Kurt Weill: Lost in the Stars

Kurt Weill: Lost in the Stars

by Julius Rudel
     
 

"Lost in the Stars," Kurt Weill's last completed work, has never quite found a place in the repertoire. Its music doesn't have the flash that characterizes the most successful musicals, and it's not an opera, so it's rarely performed in opera houses. The music, which is intelligent and well-crafted, with more of a popular sound and less of an edge than that of "Die…  See more details below

Overview

"Lost in the Stars," Kurt Weill's last completed work, has never quite found a place in the repertoire. Its music doesn't have the flash that characterizes the most successful musicals, and it's not an opera, so it's rarely performed in opera houses. The music, which is intelligent and well-crafted, with more of a popular sound and less of an edge than that of "Die Dreigroschenoper" or "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny," is always deeply felt and makes a powerful cumulative impact. It's not surprising that Alan Paton's novel Cry, the Beloved Country, the basis for the piece, should have inspired Weill; its theme of the brutality of social injustice is one that runs through most of the composer's stage works. The book and lyrics, by Maxwell Anderson, were initially criticized for missing the depth and richness of Paton's novel, but the text, taken on its own, has the directness and dramatic punch to work well in the theater. This studio recording, made in 1993, is led by Julius Rudel, a longtime advocate of the work, who staged it at the New York City Opera, and who brings the strongest possible resources to the performance: the Orchestra of St. Luke's and the Concert Chorale of New York. There are no big names among the soloists, but it's a solid cast that sings with passion and understanding. Arthur Woodley as the protagonist, Stephen Kumalo, the young Jamal Howard as his nephew Alex, Cynthia Clarey as Irina, and Carol Woods as Linda, are particularly strong. The sound is clean, but there's little attempt to create a sense of dramatic space. This fine recording should be of interest to fans of musicals and American opera.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/13/2009
Label:
Nimbus Records
UPC:
0710357254321
catalogNumber:
2543
Rank:
104974

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Lost in the Stars, musical play  - Kurt Weill  - Maxwell Anderson  - Cynthia Clarey  -  New York Concert Chorale  - Gregory Hopkins  - Jamal Howard  -  Orchestra of St. Luke's  - Reginald Pindell  - Julius Rudel  - Arthur Woodley  - Carol Woods  - Richard Vogt  - Richard Vogt

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Album Credits

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