Kurt Weill (2 March 1900 - 3 April 1950) was a German composer, best known for his collaborations with German playwright Bertolt Brecht, which resulted in "Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera)" (1928). One of the songs from this opera later became a famous song in English translation, namely Mack the Knife, which has been covered by artists as diverse as Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, The Doors, David Bowie and John Zorn.
Zappa and Kurt Weill
As a guest on the WSTM, Chicago radio show on 21 November 1974 Zappa played "Song Of The Big Guns" ("Kanonen-Song") from Weill's "Threepenny Opera".
Zappa about Kurt Weill
"I've heard the Threepenny Opera, – like half of it one time – couldn't sit through the rest." - Frank Kofsky interviews FZ, Jazz & Pop, 1969.
"So about four months go by, and I get another call, and they say they really want me to be involved in this festival, and would I meet with these guys from the Ensemble Modern. Then they sent me some CDs that the group had made for some German label. And the thing that astonished me was that it was just a great album. They had recorded the music of Kurt Weill. The selections were all obscure, unique things, some of them with vocals, and the recording was great, the performance was great." (Frank Zappa in The Mother of All Interviews (Part 1))
"I had heard some of the CDs they (Ensemble Modern) had made of Kurt Weill, and I thought they were unbelievable. I would be very happy to have the opportunity to work with a group that can play that. It was exciting to do it." (Frank Zappa in Frankfurt Press Conference 21.7.92)