By Ethan Mordden
Noted historian of the Broadway musical chronicles the braided lives of 2 of the 20 th century's such a lot influential artists
For the 1st time, Ethan Mordden chronicles the romance of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya in Love Song, a twin biography that unfolds opposed to the historical past of the tumultuous 20th century, scored to tune from Weil's maximum triumphs: Knickerbocker vacation, misplaced within the Stars, woman at midnight, chuffed finish, One contact of Venus and The upward thrust and Fall of the town of Mahagonny. The romance of Weill, the Jewish cantor's son, and Lenya, the Viennese coachman's daughter, replaced the historical past of Western song. With Bertolt Brecht, they created one of many definitive works of the 20 th century, The Threepenny Opera, a spoil that will live to tell the tale in musical theatre heritage. Weill, the jazz Mozart, was once the author whose paintings is behind the curtain, unseen. Lenya, his epic-theatre femme fatale, used to be the performer who placed the paintings into view. They heard an analogous specified song, yet he gave it shape whereas she gave it lifestyles. Love Song is eventually the tale of a superb romance scored to a couple of the 20 th century's maximum music.
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Additional info for Love Song: The Lives of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya
As for the Blamauers, it's not transparent while Lenja advised her mom that her final identify were replaced to Weill, or perhaps whilst Weill, on his numerous journeys to Vienna, really met his spouse's mother. yet Lenja didn't proportion Weill’s robust relations feeling. “It’d be best,” she as soon as stated, “if lets come into the realm as orphans. ” Neither Weill nor Lenja maintained conventional scruples approximately their marriage vows, both. Lenja was once too sexually adventurous to “settle down,” as our wistful word has it. Lenja wasn’t the settling kind. She married, she acknowledged, just to nonetheless the tongues of gossips—but even within the libertarian global of artists she used to be recognized for her lavish urge for food. Weill lived with it simply because he had no selection; besides, it confirmed spirit, and a love of existence. there has been an pleasure approximately her. Lys Symonette, the practice session pianist for lots of of Weill’s ny indicates, informed Lenja’s biographer Donald Spoto that Lenja was once “ideal” for Weill: “She was once vibrant with no being informed or an highbrow. She used to be clearly musical with out being a expert musician. and she or he was once a hugely erotic character. ” Spoto himself provides, “She drew out the playfulness in [Weill], and the latent sensuousness. She may be impulsive and eccentric, and he or she enjoyed to chill and revel in herself—something he by no means did simply. ” Then, too, Lenja had simply simply turn into a citizen of the Berlin theatre international, the main keyed-up and excessive venue in what could have been the freest urban on Europe. via Georg Kaiser, Lenja had finally made a few contacts that introduced her paintings, understudying the lead in Shakespeare’s Romeo und Juliet after which taking up the position whilst the celebrity left. acting was once Lenja’s pride, then and always—but it used to be invigorating, too, to go into the confraternity of the merry outlaws whose faith used to be artwork, frolic, and shattering bourgeois commandments. the 2 witnesses that Lenja had dropped at her wedding ceremony have been lesbians—keepsakes, possibly, of her guiltless travel throughout the Berlin of “Here you could. ” Christopher Isherwood’s “Berlin skill boys” used to be flawed: Berlin intended every little thing. Vienna was once out of date and Zurich successfully placid, yet Berlin used to be the Wild West with out a sheriff. And, finally, Weill used to be a part-time husband, simply because even if he wasn’t operating he was once operating. He carried the tune in his head, so he didn’t want a piano. At any second, whether you have been telling him whatever very important (important, at any price, to you), his eyes may get glassy and he’d take out a section of paper—anything, from an envelope to the again of an previous bill—and scribble a employees and a few notes on it: his subsequent topic. Lenja was once studying in regards to the problem of being a tune widow. precise, it used to be interesting to work out a guy so enlightened via his personal creativity. but Weill might by no means really proportion himself with you. there has been constantly whatever else within the room with him, anything hypnotic and mystical: his song. because the day begun, Weill was once at his table, operating. Lenja made him breakfast, and, as he ate, he talked of his paintings.