The Broadway show Lovemusik, which opens at the Biltmore Theater next week, chronicles the agonized, fitful, tender, ugly and ultimately indispensable relationship that bound Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya. In the show — which features many Weill songs, including a few that only full-time Weillologists are likely to know — the composer explains to the singer that there is really no distinction between music and love, between the sonic and the erotic. For the stage, Alfred Uhry condensed a letter that Weill wrote to his not-yet-wife in 1926:
When I feel this longing for you, I think most of all of the sound of your voice, which I love like a very force of nature, like an element. For me all of you is contained within this sound; everything else is only a part of you; and when I envelop myself in your voice, then you are with me in every way. I know every nuance, every vibration of your voice, and I can hear exactly what you would say if you were with me right now - and how you would say it. But suddenly this sound is again entirely alien and new to me, and the it is the greatest joy to realize how affectionately this voice caresses me.
— from Speak Low (When You Speak of Love): The Letters of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya; edited and translated by Lys Simmonette and Kim Kowalke
The Lovemusik website has a short clip of Weill singing "Speak Low" in his Freudian croon. I won't comment on the show itself until my theater critic colleagues have reviewed it — except to say that Donna Murphy closes it with a wrenching rendition of "September Song."