For the first time, Ethan Mordden chronicles the romance of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya in "Love Song", a dual biography that unfolds against the background of the tumultous twentieth century, scored to music from Weil's greatest triumphs: "Knickerbocker Holiday", "Lost in the Stars", "Lady in the Dark", "Happy End", "One Touch of Venus" and "The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny". The romance of Weill, the Jewish cantor's son, and Lenya, the Viennese coachman's daughter, changed the history of Western music. With Bertolt Brecht, they created one of the definitive works of the twentieth century, The Threepenny Opera, a smash that would live on in musical theatre history. Weill, the jazz Mozart, was the creator whose work is backstage, unseen. Lenya, his epic-theatre femme fatale, was the performer who put the work into view. They heard the same unique music, but he gave it form while she gave it life. "Love Song" is ultimately the story of a great romance scored to some of the twentieth century's greatest music.
ETHAN MORDDEN is the author of dozens of books, both fiction and nonfiction. His writing has appeared in "The New York Times," "The New Yorker" and other publications. He lives in New York.