Thursday, 6 December 2012

Kurt Weill - Happy End (Köln, 1988, Jan Latham-König)

Happy End is a surrealistic three-act musical comedy by Kurt Weill, Elisabeth Hauptmann, and Bertolt Brecht which first opened in Berlin at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm on September 2, 1929. It closed after seven performances. In 1977 it premiered on Broadway, where it ran for 75 performances.

If you like the music of Kurt Weill you will definitely like this album. It does not have the non stop hit songs that 'threepenny' does, but all the songs on this are great and are of the expected Weill Weimar style.

After the success of Weill and Brecht's previous collaboration, The Threepenny Opera, the duo devised this musical, written by Elisabeth Hauptmann under the pseudonym of Dorothy Lane. Hauptmann's sources included, among others, Major Barbara.The story is reminiscent of, but not the source of, the better-known musical Guys and Dolls, which is based on Damon Runyon's short story, "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown".

Set in early 1920's Chicago, the plot pits organized crime against the Salvation Army. Lieutenant Lilian Holiday makes a brave attempt to reform a group of gangsters led by Bill Cracker and the Lady in Grey. As she is making progress, she is thrown out of the Salvation Army because they fear she is too close to the gangsters. But since she is the most popular evangelist, they are forced to let her back into the fold. Meanwhile, the gang robs a bank on Christmas Eve; thanks to Bill's growing affection for Lilian, they decide to unite with the Salvation Army and open a new office downtown, to work on saving the souls of capitalists.

The debut was plagued by problems. Hauptmann never finished the book of the musical, the play's opening debut saw cast member Helene Weigel reading from a Communist pamphlet on stage, and it was met with near-unanimous pans from the German press and deemed a total failure.

Nevertheless, the musical was subsequently produced in Europe, the first time in Munich in 1956. Successive productions included Hamburg in 1957, London in 1965 at the Royal Court Theatre and Frankfurt in 1983, along with a 1979 German film version.
This album features the first complete recording from Köln, 1988.


Der kleine Leutnant des lieben Gottes
Geht hinein in die Schlacht
Bruder, gib dir einen Stoß
Fürchte dich nicht
In der Jugend gold'nem Schimmer
Das Lied vom Branntweinhändler
Der Song von Mandelay
Das Lied von der harten Nuss
Die Ballade von der Höllen-Lili
Hosiannah Rockefeller
Kurt Weill - Happy End (Jan Latham-König, Köln, 1988)
(192 kbps, no cover art included)

1 comment:

  1. Is it still possible to have the link? Thank you very much