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In the current Opera News, there is a long piece about Mahagonny, which is being revived in Los Angeles, by Philip Kennicott. Looks like an interesting production.

http://www.metoperafamily.org/operanews/is...1989&issueID=84

"Weill's actual achievement was rather to dredge up, in a lively way, the deep rottenness at the source of the commercial hit song in particular," wrote Bloch. He added, "By this means the audience is tricked in the moment of gratification they usually get out of their hit songs; the hit as a consumer good is switched for something exposed as a synthetic facsimile, as ersatz."

In short, alienation is a bait-and-switch: you think you're getting good music, but instead you're getting musical tripe. The problem with this analysis is that it is precisely those "hit songs" in works such as Mahagonny that have had the most lasting appeal. Far from being revealed as ersatz or synthetic, Weill's "rotten" songs have proven themselves a benchmark for really good pop since they were written. (You may not like pop, but you can't claim that this is an "ersatz" version of it.) Even more than the popular music one might have heard in the cafés or dance halls of the late 1920s and 1930s, Weill's songs represent their era. Far more than the music they supposedly undermine, heard on scratchy old recordings, the songs of Weill are the soundtrack for Weimar Germany.

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In the current Opera News, there is a long piece about Mahagonny, which is being revived in Los Angeles, by Philip Kennicott. Looks like an interesting production.

I have to admit honestly that the full blown Mahagonny is a bit too much to me. By the time we get to

Jimmy's trial , I have lost interest , it I find it a bit overblown. IMO, of course

Actually I would like to see the cabaret prototype, I think I might get Weill's message more strongly from that.

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