Further to my previous Kurt Weil, Music Monday post. I must mention the Beggars’ Opera. Composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950) and playwright Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) transformed the sweet old-fashioned operetta forms of their time into sharp political perspectives with sounds of 1920s Berlin dance bands and cabaret.
The show’s opening number, Macky Messer(Mack the Knife) became one of the top popular songs of the 20th Century. Legendary and popular artists such as Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald, Liberace, Michael Bublé, Robbie Williams have all done their own rendition of this tune, though only Lotte Lenya, the wife of Weil who it was written for, had the menacing voice that could be appropriate to a song about such a horrible serial killer!
It was known in English as The Threepenny Opera. The British/Hollywood film versiondoes not have Mack the Knife as a song and includes Kenneth Williams in a remarkable straight-acting role. The original was first staged at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin in 1928. It eventually became a great success, playing 400 times in the next two years.
Click HERE to listen to a rare recording of Luis Armstrong and Lotte Lenya singing Mack the Knife in english:
Streets are being blown up in Winchester today – not far from my city in Hampshire, as part of Netlflix/Sony filming a big-budget historical drama series called The Crown.
College Street and Kingsgate Street have all been cordoned off except for actors costumed in 40s attire, and rubble has been placed outside The Wykeham Arms pub for the re-enactment of World War II scenes.
The Wykeham Pub and Cornflowers on College Street, Winchester
I expect that Hampshire Council will well-paid for this inconvenience – at £100 million, the filming budget is said to be the most expensive television show ever produced in Britain.
My family and friends have travelled to various parts of Britain to work as extras since filming commenced last October. Despite having signed secrecy contracts, the scenes at weddings, funerals and stately homes are all over the internet. Netflix have also released a trailor on…
Erica Lowe is having a pop-up exhibition with my good friend Caroline McCatty at New Brewery Arts in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK. The exhibition will include automata, embellished paintings, embroideries, printed textiles, jewellery and other curiosities and runs from 1st – 13th November. Portrait of Isadora Duncan (detail) My work will include portraits from the intrepid women series and […]
I love everything about the film Life of Pi directed by Ang Lee, which also won many ®Oscars in 2012. Here follows a link to the creative opening sequence with music composed by Mychael Dann and written and sung by Bombay Jayashri. The nomination marks the first ever song in the Tamil language to be nominated in the category.
Working on the song, Ang Lee explained to Jayashri the mood and feeling the song should evoke. Jayashri notes in her blog that he told her: “A child sleeps not because he is sleepy, but because he feels safe.”
Click Here for the YouTube link to the Life of Pi opening sequence.
So it appears that David Bowie’s poignant art collection is to be auctioned off at Sotheby’s. Part 1 takes place in London on the 10th of November, 2016 from 7pm.
This may be the last chance you get to see these amazing works of art – from Tintoretto to Damien Hirst. So do click HERE to view Sotherby’s online catalogue before that date, as it may be the last chance you will get to see images of them.
Here is my personal favourite:
Here’s what they say: On the evening of 10 November the most important pieces from the David Bowie Collection will go under the hammer, led by Jean-Michel Basquiat’s magnificent Air Power. At the heart of the auction is Bowie’s collection of 20th-century British Art, which moves from Harold Gilman’s Interior (Mrs Mounter), painted during the First World War, to works by Damien Hirst from the 1990sby way of David Bomberg, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Eduardo Paolozzi, Patrick Caulfield, Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff. The selection is embellished by keys works by Marcel Duchamp, who Bowie cited as a major influence, and Francis Picabia as well as a 16th-century Venetian altarpiece by Tintoretto.
As a fan of Kurt Weill, this is one of my favourite albums, with contributions from artistes around the world including British ones such as Sting and Marianne Faithful.
This song is from the three-act musical comedy Happy End by Kurt Weill, Elisabeth Hauptmann and Bertolt Brecht. The trio wrote this after their success of The Threepenny Opera, which were both performed during the late 1920s, just before the depression at the Theatre am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin.
Dagmar Krause a German singer, has a unique voice, which lends itself to the type of tragic ballads sung in Berlin Cabaret.
My husband’s Nephew/Godson got married and we went to his wedding reception at the weekend. Johnny, in his early 50s, has been a punk-rocker since I could remember and we wondered what sort of entertainment could be provided for his extended family of roman catholics of Irish extraction. With it looking more like a Halloween party – complete with skull decorations, black and red themed balloons and two wedding cakes – one black, the other white with iced with expletives – we held our breath.
Their friends The Rocker Covers provided the answer. A talented trio who perform rock-a-billy-style covers of popular songs from the 50s to the present day. They are a serious band with albums and a contract with Greystone Records.
So for my Music Monday this week: click on The Rocker Covers’ track ‘American Idiot’ (revved-up) to hear some cool sounds.
My husband who is 80, outdid all the youngsters with The Twist – his era was rock’n’roll. I was brought up on music from the 60s to the 80s, where you shuffled next to someone and did your thing rather than hold on to your partner. So we have invented our own way of dancing with each other – a sort of rock’n’roll / reggae, with a bit of lambada and salsa thrown in from having mixed with Brazilians and Spanish when we lived abroad. He circles me around while I pogo and wiggle my back-side. People think we are professional dancers – but when I am asked to dance by anyone else – they realise that I don’t know any of the formal dance steps.
So we had a great time – and I noticed that the over 50s tended to dance while the younger ones headed towards the room with the bar.
Further to last week’s Music Monday about the sea, I also lived by the sea in Southern Spain and fell in love with the flamenco culture of the region. Here is part of a poem (with an approximate translation) by Rafael Alberti. He is one of my favourite poets who was born by the sea in Puerto de Santa Maria in the province of Cádiz, Spain, but moved with his family in order to live in Madrid,the capital city, when he was fifteen. Here he expresses his saudade or homesickness for the sea.
Click here too for the words sung in flamenco by Lady Hagua
El mar. La mar.The sea (m). The sea (f). El mar. ¡Sólo la mar!The sea (m). Only the sea! ¿Por qué me trajiste, padre,Why did you bring me, father, a la ciudad?to the town? ¿Por qué me desenterrasteWhy did you unearth me del mar?from the sea? En sueños la marejada In a dream, the swell me tira del corazón; is drawing my heart; se lo quisiera llevar. It would like to carry me off. Padre, ¿por qué me trajisteFather, why did you bring acá?me here?