If there’s a composer that usually lives me cold is Kurt Weill. I like his score for LADY IN THE DARK and I love “Speak Low” from ONE TOUCH OF VENUS (I’m still waiting to have a full cast recording of this musical), but I hardly enjoy the rest of his work. So why did I bought this CD? The answer is Donna Murphy.
Here, Murphy plays the role of legendary Lotte Lenya and she is simply perfect. It’s amazing how versatile she is and how she easily transforms herself into someone else. Her renditions of Weill’s classics like “Alabama Song”, “Surabaya Johnny” and “September Song” are reason more than enough to buy this cast recording. But there’s more to it than Murphy. The entire cast is very good, with Michael Cerveris delivering a convincing Weill. The orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick are effective, atmospheric and bring new life to the old songs.
As you probably may have guessed, my favorite tracks are, besides the lovely “Speak Low”, the less typical Weill’s songs. “Girl of the Moment” is great, “Wouldn’t You Like to Be on Broadway” a nice surprise that I think I never heard before and I can say the same about “It’s Never Too Late to Mendelssohn”. Another great song is “Buddy on the Night Shift” sung by Graham Rowat and I also enjoyed “The Illusion Wedding Show”.
I can’t say that I’ve surrender to Weill’s work, but this album was a nice addition to my CD library. I guess I discovered a side of Weill that I haven’t listen before, but I believe it’s the terrific cast that convinced me. Congratulations to them all.