Monday, May 17, 2010


We went to Ute Lemper's concert last night and came away well satisfied. Lynn didn't like the skat and whistling portions but loved the rest. Usually I can't stand skat, particularly if it is of the Mel Torme kind, but I found that last night Lemper did it well and it fitted in with the music.
The show, Angels over Berlin was a kind of homage to Berlin from an ex-pat and began with songs from the Weimar Republic of the 1920's to early 30's ( Lemper gave a kind of chronological narrative throughout), the rise of the Brown Shirt Nazis in the early 30's, exodus to South America then return to Berlin before war, downfall and emigration worldwide. Highlighting periods and place were the music and poetry of Brecht, Weill, Hollaender,  Brel, Piaf, Ferre and Piazzolla. Magic. Lempers voice has a tremendous range. For some reason recently, we have been watching American Idol. When Lemper really got into her songs we looked at each other and agreed that if any one of those final contenders on Idol, for just a moment, reached the heights that Lemper did at any moment, they would have delivered the performance of their lives. We are surrounded by so much second rate, overproduced rubbish, generally sung by 20 somethings (which unfortunately dominates the airwaves both radio and TV) that it was so refreshing to see a real master at work. The medley of Mack the Knife/Life is a Cabaret/All That Jazz was a centrepiece but very well supported by some stunning other stuff including Je ne quitte pas. A fine band backed her (piano, bandoneao, drums and, dare I say it, double bass).
We didn't have wine at the concert - the performance was intoxicating enough. If we had the most appropriate drink would have been a very good Sekt like Brundlmayer Brut, but most likely a damn good rich Champagne like Roederer, Pol Roger or Bollinger.

6 comments:

Richard (of RBB) said...

"We didn't have wine at the concert"
This post isn't really about wine, is it?"

THE WINE GUY said...

More about Weimar

Second said...

Did she sing "Lili Marleen"?

THE CURMUDGEON said...

Yes. In German, at the beginning.

Richard (of RBB) said...

Did she drink wine on stage? Sorry but I just trying to work out what this concert review is doing on a wine blog.

THE WINE GUY said...

You'd be better off working on your grammar.