SOIREE BEl KOHN: JEWISH ELEMENTS IN THE REPERTOIRE OF HERMANN LEOPOLDI This discussion focuses on the recorded works of Hermann Leopoldi (r888-r959), whose prolific career spanned from before World War I through the inter-war period to the post-World War II period; from Vienna to the concentration camps Dachau and Buchenwald to New York and back to Vienna. I Born Hermann(/Hersch) Kohn,2 Leopoldi was considered the most popular Viennese Klaviersanger up until the Anschluss and WW II. Leopoldi mostly wrote original music, while the lyrics were written by others. However, through his performances the songs became inseparably identified with their messenger. Collectively, Leopoldi's performances paint a picture of the times, reflecting differ- ences of social class, gender, geography and ethnicity, and of relations among individuals and groups in Vienna. Perhaps this is best revealed in Leopoldi's remarkable use of linguistic style and register to paint the finer nuances of this picture of Vienna. Less obvious is the Jewish component in Leopoldi's work. This is for two reasons. First, many overtly Jewish markers, e.g., the use of certain yiddishisms, had long been integrated as part of general Viennese culture and language; these are thus general rather than Jewish-specific features in
Zutot – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2002
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