O Moon of Alabama: Historische Aufnahmen 1928-1944

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
O Moon of Alabama is one of a series of albums released by the German Capriccio label reissuing period recordings of the music of composer Kurt Weill from the late 1920s and early '30s. It is unusual in that it includes no music at all from Weill's best-known work of the period, The Threepenny Opera, because that music is contained on other Capriccio albums. Instead, this disc presents a miscellany of recordings of music from the operas Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, The Tsar Has His Photograph Taken, and The Silverlake, and the plays Konjunktur and Happy End. In most cases, Weill's lyric partner was Bertolt Brecht, who also wrote the words for the songs in ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
O Moon of Alabama is one of a series of albums released by the German Capriccio label reissuing period recordings of the music of composer Kurt Weill from the late 1920s and early '30s. It is unusual in that it includes no music at all from Weill's best-known work of the period, The Threepenny Opera, because that music is contained on other Capriccio albums. Instead, this disc presents a miscellany of recordings of music from the operas Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, The Tsar Has His Photograph Taken, and The Silverlake, and the plays Konjunktur and Happy End. In most cases, Weill's lyric partner was Bertolt Brecht, who also wrote the words for the songs in The Threepenny Opera, and some of the songs here are as just as well-known, notably "Bilbao Song," "Alabama Song" (which is given both an instrumental reading by Marek Weber & His Orchestra and a vocal version by Lotte Lenya), and "Surabaya Johnny." Clearly, the last was a particular favorite in its day, as it has proved since; here, there are no less than four versions, two of them instrumentals, one in German by Lenya and one in French by Marianne Oswald. The most ambitious piece is an eight-and-a-half-minute medley of music from Mahagonny sung by a "large ensemble" and played by the orchestra that performed in the show's Berlin production. Lenya is in that ensemble, too, and the singer, Weill's wife, of course, in fact has 13 vocals among the 23 selections, her dominance much increased by what might be called the album's addenda. After the 15 tracks that make up the main material, the album concludes with the tracks from the three-78 rpm set Six Songs by Kurt Weill, a recording made in New York in 1943 featuring Lenya accompanied by Weill at the piano. On it, they introduce "Lost in the Stars" six years before it became the title song of Weill's final Broadway musical, and Lenya sings one more version of "Surabaya Johnny" for good measure, bringing the total here to five. The last two tracks are songs written to be broadcast as propaganda in Germany in the final days of World War II. Although this material comes a decade after the earlier tracks, it fits the theme of the album in the sense that the compilation rounds up rare and obscure Weill recordings long out of print and preserves them in the digital realm. (The sound quality "cannot compare to modern audio standards," as a note on the back cover admits. Often mastered from shellac 78s of more than 60 years vintage, the tracks display considerable hiss and crackles. But the music is worth hearing through the noise.)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/5/1994
  • Label: Capriccio
  • UPC: 845221000367
  • Catalog Number: 10347

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Alabama Song, for voice & orchestra (from "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt - Marek Weber & His Orchestra (2:57)
  2. 2 Tango Angèle - Dobbri Saxophone Orchestra (3:05)
  3. 3 Die Muschel von Margate (Petroleum-Song) - Otto Pasetti (2:58)
  4. 4 Surabaya-Johnny - Theo Mackeben Jazz Orchestra (2:54)
  5. 5 Bilbao-Song - Theo Mackeben Jazz Orchestra (2:57)
  6. 6 Matrosensong (Slow-Fox) - Lewis Ruth Band (3:10)
  7. 7 Surabaya-Johnny (Slow-Fox) - Lewis Ruth Band (2:45)
  8. 8 Der Song von Mandelay (One-Step) - Lewis Ruth Band (3:04)
  9. 9 Surabaya-Johnny - "Red" Roberts Ultraphon-Jazz-Orchester (2:44)
  10. 10 Surabaya-Johnny - Pierre Chagnon Orchestra (3:18)
  11. 11 Alabama-Song - Lotte Lenya (2:51)
  12. 12 Denn wie man sich bettet - Lotte Lenya (3:24)
  13. 13 Querschnitt - Berlin Theaters am Kurfürstendamm Orchestra (8:36)
  14. 14 Das Lied vom Schlaraffenland - Ernst Busch (2:56)
  15. 15 Der Bäcker backt ums Morgenrot - Ernst Busch (3:09)
  16. 16 Lost in the Stars, song for voice & piano (from "Lost in the Stars") - Lotte Lenya (3:02)
  17. 17 Lover Man, song for voice & piano (from "Ulysses Africanus") - Lotte Lenya (2:53)
  18. 18 J'attends un navire (I'm Waiting for a Ship), song for voice & piano (f - Lotte Lenya (3:03)
  19. 19 Complainte de la Seine, song for voice & piano - Lotte Lenya (3:28)
  20. 20 Surabaya-Johnny, song for voice & piano (from "Happy End") - Lotte Lenya (3:07)
  21. 21 Denn wie man sich bettet, so liegt man (As You Make Your Bed), song for - Lotte Lenya (3:05)
  22. 22 Und was bekam des Soldaten Weib? (The Ballad of the Soldier's Wife), so - Lotte Lenya (4:11)
  23. 23 Wie Lange Noch? song for voice & piano - Lotte Lenya (3:16)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kurt Weill Piano
Lotte Lenya Vocals
Maurice de Abravanel Conductor
Marek Weber Conductor
Marek Weber & His Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Ernst Busch Conductor
Theo Mackeben Conductor
Pierre Chagnon Conductor
Hans Sommer Conductor
Alfred Schlee Piano
Otto Pasetti Vocals
Lewis Ruth Band Band, Track Performer
Berlin Theaters am Kurfürstendamm Ensemble Ensemble
Dobbri Saxophone Orchestra Ensemble
"Red" Roberts Ultraphon-Jazz-Orchester Performing Ensemble
Lewis Ruth Conductor
Marianne Oswald Vocals
Pierre Chagnon Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Berlin Kurfustendamm Theater Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Ernst Busch Orchester Performing Ensemble
Theo Mackeben and His Ultraphon Jazz Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Technical Credits
Kurt Weill Composer
Bertolt Brecht Text
Maurice de Abravanel Band Master
Hugo Gneipelt Sound Recording
Maxwell Anderson Text
Jürgen Schebera Liner Notes
Lionel Salter translation, Liner Note Translation
Walter Mehring Text
Felix Gasbarra Text
Georg Kaiser Text
Jacques Deval Text
Maurice Magre Text
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