“The fairy tale was beautiful – now it’s over”
Paul Abraham: his film music and jazz operetta
Guest performance Ensemble Zwockhaus on 24 and 28 April 2019
The music and life of Paul Abraham (1892-1960) are marked by classical music, dance music and the influences of Roma and Klezmer ensembles in the cosmos of the Habsburger empire of Austria-Hungary. After World War I, the composer worked as a pianist in silent movies cinema, played jazz in cabaret and conducted his first jazz operetta Zenebona, which made him famous in 1928. Abraham’s “Art of Entertainment” travels via Vienna and Berlin to the dream factories of Hollywood. His catchy, melodious hits were as entertaining as they were radical in content and reached a mass audience of unimagined dimensions via gramophone, radio and the new medium of sound film. His stage operetta The Flower of Hawaii from 1931 is the most played operetta of the Weimar Republic, his film music from 1931 for Viktoria and her Hussar and The Private Secretary were acclaimed throughout Europe, when German National Socialist and other European fascists exiled Abraham from Berlin in 1933 and finally drive him to his exile in New York.
The ensemble Zwockhaus: Maria Thomaschke and Andreas Jocksch, vocals – Nikolai Orloff, piano – Karola Elßner, saxophone – Sven Kalis, percussion – Volker Suhre, double bass.
Paul Abraham Songs in the arrangement by Winfried Radeke. As guest in conversation with Winfried Radeke: Karin Meesmann – author of an extensive monograph on Paul Abraham.