Gramophone Classical Music Guide 2010
“Kurt Weill composed La complainte de la Seine in 1934, while he was living in France. It was first sung and recorded by Lys Gauty. In the introduction to the first verse, Weill weaves in a quote from the marching theme at the end of Die sieben Todsünden. The two are neatly linked here, as Brigitte Fassbaender sings the chanson directly after the ballet-chanté. Of all the opera singers who have recorded The Seven DeadlySins, Fassbaender’s has always been a favourite.
She sings it in the original, higher key, and although some of the tempi chosen by Cord Garben seem a little slow, Fassbaender’s luscious mezzo invests the work with a superb sense of world-weariness. All the other songs come from the cache of unpublished work that we first got to know in 1982 through Teresa Stratas’s ‘The Unknown Kurt Weill’ (Nonesuch). Stratas gives the songs more urgency; Fassbaender seems relaxed by comparison, which is not to say that she doesn’t extract every last ounce of irony from the lyrics, including one unique contribution from Jean Cocteau (Es regnet). The original issue had full texts and translations; here there are merely synopses. Nevertheless, at its modest price, this is highly recommended.
Gramophone Magazine July 2006
“Of all the opera singers who have recorded The Seven Deadly Sins, Fassbaender’s has always been my favourite version. She sings it in the original, high key, and although some of the tempi chosen by Cord Garben seem a little slow, Fassbaender’s luscious mezzo invents the work with a superb sense of world-weariness.