Classical CD Reviews

Ute Lemper – Paris Days, Berlin Nights – with the Vogler String Quartet & Stefan Malzew – Steinway & Sons

A wonderful program and arrangements, but Lemper is just a bit over the top for my taste.

Published on January 3, 2013

Ute Lemper – Paris Days, Berlin Nights – with the Vogler String Quartet & Stefan Malzew – Steinway & Sons

Ute Lemper – Paris Days, Berlin Nights – with the Vogler String Quartet & Stefan Malzew [TrackList follows] – Steinway & Sons 30009 [Distr. by Naxos] ***:

Genug bereits! With arrangements by Stefan Lazew, who also plays piano, accordion and clarinet on these 13 tracks, Lemper amps up her usual approach to Weimar Republic-type music so far that it’s over the top. Just too stylized and exaggerated for my taste, though some might love it. Being a sort of a European Songbook from the Weimar years, going from Paris to Berlin, and including Eastern European tunes as well as Argentine tangos, this collection brings together chansons of Edith Piaf, Kurt Weill & Hans Eisler (of course!), Piazzolla, Chava Alberstein and Jacques Brel. Nice idea to not be stuck in just the Germanic area.

This would be a winning medley of Weill’s “Surabaya Johnny” and “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer,” but it’s just a bit too much for me. I personally love this period and this music, but Lemper has theatricalized it to an extreme in my opinion. The string quartet adds a chamber sort of sound to the proceedings, but doesn’t counteract the overdone posturing of Lemper in some of the chansons. She wasn’t nearly so overdone in her 2005 video which I reviewed.

TrackList:

1. Elle Fréquentait la Rue Pigalle by Louis Maitrier 
Performer:  Stefan Malzew (Clarinet), Stefan Malzew (Accordion), Stefan Malzew (Piano), 
Ute Lemper (Soprano), Frank Reinecke (Violin), Stefan Fehlandt (Viola), 
Tim Vogler (Violin), Stephan Forck (Cello) 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vogler String Quartet 
Date of Recording: 2/2012 
Venue:  Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Stefan Malzew.  
2. L’accordéoniste by Michel Emer 
Performer:  Stefan Fehlandt (Viola), Ute Lemper (Soprano), Frank Reinecke (Violin), 
Stefan Malzew (Piano), Stefan Malzew (Accordion), Stefan Malzew (Clarinet), 
Tim Vogler (Violin), Stephan Forck (Cello) 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vogler String Quartet 
Date of Recording: 2/2012 
Venue:  Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Stefan Malzew.  
3. Happy End: Surabaya Johnny by Kurt Weill 
Performer:  Stefan Fehlandt (Viola), Ute Lemper (Soprano), Frank Reinecke (Violin), 
Stefan Malzew (Piano), Stefan Malzew (Accordion), Stefan Malzew (Clarinet), 
Tim Vogler (Violin), Stephan Forck (Cello) 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vogler String Quartet 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 2/2012 
Venue:  Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, Germany 
Notes: This selection shares a track and timing with “Die Moritat vom Mackie Masser.” 
4. Die Dreigroschenoper: Die Moritat von Mackie Messer “Mack the knife” by Kurt Weill 
Performer:  Stefan Fehlandt (Viola), Ute Lemper (Soprano), Frank Reinecke (Violin), 
Stefan Malzew (Piano), Stefan Malzew (Accordion), Stefan Malzew (Clarinet), 
Tim Vogler (Violin), Stephan Forck (Cello) 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vogler String Quartet 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 2/2012 
Venue:  Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, Germany 
Notes: This selection This selection shares a track and timing with “Surabaya Johnny.” 
5. Der Graben by Hanns Eisler 
Performer:  Stefan Fehlandt (Viola), Ute Lemper (Soprano), Frank Reinecke (Violin), 
Stefan Malzew (Piano), Stefan Malzew (Accordion), Stefan Malzew (Clarinet), 
Tim Vogler (Violin), Stephan Forck (Cello) 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vogler String Quartet 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928 
Date of Recording: 2/2012 
Venue:  Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Stefan Malzew.  
6. Über den Selbstmord by Hanns Eisler 
Performer:  Stefan Fehlandt (Viola), Ute Lemper (Soprano), Frank Reinecke (Violin), 
Stefan Malzew (Piano), Stefan Malzew (Accordion), Stefan Malzew (Clarinet), 
Tim Vogler (Violin), Stephan Forck (Cello) 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vogler String Quartet 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939 
Date of Recording: 2/2012 
Venue:  Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Stefan Malzew.  
7. Die Rundköpfe und die Spitzköpfe, Op. 45: Die Ballade vom Wasserrad by Hanns Eisler 
Performer:  Stefan Fehlandt (Viola), Ute Lemper (Soprano), Frank Reinecke (Violin), 
Stefan Malzew (Piano), Stefan Malzew (Accordion), Stefan Malzew (Clarinet), 
Tim Vogler (Violin), Stephan Forck (Cello) 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vogler String Quartet 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934-1936; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2/2012 
Venue:  Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Stefan Malzew.  
8. La última grela by Astor Piazzolla 
Performer:  Stefan Fehlandt (Viola), Ute Lemper (Soprano), Frank Reinecke (Violin), 
Stefan Malzew (Piano), Stefan Malzew (Accordion), Stefan Malzew (Clarinet), 
Tim Vogler (Violin), Stephan Forck (Cello) 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vogler String Quartet 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971 
Date of Recording: 2/2012 
Venue:  Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Stefan Malzew. 
9. Enrico IV: Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla 
Performer:  Stefan Fehlandt (Viola), Ute Lemper (Soprano), Frank Reinecke (Violin), 
Stefan Malzew (Piano), Stefan Malzew (Accordion), Stefan Malzew (Clarinet), 
Tim Vogler (Violin), Stephan Forck (Cello) 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vogler String Quartet 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; Argentina 
Date of Recording: 2/2012 
Venue:  Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Stefan Malzew.  
10. Maria de Buenos Aires: Yo soy Maria by Astor Piazzolla 
Performer:  Stefan Fehlandt (Viola), Ute Lemper (Soprano), Frank Reinecke (Violin), 
Stefan Malzew (Piano), Stefan Malzew (Accordion), Stefan Malzew (Clarinet), 
Tim Vogler (Violin), Stephan Forck (Cello) 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vogler String Quartet 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1968; Argentina 
Date of Recording: 2/2012 
Venue:  Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Stefan Malzew.  
11. Tyomnaja Notch by Nikita Bogolovsky 
Performer:  Stefan Fehlandt (Viola), Ute Lemper (Soprano), Frank Reinecke (Violin), 
Stefan Malzew (Piano), Stefan Malzew (Accordion), Stefan Malzew (Clarinet), 
Tim Vogler (Violin), Stephan Forck (Cello) 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vogler String Quartet 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USSR 
Date of Recording: 2/2012 
Venue:  Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, Germany 
12. Ikh shtey unter a Bokserboym by Chava Alberstein 
Performer:  Stefan Fehlandt (Viola), Ute Lemper (Soprano), Frank Reinecke (Violin), 
Stefan Malzew (Piano), Stefan Malzew (Accordion), Stefan Malzew (Clarinet), 
Tim Vogler (Violin), Stephan Forck (Cello) 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vogler String Quartet 
Date of Recording: 2/2012 
Venue:  Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Stefan Malzew.  
13. Stiller Abend by Chava Alberstein 
Performer:  Stefan Fehlandt (Viola), Ute Lemper (Soprano), Frank Reinecke (Violin), 
Stefan Malzew (Piano), Stefan Malzew (Accordion), Stefan Malzew (Clarinet), 
Tim Vogler (Violin), Stephan Forck (Cello) 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vogler String Quartet 
Date of Recording: 2/2012 
Venue:  Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Stefan Malzew.  
14. Ne me quitte pas by Jacques Brel 
Performer:  Stefan Malzew (Clarinet), Stefan Malzew (Accordion), Stefan Malzew (Piano), 
Frank Reinecke (Violin), Ute Lemper (Soprano), Stefan Fehlandt (Viola), 
Tim Vogler (Violin), Stephan Forck (Cello) 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vogler String Quartet 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 2/2012 
Venue:  Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Stefan Malzew.  

—John Sunier




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