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Weill: The Threepenny Opera / 1976 Public Theater Revival

Release Date: 04/07/2009 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 51520  
Composer:  Kurt Weill
Performer:  Glenn KezerEllen GreeneRaul JuliaElizabeth Wilson,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
This title is currently unavailable.

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Joseph Papp
A New York Shakespeare Festival Production
Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill
in a new translation by
Ralph Manheim and John Willett

Produced by Larry Morton recorded June 21, 1976

Track Listing:
1. Overture/Ballad of Mack The Knife, 5:50 - Roy Brocksmith / Tony Azito / Robert Schlee / Jack Eric Williams
2. Peachum's Morning Hymn, 0:49 - C.K. Alexander
3. No They Can't Song, 1:38 - C.K. Alexander / Elizabeth Wilson
4. Wedding Song For The Less Well-Off, 0:52 - Company
5. For That's My Way, 1:26 - Caroline Kava
6. Cannon Song, 2:07 - Raul Julia / David Sabin
Read more Liebeslied, 2:05 - Caroline Kava / Raul Julia
8. Barbara Song, 4:47 - Caroline Kava
9. First Threepenny Finale, 3:32 - Caroline Kava / C.K. Alexander / Elizabeth Wilson
10. Polly's Lied, 1:49 - Caroline Kava / Raul Julia
11. Ballad of Sexual Obsession, 1:23 - Elizabeth Wilson
12. Pirate Jenny, 4:34 - Ellen Greene
13. Ballad Of Immoral Earnings, 4:17 - Ellen Greene / Raul Julia
14. Ballad Of Gracious Living, 2:11 - Raul Julia
15. Jealously Duet, 2:44 - Blair Brown / Caroline Kava
16. Second Threepenny Finale, 3:26 - Raul Julia / Ellen Greene
17. Song Of The Insufficiency Of Human Endeavor, 1:31 - C.K. Alexander
18. Solomon Song, 3:19 - Ellen Greene
19. Call From The Grave, 0:58 - Raul Julia
20. Ballad In Which Macheath Begs All Men For Forgiveness, 2:54 - Raul Julia
21. Third Threepenny Finale, 4:30 - David Sabin / Glenn Kezer / Roy Brocksmith / Jack Eric Williams / Elizabeth Wilson / C.K. Alexander / Raul Julia / Caroline Kava / Blair Brown / Ellen Greene
22. Ballad Of Mack The Knife (Reprise), 1:41 - Roy Brocksmith


If you're looking for Brecht and Weill's Threepenny Opera in English, this 1976 Joseph Papp revival is well worth considering via Arkivmusic.com's valuable "on demand" reprint program. It boasts an English translation by Ralph Manheim and John Willett that is far truer to Brecht's gritty, uncensored German original than the better known and "cleaner" Marc Blitzstein version, as well as Weill's original orchestrations and keys, played by a lively 14-musician pit band. Likewise, tempos largely reflect Weill's markings, which explains the Overture's unusual deliberation, and the "No They Can't" song's verse and chorus in the same tempo, among other revelations.

The singers' techniques are oriented toward Broadway rather than the opera house, which is appropriate for this work, and everyone delivers the goods, big time. Indeed, I had forgotten just how well Raul Julia sang; his Macheath exudes plenty of charm along with the requisite sleaze. Listeners accustomed to Lotte Lenya's angry, edgy Pirate Jenny will be surprised by Ellen Greene's hypnotic understatement. The choral numbers are cleanly dispatched without sacrificing energy and intensity. A pity that the booklet notes do not credit Stanley Silverman's superb musical direction.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Die Dreigroschenoper by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Glenn Kezer (Voice), Ellen Greene (Voice), Raul Julia (Voice),
Elizabeth Wilson (Voice), Robert Schlee (Voice), Roy Brocksmith (Voice),
Tony Azito (Voice), Jack Eric Williams (Voice), C. K. Alexander (Voice),
Caroline Kava (Voice), David Sabin (Voice), Blair Brown (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/21/1976 
Language: English 

Featured Sound Samples

The Threepenny Opera: Overture
Pirate Jenny
Ballad of Immoral Earnings

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Gritty, Nasty, Authentic December 26, 2013 By Andrea  A. (Boardman, OH) See All My Reviews "Definitely an acquired taste, this version of Threepenny Opera boasts a spectacular performance from the late, great Raul Julia. The music is very evocative of an old style music hall and makes me sorry I did not get to see this production in person. The lyrics are spare and brutal and I only wish there were extended liner notes and more available on this totally true to the feel of not only Brecht but also the older original Beggars Opera. Great addition to your theatre library especially if you don't need all your musicals to have a happily ever after ending." Report Abuse
 Get This CD! June 25, 2013 By Anthony B. (Atlanta, GA) See All My Reviews "This CD is wonderful. I've not always been a fan of the 3P Opera; but his CD has made me a convert. The high style of the cast's performance on disk makes me wish that I could see them doing it live. And I am truly jealous of those who have! This CD is a must of anyone interested in musical theater. It's a masterpiece!" Report Abuse
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