This CD is a collection of German songs from the early to mid-20th century sung by German born singer Theo Bleckmann. The minimalist arrangements for small chamber ensemble with piano by Fumio Yasuda are well suited to Bleckmann’s pure, transparent tone. As I started listening, I noticed the sound of static in the background, which I assume was to give the feel of an old radio broadcast. It was a little distracting, but they dropped it after the second song or so.
Many of the songs are Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht compositions, including Surabaya Johnny and Der Bilbao from Happy End. I’m a big fan of their work, but I have to say my favorites on this CD are Lili Marlene and Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe eingestellt (Falling in Love Again), songs made famous by Marlene Dietrich. The arrangements are fresh and Bleckmann”s voice gives them an ethereal, haunting quality.