In This Issue:

Lahav Shani Champions Weill’s Symphony No. 2

in Newly Released Recording on Warner Classics

(The cover of Lahav Shani’s new recording of Weill’s Symphony No. 2
with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, recently released by Warner Classics)

Warner Classics has released a new recording of Kurt Weill’s Symphony No. 2. This release is especially noteworthy in that Lahav Shani is not only one of the most exciting young conductors in the classical music world, but also one of the most ardent champions of the work. Shani’s description of it as “one of my favorite pieces to conduct with orchestras across the world” is backed up by frequent performances in his busy guest conducting schedule. This new recording with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, which he serves as Chief Conductor, presents his insightful and deeply felt interpretation to an even broader audience.

See here for a selection of the praise the recording has received from the press.

Berliner Ensemble Dreigroschenoper
“A Gift” at Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen

(The cast and set of the Berliner Ensemble Dreigroschenoper | Photo: JR Berliner Ensemble)

The Berliner Ensemble’s new production of Die Dreigroschenoper opened in August 2021 to vigorous critical acclaim and has played to packed houses ever since. Director Barrie Kosky’s fresh interpretation and musical director Adam Benzwi’s energetic approach continue to prove an irresistible combination. In June, the production made one of its first forays outside Berlin as a featured attraction at the Ruhrfestspiel Recklinghausen, one of the major theater festivals in Europe. Julia Gaß, writing for the Recklinghäuser Zeitung, proclaimed the production “a gift for the Festival audience,” saying “the production picks up speed rapidly. This can also be heard in the pit, where the orchestra, with only seven musicians including conductor Adam Benzwi, lets spill out on the stage the power that the play has almost one hundred years after its premiere.”

For more on the Berliner Ensemble Dreigroschenoper, see the KWF website and the Berliner Ensemble site.

“Like a Force of Nature”
Lotte Lenya’s Voice

(Lotte Lenya circa 1935 | Photo: Gerty Simon)

Kurt Weill loved Lotte Lenya’s voice “like a force of nature.” Women’s Song Forum has released a two-part blog post, authored by eminent Weill scholar Stephen Hinton, that thoughtfully considers the symbiotic relationship between Weill and Lenya through the lens of his music and her voice. That voice changed over the years. The dusky depth heard on widely disseminated recordings from the 1950s has somewhat obscured in the public mind the “sweet, high, light, dangerous, cool” qualities heard earlier in her career. Hinton traces the changes over the years by comparing four renditions of “Surabaya-Johnny” (1930, 1943, 1955, 1966), embedded so readers can hear for themselves.

Follow these links to read Part One and Part Two.

Spring Issue of the
Kurt Weill Newsletter
Now Online

The Spring 2022 issue of the Kurt Weill Newsletter is now available on the KWF website. The issue includes a feature article on Stephen Sondheim and Weill, another on the state of Street Scene 75 years after its world premiere, a suite of reviews including four Weill productions in Australia within a six-week span, and full coverage of the Finals of the 2022 Lotte Lenya Competition plus other Weill and Blitzstein news. Because of supply-chain problems, the issue is printed on lower-quality paper than usual, so we recommend the online version for the best reading experience.

Selected Upcoming Events

17 June – Walt Whitman Songs
Classical Music Institute (San Antonio, TX).

18 June – Symphonic Nocturne from Lady in the Dark * 
Brigantes Orchestra (Quentin Clare, conductor).

22 June – “Complainte de la Seine”
Le Festival de Paris (Marie Perbost, soprano; Nicolas Chesneau, piano).

22 June – Weill Songs
Oregon Bach Festival (Aram Demirjian, conductor; Lara Downes, piano).

23 June – Happy End *
Renaissance Theater Berlin (Sebastian Sommer, director; Harry Ermer, conductor). Ongoing performances, including 24, 25, 26 June and 7, 8, 9, 10 July.

25 June – Die sieben Todsünden, Kleine Dreigroschenmusik
Oper Graz (Roland Kluttig, conductor; Angelika Kirchschlager, Anna).

25 June – Weill Songs
BOX Theater in der Südstadt (Stefanie Wüst, soprano; Christopher Arpin, piano).

26 June – Fantaisie symphonique (Symphony no. 2)
Isny Opernfestival (Hans-Christian Hauser, conductor).

1 July – Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny
Komische Oper Berlin (Barrie Kosky, director; Ainārs Rubiķis, conductor).

1 July – Die Dreigroschenoper
Berliner Ensemble (Barrie Kosky, director; Adam Benzwi, conductor). Ongoing performances, including 2, 3 July.

4 July – Weill Songs
Casa del Jazz Roma (Costanza Alegiani and Peppe Servillo, vocals).

5 July – Weill Songs
Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (Julia Bullock, soprano; Bretton Brown, piano).

15 July – Weill Songs
Festival de Toulouse (Lambert Wilson, vocals; Bruno Fontaine, piano).

18 August – Weill Songs
La Jolla Music Society (Eric Jacobsen, conductor; Cécile McLorin Salvant and Anthony Roth Costanzo, vocals; Sullivan Fortner, piano).

View the Full Events Calendar

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