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Compilation: Kurt WEILL -Charming Weill - Dance Band Arrangements: Film Music CD Reviews- June 2001 MusicWeb(UK)

June 2001Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings /June01/

Compilation: Kurt WEILL
Charming Weill - Dance Band Arrangements  
  Max Raabe (vocalist) with the Palast Orchester directed by H.K. Gruber
  RCA RED SEAL 09026 63513-2   [69:53]

One look at the ensemble above of dapper tuxedo-clad chaps and their silver-gowned violinist speaks volumes about the style of playing of this dance music! Yes we are back in the good old pre-World War II days, back to the world of the palm court tea dance orchestras - all polished elegance and world-weary sophistication. This CD is a compilation, a celebration of Kurt Weill's melodies stretching from the 1920's to the 1940's taking in his Berlin, Paris and New York periods and embracing many styles including the fox-trot, tango, Shimy and Charleston.

There is much to enjoy here. Much is familiar; you will recognise songs made famous in films and shows like: 'Life, Love and Laughter' from The Firebird of Florence; the ironically coy and plaintive 'My Ship' from Lady in the dark; the haunting 'September Song' from Knickerbocker Holiday; the dreamily romantic 'All At Once' from Where Do We Go from Here?; and the stylish, seductive samba rhythms of 'Speak Low' from One Touch of Venus (somewhat spoilt by the dodgy intonation and oddly inflected English of vocalist Max Raabe who also has a strange way with 'September Song'). There are also two Foxtrot Potpourri to relish which have some delightfully quirky music to sand-dance rhythms. Offsetting the sweetness, are some numbers from Weill's Berlin period, decadent and with what one sometimes imagines is a cruel streak just below the surface.

Very enjoyable; recommended

Ian Lace


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