Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag, 2001.

Praschl, Peter. “Hoppla, Jenny!” In Stern 42.32 (August 16, 1989), p. 66-74. [full text (PDF)]


Selected Audio Recordings

Lenya, Bear Family Records BCD 16019 KL, released fall 1998. A complete retrospective of Lenya’s musical and spoken-word recordings for Ultraphon, Electrola, Philips, Columbia, MGM, Caedmon, etc., along with numerous previously unreleased recordings. An 11-CD set.

Die Dreigroschenoper: Berlin 1930. Telefunken Legacy 0927 42663 2, 2002 (rec. 1928-1930). Contains most of Lenya’s pre-1933 recordings, in particular the 1930 recording of songs from Die Dreigroschenoper. These historical recordings have been reissued many times on CD.

O Moon of Alabama: Historic Original Recordings, 1928-1944. Contains Lenya’s recordings from 1943-44 and a few pre-1933 recordings. Capriccio 10 347, 1990.

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

Lotte Lenya singt Kurt Weill (Berlin Theatre Songs). Roger Bean, cond. Reissued with Die sieben Todsünden and American Theatre Songs (see below).

Die sieben Todsünden. Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg, cond. Lotte Lenya, Anna I. Album also includes Berlin Theater Songs. 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.

Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny.Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg, cond. CBS M2K 77341/M2K 37874 (U.S. and Canada). Re-release of Philips L 09 418-20, recorded 3-11 November 1956, released March 1958. Reissued 2003 as Sony Classical SM2K 91184. Reissued 2006 as Membran 223250-311. Reissued 2007 as Line Music (Cantus Classics) 5.00959.

Lotte Lenya sings Kurt Weill: American Theatre Songs. Maurice Levine, cond. Also included: songs from The Threepenny Opera, Brecht on Brecht, and Cabaret. Sony Masterworks Heritage MHK 60647, 1999 (rec. 1957). Note: The Berlin Theatre Songs (Lotte Lenya singt Kurt Weill) and the American Theatre Songs were issued on a single disc in 1988 as “Kurt Weill: Berlin & American Theater Songs,” CBS MK 42658.

Die Dreigroschenoper. Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg, cond. CBS MK 42637. Re-release of Philips AO1482L, recorded January 1958, released May 1958?

Happy End. Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg, cond. Sony Classical 82876 78754 2 (Great Performances). Re-release of Philips B 47 080, recorded 1960. Reissue includes Die sieben Todsünden.

Cabaret, Columbia CK 3040, released on CD, 1987? Re-release of KOL 6640, recorded December 1966, released early 1967. Remastered and reissued June 1998 on Sony Legacy SK 60533, with bonus tracks.


Selected Films

Die 3Groschenoper. Directed by G.W. Pabst; originally released 1931. Criterion Collection CC17130, 2007.

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone. Directed by José Quintero, originally released 1961. Warner Video 38931, 2006.

From Russia with Love. Directed by Terence Young, originally released 1963. MGM Home Video, 2015. Blu-ray disc also available on MGM Home Video.

Semi-Tough. Directed by Michael Ritchie, originally released 1977. MGM Home Video 1001831, 2001.


For More Complete Listings…

Lotte Lenya Bibliography

Lotte Lenya Discography

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