Monday, October 28, 2013

Dark Monday • Lost in the Stars

Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill photo Lostinthestars_zpsa2ab0aaa.jpg

While I normally use my Dark Monday posts to pay tribute to the wonderful artists who have worked in musical theater to leave such an amazing bounty of material. From performers to writers to composers to dancers to designers, the rich history is truly something. After all, the term 'dark Monday' was a reference to the fact that musicals were dark on Mondays, not open for business, and the marquee lights were not shining. But today, I thought I would combine great music from the musical theater with the loss of a favorite of mine, Lou Reed. He passed away over the weekend at 71 years of age. In 1985, the album 'Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill' was released that included a wonderful version of "September Song", from the musical 'Knickerbocker Holiday'. The music was composed by Weill, with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson. This is Lou Reed singing "September Song".

The second track on the album is "The Ballad of Mac The Knife", from 'The Threepenny Opera', and performed by Sting and Dominic Muldowney. The song with music by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Bertolt Brecht, and was their most famous song. It was recorded by many, in so many styles. There was the original German music hall style, true to the original, as well as Pop and Jazz interpretations by artists as varied as Bobby Darin, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Westlife. The song is a classic, and I bet most could sing along with it. This is Sting singing "The Ballad of Mack the Knife".

"Ballad of the Nazi Soldier's Wife" by Marianne Faithfull was written by Weill in 1942 with Bertolt Brecht. It was intended to be performed on German radio, chronicling the the gifts the German wife received from her soldier husband from the Russian front, until the last 'gift' arrived, the notification of his death on the battleground. Faithfull is such an exceptional interpreter, this is an amazing track. I hope you enjoy Marianne Faithfull singing "Ballad of the Nazi Soldier's Wife".

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