WEILL Kurt, Nanna’s Lied; Youkali; Je ne t’aime pas

Nannas Lied (1939) 
Youkali (1934) 
Je ne t’aime pas [I don’t love you] (1934) (arr. for trumpet and piano) 

After Kurt Weill heard Hanns Eisler’s 1936 setting of Bertolt Brecht’s Nannas Lied he decided that he wanted to make a version of his own, and just before Christmas 1939, he produced this song, dedicating it to the singer Lotte Lenya. Youkali, subtitled a ‘Tango-habanera’ was originally an instrumental Tango for Weill’s ill-fated French musical Marie Galante which opened in Paris on 22 December 1934. In 1946 a version for voice and piano was published as Youkali. Je ne t’aime pas was a song for voice and piano, on a text by Maurice Magre, also composed in 1934 during Weill’s time in France. As a prominent Jewish composer – renowned for The Threepenny Opera and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny – Weill was forced to flee Nazi Germany in 1933 and eventually settled in New York in September 1935 where he was able to rebuild his career with successful Broadway works such as Lady in the Dark, One Touch of Venus, Street Scene and Lost in the Stars.  

 

© Nigel Simeone 

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