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Weill, Brecht: Die Sieben Todsunden (The Seven Deadly Sins) Ballet Chante

Brecht / May / Rundfunk-sinfonie-orchester Leipzig
Release Date: 12/11/2015 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 95126   Spars Code: DDD 
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 
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Kurt Weill: Die Sieben Todsünden: Zorn! Molto agitato. Text by Bertolt Brecht. Sung by Peter Schreier, Günther Leib & Hermann Christian Polster followed by Gisela May.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Kurt Weill’s ‘ballet with singing’ is one of the masterpieces of 20th-century musical theatre, recorded several times down the years but perhaps not as frequently as its merits deserve thanks to the very specific demands of its style, and the lack of singers who can match up to the muse for both Weill and Brecht, Lotte Lenya. Lenya made the first widely available recording, decades after she gave the first performance in Paris in 1933; this was the second, first issued in 1968, using not Weill’s original but a later ‘performing version’ prepared especially for Lenya. It stands the test of time well: Gisela May has the requisite smoky quality and total familiarity with Brecht’s cabaret-German. She is supported by a small cast of ‘Classical’ Read more singers – notable among them Peter Schreier – but also by a conductor, Herbert Kegel, whose East German training and sympathies enable him to ensure that this music goes with the requisite sleazy swing without tipping into self-indulgent vulgarity. As Gramophone’s original reviewer remarked, ‘Brecht’s libretto strips bourgeois morality bare. Weill’s music, keen, clear and precise, is tender without being sentimental, at once compassionate and critical.’ In this reissue, The Seven Deadly Sins is coupled with some of the best-known hits from the rocky but fertile creative partnership between Weill and Brecht, all sung by Gisela May, and accompanied by a small studio ensemble conducted by another distinguished East German musician who understood the tenor of his time, Heinz Rögner, and deserves to be remembered for more than his excellent Bruckner recordings (reissued on Brilliant Classics 94686). There is ‘Surabaya Johnny’ from Happy End, of course, and the ‘Havana Song’ from Mahagonny, the Ballad of Sexual Dependency from The Threepenny Opera and two numbers from the scathingly satirical Berliner Requiem.

Kurt Weil wrote “Die Sieben Todsünden” in Paris (in exile) as a commission from a French ballet group. It is a “Ballet chanté” (a “sung ballet”) for singers, dance group and orchestra. Weill and his librettist Bertolt Brecht present a satire of the pretty bourgeois morals, and turn the 7 deadly sins into virtues. This recording from 1966 is a classic, and of the most authentic performances, starring the great Gisela May, grande dame of the German protest song. She is superbly seconded by Peter Schreier and the Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Leipzig conducted by Herbert Kegel, unsurpassed in this repertoire. Furthermore on this fascinating disc: songs from Berliner Requiem, Mahagonny and Dreigroschenoper. - Brilliant Classics 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
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; Germany 
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 

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