Marianne Faithfull

Weill: The Seven Deadly Sins and other Songs

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If you're looking for the angelic Marianne Faithfull of As Tears Go By, or the angry diva of Broken English, or the lusher but piercingly acute imagery of her work with Angelo Badalamenti, you will not find it here. What you will find, though, is a fully orchestrated work that she has been selling out the house with in Europe -- a parable of commerce called The Seven Deadly Sins, with the Vienna Radio Orchestra and Dennis Russell Davies conducting. These are the songs of Kurt Weill, composer, and Bertolt Brecht, lyricist. This work, it would seem, is a perfect match of voice timbre and sound wished for by the composer. The husky and weary voiced Faithfull does these songs as they were intended to be done, her voice a beautiful match in tone and color. It is the heavy and somber tone of the music that blends so perfectly with her voice here. Weill's music tends toward a formality and somberness that shadows the concerns of the songs. Here Brecht's lyrics tell the moribund story of a girl placed on a tour by her family to earn money for their luxury; her voice reflects the weariness that becomes the ideal vehicle for her travails and lacerations. According to the tabloids, if they are to be believed, Marianne has spent her life researching this work. She displays that rare intelligence that allows all "misfortunes" to be converted to her benefit. There is a detachment that allows one to be intimately involved with, but not consumed by this type of work. This is her best work in quite some time. She deserves all the accolades that come her way as a serious singer who can pull off the piece. A wonderful disc from one whose live presence we must count as miraculous considering what she has lived through.

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