Ute Lemper with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Stellar interpretations of Weill and Brecht at the Edinburgh International Festival
This article is from 2014.
What a treat. Ute Lemper is the peerless interpreter of the Weimar songbook, making her cabaret competitors look like greasy lightweights. And the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by American Lawrence Foster, have the most fun with these lush, brassy arrangements of Kurt Weill as well as other songs associated with Marlene Dietrich, Edith Piaf and Liza Minelli.
Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret, for example, is not one to tackle lightly. And yes, purists, it was written by Americans as an homage to the era of divine decadence and is something quite different from the Threepenny Opera. But with the swooping orchestration and the hard edge Lemper brings to what is, basically, a showtune, this becomes something very special indeed.
With pipes to rival the magnificent organ that dominates the stage of the Usher Hall, Lemper pulls off that most slippery of tricks: she interprets the hugely familiar and the more obscure without ever ceasing to be herself.
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 15 Aug 2014, part of Edinburgh International Festival.