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Weill: The Threepenny Opera / Gruber, Hagen, Ensemble Modern

Release Date: 10/12/1999 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 166133   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Kurt Weill
Performer:  Heinz Karl "Nali" GruberNina HagenMax RaabeSona Macdonale,   ... 
Conductor:  Heinz Karl "Nali" Gruber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Modern
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 22 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Brecht and Weill's pivotal collaboration The Threepenny Opera retains its scathing bite and social relevance more than 70 years after its landmark Berlin premiere. The present recording includes all the musical numbers, incidental music not heard elsewhere, and a deleted aria for Lucy Brown. Weill's original pit band instrumentation is restored to its definitive, ragtag glory, as are Brecht's concert narrations that link each number and scene. Under HK Gruber's crackerjack leadership, the Ensemble Modern plays with hair-raising, yet rather clinical precision, leaving the singers to convey the score's stark, unpretty truths. Gruber's sandpapery timbre is just right for Peachum. Casting former punk diva
Read more Nina Hagen as Mrs. Peachum was a stroke of genius, although her manic, over-the-top portrayal lacerates more than it cuts. Max Raabe's sweet toned Macheath brings out the murderer's oddly sympathetic side. Similarly, Timna Brauer plays a gentler, more vulnerable Jenny than the hardened slut the character's usually made out to be, and Sona MacDonald's edgy Polly also goes against type. Excellent notes, and complete texts and translations round out one of the most vibrant, involving Threepenny Opera recordings ever made.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Die Dreigroschenoper by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Heinz Karl "Nali" Gruber (Baritone), Nina Hagen (Voice), Max Raabe (Voice),
Sona Macdonale (Voice), Hannes Hellmann (Voice), Winnie Böwe (Voice),
Timna Brauer (Voice), Jürgen Holtz (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Heinz Karl "Nali" Gruber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Modern
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1999 
Venue:  Hessian Radio Studios, Frankfurt 
Length: 82 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: German 

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