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Monday, April 30, 2012

A Group of Jewish Singers of the Holocaust Era Now on Youtube

Louis Treumann in formal attire

Continuing with our project of releasing scarce recordings of European Jewish singers of the Holocaust era, we have uploaded 4 more on our YouTube page.  Several of these recordings are released for the very first time in digital format.

1. Louis Treumann:  The Reporter's Lied from von Suppe's operetta from "Fataniza".  This recording made in Vienna in 1903 is a G&S type patter song.  Self announced by Treumann, who created the role of Danilo in "The Merry Widow" it is an illustration of the man who was King of Operetta in Vienna at the turn of the 20th Century.  He was later killed in Theresienstadt Concentration Camp  by the Nazi's.

2. Grete Forst: Sings the "Puppenlied" from "Le Contes d'Hoffmann" by Jacques Offenbach.  This is Olympia's aris sung with great aplomb.  Grete Forst was one of the group of first tier lyric sopranos at the Vienna Hofoper/Staatsoper who happened to be Jewish and included Selma Kurz, Melitta Heim and herself.  After the Anschluss, she was unceremoniously forced onto a transport bound for Russia where she died in transit.

3. Rudolf Bandler: Sings Oscar Straus's 1903 cabaret song, "Die Musik Kommt" written for Wolzogen's Cabaret in Berlin.  It has essences of Mahler lieder infused in this over-the-top romp.  Bandler was Czech, but a German speaking Czech and spent most of his adult career in Vienna at the Volksoper and as a regular guest of the Hofoper/Staatsoper.  One of the finest Beckmesser's of his day, Cosima Wagner would not hire him as he was an observant Jew.  At the time of the annexation of Czechoslovakia he was in Prague as a stage manager and singer at the German Opera House there.  He was put on a transport and sent to the ghetto in Lodz Poland where he ran musicales to raise the morale of those in the ghetto.  He died in the ghetto in 1944.

4. Arnold Gabor:  sings "Cortigiani" from "Rigoletto" in this scarce VOX recording from 1923.  This record made in Berlin is interesting as it is in the Italian language, something that was rarely done in German of the time.  Gabor's story runs a little differently.  He came to the United States to escape the anti-semitism in Hungary.  He was the leading heldentenor of the Royal Opera in Budapest and sung only leading roles while there.  He came to American and resumed an operatic career, however, mainly as a character, or comprimario baritone.  He did sing Alberich and Beckmesser for a few performances at the MET and several of the other major houses of the Country, but never the great leading roles he sung in Hungary.  His European career came to an end with the Anschluss, as he was unable to return to sing.  He died in California, after a secondary career as a singing professor in Hollywood.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this very interesting article and I also enjoyed looking at all your wonderful treasures and records. Thank you and *GOD BLESS*