A worthy recording of Kurt Weill's great score
William S. Oser | Florida, USA | 07/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lost in the Stars is quite possibly Kurt Weill's magnum opus for the American Theater. It is however almost impossible to produce today because you need a black leading man with great charisma. He also needs a voice that could sing Porgy in Porgy and Bess (both roles were created by the luminescent Todd Duncan). This recording has a great singer, Arthur Woodley in the title role and the rest of the cast is equally good in support. No one should be without the Decca Original Broadway Cast Album, Todd Duncan's performance is for the ages, but the songs are so badly cut to fit the restraints of 78 RPM sides, that the overall structure of the piece is crushed. So much important missing music. Now Weill lovers and lovers of great theater music can hear the score in its eitirety, and believe me it makes a difference. Julius Rudel conducts a wonderful performance. He had conducted this piece at City Opera in the 1960's with Shirley Verett in the role of Irina, and his experience is very telling. This is not a perfect recording, no one could ever really fill Todd Duncan's shoes, but it is very unlikely that it will be bettered anytime soon. Pick it up before it becomes a rarety, its already out of print. There is always hope that the American Movie Festival Production from their first season, staring Brock Peters, another great Black star will be issued on DVD before I die."