EIF 2014: Ute Lemper Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Usher Hall, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Weill, Kleine Dreigroschenmusik; Weill I(arr Ziegler), Der Song von Mandalay, Surabaya-Johnny; Kander/Ebb, Cabaret; Well (arr Ziegler), Denn wie man sich bettet, Salomon-Song, Die Moritat von Mackie Messer, Youkali, J'attends un navire; Ferré, Avec le temps; Weill/Gershwin, A Saga of Jenny; Stravinsky, Scènes de ballet; Dietrich, Lily Marlene, Eisler, Die Ballade vom Wasserrad, Der Graben, Die Ballade von Marie Sanders; Dietrich, Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss, Ich bin die fesche Lola; Monnot/Moustaki, Milord; Glanzberg/Contet, Padam...padam...
Ute Lemper, Lawrence Foster (conductor)
Running time

Kurt Weill's 1929 work Little Three Penny Music emerged from a darkened stage lit by the music desk lamps for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Taken from Weill's Threepenny Opera it is a suite for wind orchestra piano and percussion and a great opener for a night of cabaret.

Ute Lemper took complete control as she discussed and sung her way through some of the best known songs from the first half of the twentieth century. If the theme of this year's Festival is based on how culture interpreted the onset of war Ute Lemper brought out some of the frightening history behind what she sung to us most magnificently.

The second half began with Lawrence Foster, the American conductor, taking us through Stravinsky's eleven Scènes de Ballet. Ute Lemper took control again and whereas the first half had been very much Kurt Weill, the second was Dietrich's Lily Marlene, three ballads from Eisler and two more from Dietrich. Milord by Monnot and Moustaki was followed by the final high point with Glanzberg and Contet's Padam...padam...

The wonderful evening of cabaret was, however, spoiled for me by a sound system that had taken over. So much so, sitting in the front stalls, it was from the large speakers to the left of stage that Ute Lemper seemed to be speaking - despite being centre stage. Early on I assumed the piano was hidden somewhere to the left behind the first violins to judge by the sound output. It was a little puzzling when Ute Lemper pointed to the piano behind the cellos for me only then to realise there was something wrong.

Event: Friday 15th August 2014 at 7.30pm