11-CD/1-picture disc box (LP-size) with 252-page hardcover book, 243 tracks. Playing time approx. 762 mns.
Lotte Lenya—as the unrivaled protagonist of the Weill/Brecht song style, she captivated the Berlin theater scene of the late twenties with her appearances in 'Die Dreigroschenoper' and 'Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny'. At the time, she was barely thirty years old.
Lotte Lenya—celebrated likewise later in the United States, where she became known through her memorable performances of Jenny in the breakthrough off-Broadway production 'The Threepenny Opera ' (which opened in 1954, with a record-breaking run of 2611 performances) and Fräulein Schneider in the international Kander & Ebb hit, 'Cabaret' (which opened in 1966, with a run of 1165 performances). -- Lotte Lenya—under her artistic supervision and with her participation, Philips Records and Columbia Records co-produced complete musical recordings of some of the most important works by the team of Weill and Brecht. Dating from 1955 to 1960, these recordings—which include 'Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny', 'Die sieben Todsünden', 'Die Dreigroschenoper', and 'Happy End' —remain exemplary even today.
Bear Family Records honors the legendary actress and singer with an elaborate edition.
The CD collection presents Lenya’s complete commercial recordings—from her first Orchestrola 78 dating from 1929 to a 45-rpm recording issued by Metromedia in 1970. The set is accompanied by the first comprehensive Lenya discography, prepared by Rainer E. Lotz and Richard Weize.
In addition to the classical works, the collection contains a number of fascinating rediscoveries including 'Invitation to German Poetry', a recording from 1958 on which Lenya reads German lyric poetry from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century, and a first-ever release, Song of Ruth from the Weill/Werfel Biblical drama The Eternal Road, recorded as a track for the 1957 album 'Lotte Lenya Sings American Theatre Songs of Kurt Weill' but never released.
The collection also offers previously unreleased material from Lenya’s estate: selections from her radio and television appearances, a selection from Marc Blitzstein’s 1933 radio song-play 'I’ve Got The Tune', the first half of one of her legendary Carnegie Hall concerts, a deeply moving recitation of Brecht’s 'Kinderkreuzzug', and three recordings of anti-Fascist songs by Weill and Dessau based on texts by Brecht and Mehring that were made by the U.S. Office of War Information in Washington, D.C., and transmitted to Germany via short-wave radio during the 1940s by the Voice of America.
The accompanying 252-page book offers a richly documented chronicle of Lenya’s life based on the reminiscences of her friends and colleagues, interviews with record producers H. Gerhard Lichthorn (Philips) and George Avakian (Columbia), a chronological list of Lenya’s various roles, and an extensive, two-part essay by Lenya specialists Jürgen Schebera (the European years, 1898-1935) and David Farneth (the American years, 1935-1981). Written especially for this centennial collection, the essay offers a lively account of Lenya’s accomplishments and discusses her significance for the European and American theater. Hundreds of photos and documents, many newly discovered and published for the first time, illustrate the text and offer a visual journey through the exceptional life of Lotte Lenya.
A 'must' for all Weill and Brecht fans, as well as anyone interested in the theater.