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Traubner
American Record Guide, October 2006

The title of this collection is a bit misleading, or else weighted oddly. There are songs hits of the 30s here, to be sure, but there are also eight mood-music pieces by a certain Gerhard Winkler that were popular in pops concerts and on radio.

Six of the numbers were written before 1933 by the eminent film-musical composer Werner Richard Heymann, now enjoying a renaissance in Germany and Austria. He fled to Hollywood and wrote the music for such films as The Shop Around the Corner, for Lubtisch. The other 13 tracks are in large part from the Nazi era, by Winkler and a composer who straddled several decades, Peter Kreuder.

Kreuder was an able tune smith and pianist, with such enduring film hits as the senti­mental, very Viennese 'Sag' Beim Abschied Leise Servus' from the Willi Forst film Burgtheater (1936) and the rowdier Fuer eine Nacht Voller Frohlichkeit' from the weird Kora Terry (1940), a mystery musical with Marika Rokk playing twins!

However, Kreuder is listed as the composer of 'Das Muss ein Stueck vom Himmel Sein' from the great 1931 film musical Der Kongress Tanzt: he was not; Heymann was - and he based it on a waltz by Josef Strauss (I have the sheet music from the film in front of me).

Heymann's other standards are represented, including 'Liebling, Mein Herz Lasst dich Gruessen' and 'Das Gibt's nur Einmal', but they are not helped by Fr. Postel. Her voice alone would not have given her a UFA contract in the 1930s; it is ordinary. She has had several numbers transposed up for her, and she tends to end her songs with unnecessary high notes. Lilian Harvey may not have had the world's greatest voice, but her endearing delicacy was far preferable in the Heymann numbers to Postel's. And Postel isn't right for the Roekk material, either. (I think I'll stick to my original film recordings of these songs, thank you.)

In the end, the non-vocal tracks are the most period-sounding, the ones by Winkler with such titles as the 'Witches' Dance' and the 'Romanian Gypsy Festival'. If these sound to you like the evocative mood-music titles of Ketelbey, you would be right on the button.



Traubner,
American Record Guide, October 2006

The title of this collection is a bit misleading, or else weighted oddly. There are songs hits of the 30s here, to be sure, but there are also eight mood-music pieces by a certain Gerhard Winkler that were popular in pops concerts and on radio.

Six of the numbers were written before 1933 by the eminent film-musical composer Werner Richard Heymann, now enjoying a renaissance in Germany and Austria. He fled to Hollywood and wrote the music for such films as The Shop Around the Corner, for Lubtisch. The other 13 tracks are in large part from the Nazi era, by Winkler and a composer who straddled several decades, Peter Kreuder.

Kreuder was an able tune smith and pianist, with such enduring film hits as the senti­mental, very Viennese 'Sag' Beim Abschied Leise Servus' from the Willi Forst film Burgtheater (1936) and the rowdier Fuer eine Nacht Voller Frohlichkeit' from the weird Kora Terry (1940), a mystery musical with Marika Rokk playing twins!

However, Kreuder is listed as the composer of 'Das Muss ein Stueck vom Himmel Sein' from the great 1931 film musical Der Kongress Tanzt: he was not; Heymann was - and he based it on a waltz by Josef Strauss (I have the sheet music from the film in front of me).

Heymann's other standards are represented, including 'Liebling, Mein Herz Lasst dich Gruessen' and 'Das Gibt's nur Einmal', but they are not helped by Fr. Postel. Her voice alone would not have given her a UFA contract in the 1930s; it is ordinary. She has had several numbers transposed up for her, and she tends to end her songs with unnecessary high notes. Lilian Harvey may not have had the world's greatest voice, but her endearing delicacy was far preferable in the Heymann numbers to Postel's. And Postel isn't right for the Roekk material, either. (I think I'll stick to my original film recordings of these songs, thank you.)

In the end, the non-vocal tracks are the most period-sounding, the ones by Winkler with such titles as the 'Witches' Dance' and the 'Romanian Gypsy Festival'. If these sound to you like the evocative mood-music titles of Ketelbey, you would be right on the button.



Jonathan_Woolf
MusicWeb International, July 2006

Taking a look at the promotional material for the three previous issues in this series I see a varying array of musical enchantments. Volume One encompassed the Skaters’ Waltz and Vienna, City of My Dreams, whilst Volume Two took in a Blue Tango and Funiculi, funicula and Belle of the Ball. Volume Three, not to be outdone, went the whole hog and gave us Salut d’amour, Humoreske and other fiddle-fanciers’ favourites beloved of the Palm Court. Now here’s volume four and we plunge into new waters – German popular song of the 1930s, some Weimar, the majority post-Weimar.

Being a linguist you will have the titles off pat but even strugglers will recognise the cod gypsy and Exotic East inclinations of a number of these tuneful ditties. It’s doubtful though that the then contemporary BBC would have broadcast a recording of Im Harem Sitzen Heulend Die Eunuchen.

The salon band comprises four strings – violins, cello and double bass, clarinet doubling saxophone, piano, accordion, flute doubling piccolo and percussion. The Exotic is provided by the musical saw, an instrument not yet quite consigned to the bowels of Variety Bandstand (I have actually, in the course of my penitential reviewing sessions here, reviewed a virtuoso musical saw disc).

The ensemble then is crisp and lithe and singer and parlando artiste Annette Postel, who has a background in revue and cabaret, proves the possessor of a voice that can, in extremis, go very high indeed. The fare includes Latin-Americana and forlorn love songs aided by the accordion’s blandishments. Winkler’s Frühling in Sorrent is a part parlando confessional, yearning and a touch arch. But his Hexentanz is a Hot Dance Band-influenced number – no vocal but a musical saw solo and plenty of pizzazz. There is the Waltz of course, intimations of the ländler and salon gypsy stuff such as Rumänisches Zigeunerfest by the same Winkler whose picture postcard portraits of various countries adds some spice. The Musical Saw solo by the way is on Heymann’s Es Führt Kein Andrer Weg Zur Seligkeit.

Perhaps as much interest is generated by the fortunes of the three composers. Heymann ended up in Hollywood of course where he scored for plenty of films. His 1950 return to Germany was unsuccessful and he died in 1961. Lesser known Winkler was a practised spa and salon conductor and worked for the entertainment arm of the German forces during the war. Nothing seems to have diverted him from producing light frolics. Kreuder was a prolific composer and performer. Though he wrote an opera, light music was his principal interest. He was in Sweden when War broke out but a return visit to Berlin saw resumption of his output. An enthusiastic follower of Eva Peron he followed in her wake to Argentina. Later still and back in Germany he wrote for Zarah Leander. The notes are keen to exonerate him from too much identification with the National Socialists.

Your enthusiasm for this disc will depend on a liking for a certain amount of recreated kitsch. As Guild has shown in its own tidal wave of Light Music discs there still seems to be a nostalgic interest in this genre and the German branch certainly offered up pleasures of its own.



Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb International, July 2006

Taking a look at the promotional material for the three previous issues in this series I see a varying array of musical enchantments. Volume One encompassed the Skaters’ Waltz and Vienna, City of My Dreams, whilst Volume Two took in a Blue Tango and Funiculi, funicula and Belle of the Ball. Volume Three, not to be outdone, went the whole hog and gave us Salut d’amour, Humoreske and other fiddle-fanciers’ favourites beloved of the Palm Court. Now here’s volume four and we plunge into new waters – German popular song of the 1930s, some Weimar, the majority post-Weimar.

Being a linguist you will have the titles off pat but even strugglers will recognise the cod gypsy and Exotic East inclinations of a number of these tuneful ditties.  It’s doubtful though that the then contemporary BBC would have broadcast a recording of Im Harem Sitzen Heulend Die Eunuchen.

The salon band comprises four strings – violins, cello and double bass, clarinet doubling saxophone, piano, accordion, flute doubling piccolo and percussion. The Exotic is provided by the musical saw, an instrument not yet quite consigned to the bowels of Variety Bandstand (I have actually, in the course of my penitential reviewing sessions here, reviewed a virtuoso musical saw disc).

The ensemble then is crisp and lithe and singer and parlando artiste Annette Postel, who has a background in revue and cabaret, proves the possessor of a voice that can, in extremis, go very high indeed. The fare includes Latin-Americana and forlorn love songs aided by the accordion’s blandishments. Winkler’s Frühling in Sorrent is a part parlando confessional, yearning and a touch arch. But his Hexentanz is a Hot Dance Band-influenced number – no vocal but a musical saw solo and plenty of pizzazz.  There is the Waltz of course, intimations of the ländler and salon gypsy stuff such as Rumänisches Zigeunerfest by the same Winkler whose picture postcard portraits of various countries adds some spice. The Musical Saw solo by the way is on Heymann’s Es Führt Kein Andrer Weg Zur Seligkeit

Perhaps as much interest is generated by the fortunes of the three composers. Heymann ended up in Hollywood of course where he scored for plenty of films. His 1950 return to Germany was unsuccessful and he died in 1961. Lesser known Winkler was a practised spa and salon conductor and worked for the entertainment arm of the German forces during the war. Nothing seems to have diverted him from producing light frolics. Kreuder was a prolific composer and performer. Though he wrote an opera, light music was his principal interest. He was in Sweden when War broke out but a return visit to Berlin saw resumption of his output. An enthusiastic follower of Eva Peron he followed in her wake to Argentina. Later still and back in Germany he wrote for Zarah Leander. The notes are keen to exonerate him from too much identification with the National Socialists.

Your enthusiasm for this disc will depend on a liking for a certain amount of recreated kitsch. As Guild has shown in its own tidal wave of Light Music discs there still seems to be a nostalgic interest in this genre and the German branch certainly offered up pleasures of its own.






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1:44:17 AM, 26 July 2014
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