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Thursday, 11 June 2015

Sydney Film Festival (32) - Speak Low - A little more on Christian Petzold's remarkable Phoenix

KUrt Weill in 1932
Barrie Pattison has already written about Christian Petzold' s superb Phoenix  and  I dont want to just share the enthusiasm. But, throughout the movie the soundtrack crackles with little excerpts and variations of the Kurt Weill song Speak Low. Weill wrote this for a show he did with Ogden Nash, "One Touch of Venus" which premiered on Broadway on 7th October 1943. I guess, like a number of other things that happen in the movie, you just have to accept that Nelly knew the song and her husband could accompany her on piano. Anyway, for whatever reason, if indeed there is one beyond the ever-astonishing musical beauty of it, here it is in the haltingly sung version by Nina Hoss from the movie itself. For full strength versions you can try Lotte Lenya, or the great modern interpreter of Weill's songs Ute Lemper, or the version voiced by Ava Gardner and Dick Haymes in the movie version of the show. One Touch of Venus (William A Seiter, USA, 1948)

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