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World Music CD Reviews Jazz


By Tom Pryor
Published September 27, 2005

Round About Weill

Few artists are as evocative of an era, or freighted with historical baggage, as composer Kurt Weill. His interwar collaborations with Bertolt Brecht, from Das Berliner Requiem to Die Dreigroschenoper, still resonate today as the soundtrack to the Weimar Republic, and continue to cast a powerful spell that all but eclipses Weill’s later postwar compositions for Broadway and Hollywood. The Italian duo Gianluigi Trovesi (piccolo, alto clarinet) and Gianni Cosica (accordion) takes a fresh approach to Weill, with a subtle, airy touch that seeks to recast this legendary canon on a human scale. As on their previous effort, 1999’s In Cerca di Cibo, the duo takes a playful, informed approach to its music-making, trading heady references and sophisticated musical quotes with ease. Their arrangement of “Tango Ballade” is both sly and mournful, while “Lieben” is pure heartbreak, and “Ach, bedenken Sie, Herr Jack O’Brien” crackles with jaunty liveliness reminiscent of Nino Rota. With liner notes by Umberto Eco, Round About Weill gives the music of Kurt Weill a whole new lease on life.