WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Reference - Weill: Die Sieben Todsünden, Etc / Gisela May


Release Date: 12/26/2006 
Label:  Berlin Classics   Catalog #: 1375   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Kurt Weill
Performer:  Gisela MayPeter SchreierGünther LeibHermann-Christian Polster,   ... 
Conductor:  Herbert KegelHenry KrtschilHeinz Rögner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Radio Symphony OrchestraBerlin Radio Male ChorusBerlin Radio Studio Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



WEILL The Seven Deadly Sins. 1 Berlin Requiem: Vom ertrunkenen Mädchen; 2 Zu Potsdam unter den Eichen. 3 Happy End: Surabaya-Johnny; Bilbao-Song; Was die Herren Matrosen sagen; Ballad von der Höllen-Lili. 4 The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny: Havanna Song; Wie man sich bettet, so liegt man. 5 Read more The Threepenny Opera: Barbara-Song; Song von der sexuellen Hörigkeit; Seeräuber-Jenny 6 Gisela May (sop); Herbert Kegel, cond; 1 Peter Schreier (ten); 1 Hans-Joachim Rotzsch (ten); 1 Günther Leib (bar); 1 Hermann Christian Polster (bs); 1 Leipzig RO; 1 Henry Kritschil, cond; 2,3 Studio-Männerchor; 2 Heinz Rögner, cond; 4–6 Studio O 2–6 BERLIN 1375 (70:31)


Over the last 30 years Weill has been so thoroughly embraced by the musical establishment that it’s difficult to recall the bad old days before his collaboration with Brecht achieved the balanced recognition accorded to, say, Gilbert and Sullivan, or George and Ira, the days when he was confidently fabled to have been no more than Brecht’s amanuensis. Scholarship—coordinated and largely funded by the evergreen popularity of “Mack the Knife” via the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music—has debunked the old canards and in their place given us an ongoing series of reliable editions of “The Works” and an industrious scrutiny of his career which must be the envy of scholars at work over the remains of many more securely established composers. But as Weill passes into history, becoming the preserve of opera singers and clever producers, the explosiveness of his “crossover” of high art and cabaret, of opera and epic theater, of highbrow conventions and erotically edged satire, has been muted. Lenya’s extensive recorded legacy (for those coming in late), most of it dating from the 1950s, is primary, indispensable, the first wave of Weill’s revaluation.


But to catch hot what Brecht brought to the collaboration—to grasp how he stimulated Weill—one needs to have heard Gisela May’s incisively bristling diction animating his pungency, even at the cost of occasionally flattening Weill’s vocal lines. With Herbert Kegel leading the RSO Berlin, The Seven Deadly Sins crackles with superbly controlled frenzy. Drop-dead laconic or manically drilled, nothing sags, nothing is sentimentally milked to score feminist points (in the post-Modern Stratas, Migenes, Réaux, Lemper, Otter, Faithfull manner), and nothing is allowed to obscure the revelation of the essential brutality attending capitalist success. Whether or not you agree with the work’s “morality” is beside the point—this is what Weill and Brecht sought to convey and here we have it.


One notes, by the way, the strident presence of the young Peter Schreier as The Family’s leading tenor. Done with pickup orchestras led by routineers, the songs from Happy End, Mahagonny , the 3PO, and the Berlin Requiem , in Weill’s orchestrations, are essayed with a similar brash/brittle approach to salutarily etched effect, though later comers—for instance, Faithfull and, preeminently, Meriel Dickinson—have shown that they allow rich and moving leeway to interpretation, far beyond what May or Lenya found in them, without devolving into the kitschy psychodrama pioneered by Teresa Stratas.


The Happy End, Mahagonny , and 3PO cuts date from 1965, The Seven Deadly Sins from 1966, and the Berlin Requiem items from 1968. In both songs and Sins , the vocals are well forward without obscuring crisp orchestral detail. One’s only regret—a large one—is the failure to include Brecht’s lyrics. Despite that, if you missed this in its previous CD incarnations, which have been around since the early 1990s, here it is again. Classic. And enthusiastically recommended.


FANFARE: Adrian Corleonis
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Die sieben Todsünden der Kleinbürger by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Gisela May (Soprano), Peter Schreier (Tenor), Günther Leib (Baritone),
Hermann-Christian Polster (Bass), Hans-Joachim Rotzsch (Tenor)
Conductor:  Herbert Kegel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1966 
Venue:  Congress Hall, Leipzig, East Germany 
Length: 33 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: German 
2. Das Berliner Requiem: Vom ertrunkenen Mädchen by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Gisela May (Soprano)
Conductor:  Henry Krtschil
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Male Chorus,  Berlin Radio Studio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1968 
Venue:  Studio Reichstagufer, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: German 
3. Happy End: Surabaya Johnny by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Gisela May (Soprano)
Conductor:  Heinz Rögner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Studio Orchestra
Date of Recording: 12/1965 
Venue:  Studio Reichstagufer, Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: German 
4. Happy End: Bilbao Song by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Gisela May (Soprano)
Conductor:  Heinz Rögner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Studio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/1965 
Venue:  Studio Reichstagufer, Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: German 
5. Happy End: Was die Herren Matrosen sagen by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Gisela May (Soprano)
Conductor:  Heinz Rögner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Studio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/1965 
Venue:  Studio Reichstagufer, Berlin 
Length: 6 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: German 
6. Happy End: Die Ballade von der Höllen-Lili by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Gisela May (Soprano)
Conductor:  Heinz Rögner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Studio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/1965 
Venue:  Studio Reichstagufer, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: German 
7. Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny: Ach bedenken sie, Herr Jakob Schmidt "Havanna Song" by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Gisela May (Soprano)
Conductor:  Heinz Rögner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Studio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/1965 
Venue:  Studio Reichstagufer, Berlin 
Length: 1 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: German 
8. Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny: Meine Herren, meine Mutter prägte...Denn wie Man sich bettet by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Gisela May (Soprano)
Conductor:  Heinz Rögner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Studio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/1965 
Venue:  Studio Reichstagufer, Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: German 
9. Die Dreigroschenoper: Barbara Song by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Gisela May (Soprano)
Conductor:  Heinz Rögner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Studio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/1965 
Venue:  Studio Reichstagufer, Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: German 
10. Die Dreigroschenoper: Ballad von der sexuellen Hörigkeit by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Gisela May (Soprano)
Conductor:  Heinz Rögner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Studio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/1965 
Venue:  Studio Reichstagufer, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: German 
11. Die Dreigroschenoper: Seerauber-Jenny by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Gisela May (Soprano)
Conductor:  Heinz Rögner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Studio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/1965 
Venue:  Studio Reichstagufer, Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: German 
12. Das Berliner Requiem: Zu Potsdam unter den Eichen by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Gisela May (Soprano)
Conductor:  Henry Krtschil
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Studio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1968 
Venue:  Studio Reichstagufer, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Arranger: Henry Krtschil. 

Sound Samples

Die 7 Todsunden (The 7 Deadly Sins) (arr. W. Bruckner-Ruggeberg): Prologue: Meine Schwester und ich stammen aus Louisiana (Anna I, Anna II)
Die 7 Todsunden (The 7 Deadly Sins) (arr. W. Bruckner-Ruggeberg): Faulheit: Hoffentlich nimmt sich unsre Anna auch zusammen (Die Familie)
Die 7 Todsunden (The 7 Deadly Sins) (arr. W. Bruckner-Ruggeberg): Stolz: Als wir aber ausgestattet waren (Anna I, Die Familie)
Die 7 Todsunden (The 7 Deadly Sins) (arr. W. Bruckner-Ruggeberg): Zorn: Das geht nicht vorwarts (Die Familie, Anna I, Anna II)
Die 7 Todsunden (The 7 Deadly Sins) (arr. W. Bruckner-Ruggeberg): Vollerei: Da ist ein Brief aus Philadelphia (Die Familie)
Die 7 Todsunden (The 7 Deadly Sins) (arr. W. Bruckner-Ruggeberg): Unzucht: Und wir fanden einen Mann in Boston (Anna I, Anna II, Die Familie)
Die 7 Todsunden (The 7 Deadly Sins) (arr. W. Bruckner-Ruggeberg): Habsucht: Wie hier in der Zeitung steht (Die Familie)
Die 7 Todsunden (The 7 Deadly Sins) (arr. W. Bruckner-Ruggeberg): Neid: Und die letzte Stadt der Reise war San Francisco (Anna I, Die Familie)
Die 7 Todsunden (The 7 Deadly Sins) (arr. W. Bruckner-Ruggeberg): Epilogue: Darauf kehrten wir zuruck nach Louisiana (Anna I, Anna II)
Das Berliner Requiem: Vom ertrunkenen Madchen
Happy End: Surabaya-Johnny
Happy End: Der Bilbao-Song
Happy End: Was die Herren Matrosen sagen
Happy End: Die Ballade von der Hollen-Lili
Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny: Der Havanna Song
Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny: Denn wie man sich bettet, so liegt man
Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera): Barbara-Song
Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera): Die Ballade von der sexuellen Horigkeit
Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera): Die Seerauber-Jenny
Das Berliner Requiem (arr. H. Krtschil): Das Berliner Requiem: Zu Potsdam unter den Eichen (arr. H. Krtschil)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook