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BERLIN CABARET MUSIC (2) Bei uns um die Gedächtniskirche rum…Berlin Caberet
Friedrich Holländer und das Kabarett der zwanziger Jahre in Originalaufnahmen


Friedrich HOLLAENDER (1896-1976)
CD 1
1. Wenn der alte Motor wieder tackt (4:31)
2. Dornröschen aus´m Wedding (2:48)
3. Heimat Berlin (Mit der Hand übern Alexanderplatz) (2:17)
4. Oh Mond (3:26)
5. Im Park (0:49)
6. Lene Levi (1:34) Käte Kühl
Werner Richard HEYMANN (1896-1961)
7. Das Leibregiment (3:38) Trude Hesterberg
Friedrich HOLLAENDER (1896-1976)
8. Kaukasische Obstverkäufer (3:19) Der blaue Vogel
9. Bei uns um die Gedächniskirche rum (8:42) Anni Mewes
10. Die Trommlerin als Schießbudenfigur (2:39) Blandine Ebinger
Siegwart EHRLICH
11. Ich bin die Marie von der Haller-Revue (2:33) Lea Seidl
Mischa SPOLIANSKY (1899-1985)

12. Es liegt in der Luft (7:37) Marlene Dietrich
13. Wenn die beste Freundin (3:08) Marlene Dietrich
14. Ich weiß, daß ist nicht so (3:16) Willy Prager
15. Kabarett-Revue (6:16) Paul Nikolaus
Friedrich HOLLAENDER (1896-1976)
16. Die Herren Männer (3:01) Trude Hesterberg
17. Raus mit den Männern aus dem Reichstag (3.13) Claire Waldoff
18. Ich red mir ein, es geht mir gut (2:50) Max Hansen
19. Nur nicht unterkriegen lassen (1:42) Wilhelm Bendow,
20. War´n Sie schon mal in mich verliebt? (3:39) Max Hansen
Friedrich HOLLAENDER (1896-1976)
21. Baby (3:08) Comedian Harmonists, Walter Mehring
Kurt WEILL (1900-1950)
22. Seeräuber-Jenny (3:14) Lotte Lenya
Friedrich HOLLAENDER (1896-1976)
Jonny (2:59) Marlene Dietrich
2. Seemannschoral (3:32) Hans Albers
3. Das Gaslied (2:27) Rote Raketen
Hanns EISLER (1892-1962)
4. Gustav Kulkes seliges Ende (3:06) Erich Weinert
5. Wandervogel-Parodie (3:26) Hans Deppe, Werner Finck
Rudolf NELSON (1878-1960)
6. Das spricht Bände (8:26) Mary Losseff
Friedrich HOLLAENDER (1896-1976)
7. Guck doch nicht immer nach dem Tangogeiger hin (2:52) Curt Bois
Rudolf NELSON (1878-1960)
8. Der rote Faden (7:35) Camilla Spira
Friedrich HOLLAENDER (1896-1976)
9.In St. Pauli bei Altona (2:57) Grete Mosheim
Mischa SPOLIANSKY (1899-1985)

10. Wie werde ich reich und glücklich (7:52) Blandine Ebinger
Friedrich HOLLAENDER (1896-1976)
11. Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß (3:02) Marlene Dietrich
12. Nimm dich in Acht vor blonden Frau´n (2:45) Weitraubs Syncopators
Hanns EISLER (1892-1962)
13. Lied der Arbeitslosen (Stempellied) (3:08) Ernst Busch
14. Song von den brennenden Zeitfragen (2:12) Die Nachrichter
Friedrich HOLLAENDER (1896-1976)
15. Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte (1:53) Marlene Dietrich
Edmund NICK
16. Wenn ich ein Vöglein wär (2:11) Die drei Katakombe-Jungens
Friedrich HOLLAENDER (1896-1976)
17. Ich weiß nicht, zu wem ich gehöre (3:27) Anna Sten
18. Solang wir jung sind, Madame (2:42) Curt Bois
Rudolf NELSON (1878-1960)

19. Die Dame von der alten Schule (3:39) Hilde Hildebrand

20. Der Bücherkarren (2:06) Willi Schaeffers
21. Ich steh auf dem Boden der Tatsachen (2:25) Rudolf Platte
Hanns EISLER (1892-1962)
22. Der Marsch ins Dritte Reich (2:45) Erst Busch
Marlene Dietrich, Claire Waldorff, Blandine Ebinger; Camilla Spira, Lotte Lenja, Trude Hesterberg, Margo Lion, Hans Albers, Curt Bois, Joachim Ringelnatz, Heinz Rühmann, Oskar Karlweis, Ernst Busch, die Comedian Harmonists.


This double set from the Akademie der Künste was released in 1996 and I’ve recently reviewed a single from the same company issued in 2002, which covers the same kind of ground. There is some duplication – eight of the better-known tracks are common to both. The later single CD had bi-lingual notes (German and English) and years of publication of the discs. This one is in German only and has no recording dates – but has a fine selection of archive photographs and texts of all the songs. Swings and roundabouts.

I won’t repeat my brief introduction to that single disc so can concentrate here on the performances. Paul Graetz shows his animal vigour in Hollaender and Clare Waldoff once more takes honours with her rough-voiced toughness and parlando menace in the same composer’s Dornröschen aus´m Wedding. I’m assuming the snippet of Im Park written and narrated by Joachim Ringelnatz comes from a film but one thing’s for sure and that’s that Kate Kühl’s pert Lene Levi will win friends. Trude Hesterberg unveils more than hints of The Red Flag in Heymann’s Das Leibregiment because her scary mezzo brings a ‘no prisoners’ memorability to it and there’s a pleasingly crisp cabaret ensemble to the revue item Bei uns um die Gedächniskirche rum. Another of the great stars, Blandine Ebinger is here of course; with older voice and vivid, parlando style. She only has three notes but what notes they are. And it was cheeky of the compilers to follow her with the soubrette verve of Lea Seidl, who is accompanied by the debilitating plunk of the Berlin banjo. In the main, contrasting the accompaniments in this double and the companion CD from this company, this one relies rather more on straight piano or simpler band arrangements. They are less jazzy and somewhat less idiosyncratic but more homogeneous and consonant with a particular kind of cabaret song. Dietrich stars in the title track of the other CD, Es liegt in der Luft, which features an ensemble cross-talk act. Willy Prager’s is a real "Weill" voice and it’s always good to hear the double-sided Cabaret Revue "recreations" – little potpourri, they usually last eight minutes and give a simulacrum of a longer act. And I loved one of the great Voices of Weimar, Max Hansen, in Ich red mir ein, es geht mir gut. Fans of the Comedian Harmonists will note their heroes are here as well, of course.

On the second CD Hans Albers displays his ironic conversational style in Seemannschoral. Erich Weinert gives us a real character study in hoarse dynamism in Eisler’s Gustav Kulkes seliges Ende. When was his Wandervogel-Parodie recorded and for what medium – it sounds in very good non-commercial condition … film? Curt Bois, Weill singer and expertly debonair, cuts a fine cloth in his Tango song whilst the light-voiced Grete Mosheim is a little strained but effectively enthusiastic in Hollaender’s In St. Pauli bei Altona. Dietrich makes three appearances on the second disc with Jonny leading off and you-know-what from Der blaue Engel. We also get another song immortalised in one of her films, Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte. Ernst Busch impresses with his lugubrious personality in Eisler, Anna Sten is wavery but intensely evocative in Hollaender and Hilde Hildebrand is precise in her sprachgesang in Rudolf Nelson’s Die Dame von der alten Schule (is it the pianist-composer accompanying her?). Willi Schaeffers sounds very forwardly and modernly recorded in his ditty about "Adolf" and Rudolf Platte seems every inch the urbane actor-singer in his explicitly politicised Ich steh auf dem Boden der Tatsachen and we end with Ernst Busch "doing" a ranting Hitler ("Der Führer sagt; Jetzt kommt der letzte Winter!" to the sound of derisive trumpets).

These discs are of some considerable documentary interest – for their socio-political resonance and their sense of time and of place. They embody the spirit of musical Weimar but even more than that the prevailing cultural approaches to the medium. There’s also the not unimportant fact that some of these songs entered the fabric of twentieth century life. A few of the copies sound slightly rough but in the main this is an excellent conspectus of the world of the Berlin cabaret before it and so much else was swept away.

Jonathan Woolf



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