This is an LP transfer of the 1976 New York Shakespeare Festival's revival production of "The Threepenny Opera." This recording should not be confused with the original 1954 New York production recording, nor the 1994 Donmar Warehouse production recording in England. Unlike Marc Blitzstein's version which ran during the 1950's for six years and featured the incomparable Lotte Lenya, this translation is less sanitized and more in keeping with the seedy and sexual nature of the original german play.
From the liner notes to the album - "the successful Blitzstein version was an adaptation rather than a translation, and in comparing it to the original, we were surprised at the extent to which his treatment vitiated the political and sexual thrust which gives the work its relentless power. Blitzstein sweetened and cleaned up Brecht's unsparing lyrics, partially in deference to stage censorship...but in doing so he in many instances changed Brecht's meanings around entirely, and throughout he softened the impact of Brecht's biting ferocity. He also attempted to make the lyrics more 'singable' by fitting them into conventional musical patterns, and in this he succeeded admirably."
The translation used for this revival was prepared by Ralph Maheim and John Willett; the full text can be found in their edition of Brecht's Collected Plays, Volume 2. A hardcover edition was also published in conjunction with the revival.
This revival was directed by conceptual theater artist Richard Foreman, and starred Raul Julia and Ellen Greene, both of whom were nominated for Tony Awards. It was produced by Joseph Papp and the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center. Additional information regarding the production, including cast list, can be found at the Internet Broadway Database's listing for this revival at http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?ID... ...
As of June 2007, this cast album has not been released or reissued on CD; it was originally made available in 1976 on LP, and this is an LP transfer. As such, the quality is not CD quality - there will occasionally be noise, popping, or hissing.
01 - Overture
02 - Ballad of Mac the Knife (Moritat)
03 - Peachum's Morning Anthem
04 - "No They Can't" Song
05 - Wedding Song for the Less Well Off
06 - Cannon Song
07 - Liebeslied (Look at the Moon over Soho)
08 - Barbara Song
09 - First Threepenny Finale
10 - Polly's Lied (Nice While It Lasted)
11 - Ballad of Sexual Obsession
12 - Pirate Jenny
13 - Ballad of Immoral Earnings
14 - Ballad of Gracious Living
15 - Jealousy Duet
16 - Second Threepenny Finale
17 - Song of the Insufficiency of Human Endeavor
18 - Solomon Song
19 - Call From the Grave
20 - Ballad in Which MacHeath Begs All Men for Forgiveness
21 - Third Threepenny Finale (The Mounted Messenger)
22 - Ballad of Mac the Knife (Moritat Reprise)