Montag, 1. August 2016

Georg Kreisler - Allein wie eine Mutterseele (1974)

Georg Kreisler (1922 - 2011) was an Austrian (jewish) singer-songwriter, cabaret artist, satirist and author, basically known for his black humored and cynical songs - especially for the ‘everblack’ “Tauben vergiften”. wrote about Georg Kreisler:
"Performer Georg Kreisler has charmed audiences and critics on both sides of the Atlantic. And even as he enters his '80s, he still remains ageless.
Georg Kreisler is a living legend. His hundreds of songs, numerous plays and books and other writings are just as popular with today’s generation as they were 50 years ago when he first wrote some of them.

In fact, the multitalented octogenarian enjoys somewhat of a cult status in the German-speaking world. Not only has his work found its way into cabaret programs and literary events, but it is also quoted frequently or recited on talk shows and in everyday conversations.

“I’m very glad that some of the things I’ve written have found their way into daily conversations,” Kreisler says. “It’s a little bit of a marvel to me.” Hundreds of young singers try their hand at interpreting his clever and witty songs -- the genre that Kreisler himself acknowledges is his forte. “I often get commissions to write plays,” he says, “however, they usually end up asking me to include a song or two, which is fine. I guess that is what I do best.”

Escaping the Nazis

Born in Vienna in 1922, Kreisler actually started his stage career in New York where his family had immigrated in the 1930s to escape the Nazis. Young Georg had already started his musical education in Vienna, studying piano and violin and taking theory lessons. “My piano teacher saw that I was not that interested in developing a technique on the instrument,” he says. “She was right. I really wanted to become a conductor.”

The first years in the States were tough ones, says Kreisler, and while he continued to pursue a career as a conductor, he ended up giving piano lessons and coaching singers in order to help his family make ends meet. In 1942, he was drafted into the U.S Army, where he worked as a translator and interpreter. It was during this time that he wrote a musical review for fellow soldiers that included many of his own songs. The show was so successful he ended up touring different regiments with the program.

Financially, things didn’t get easier after the war when Kreisler set out on his cabaret career in New York. “There were a number of hungry years,” says Kreisler, “I had a boss who stood at the door and controlled with a stopwatch how many laughs I was getting. If you got less than two a minute, you lost the job. That doesn’t happen in Europe -- they don’t think so commercially.”

Returning to Europe

After playing several New York clubs and touring other large U.S. cities, Kreisler enjoyed a four-year run at a New York venue called the Monkey Bar. During this time, he made several overtures to Hollywood, but realizing his attempts were futile, he decided in 1955 to return to Europe and try his hand at writing in his mother tongue.

“When I started writing German, I had to learn it all over again,” says Kreisler. Although he had already written extensively in English, it was, he says, through this rediscovery of his native language that he uncovered his talent for verse and rhyme.

European audiences responded to him with greater enthusiasm than their American counterparts had. “In New York if you do one good show then you’re invited back, but if the next one’s not up to it, then you are out,” he says. “There were lots of obstacles in Europe that were not problems in New York. There is a lot of censorship (in Europe) and they tended not to care about commercial success,” he says.

Courting controversy

Still, Kreisler was never free of controversy, nor did he try to avoid it. Many of his songs were actually banned from radio and television. His song “Please Shoot Your Husband,” for instance, was banned in the U.S. on the grounds that the title was immoral. Sometimes reactions in Europe were not entirely dissimilar. Some audience members left performances in disgust. Kreisler recalls one such incident where a woman left after hearing his very witty song that describes the desperate frustrations of a professional triangle player. “The woman screamed, 'I won't have a member of my philharmonic orchestra insulted like that' and left.”

Kreisler's cabaret didn’t stop at orchestral musicians or domestic affairs; it also took on the big themes. Politics and world affairs were often in the firing line. “Everything I write, I write out of the time I live in. So everything I write is political,” says Kreisler, who adds, “I think we live in a terrible time. I write comedy but it is a comedy that criticizes the time we live in.”

Austria, too, has been a target of Kreisler's humor. Although he has been back in Europe for over 40 years, Kreisler has retained his American citizenship.

In 1996, he published an open letter in a German newspaper addressed to a number of Austrian dignitaries. In it, he acknowledged receipt of official government birthday greetings on the occasions of his 50th, 60th, 65th and 70th birthdays from Austria, but commented that he had long been puzzled for two major reasons: First, having lost his citizenship through no fault of his own in 1938, he is not an Austrian citizen. He was not prepared, he wrote, to have to apply to have it back. Why, he inquired, was it not simply returned to him without question? Second, the cultural authorities in Austria had not only failed to furnish any support during the 40 years of his artistic career, they had, if anything, actively obstructed it. Kreisler was, therefor, declining in advance further official congratulations on the occasions of his 75th and subsequent birthdays."

1Wenn ihr lachen wollt3:33
2Wo kommt das Weinen her3:09
3Im Warenhaus4:06
4Der Fliegergeneral2:50
5Allein wie eine Mutterseele3:00
6Der Tag wird kommen3:04
7Das Ferienheim3:30
8Sie sind so mies3:36
9Wenn die Mädchen nackt sind3:14
10Wenn alle das täten5:18
11Zu leise für mich3:05
12Oper, Burg und Josefstadt2:36
14Die Gewohnheit2:24
16Du hast ja noch dein Grab4:58

The album "Allein wie eine Mutterseele" was recorded June/July 1974 (1 to 10) and Spring 1971 (11 to 16). The tracks 11 to 16 are the A-Side of the LP "Literarisches und Nichtarisches"

Georg Kreisler - Allein wie eine Mutterseele (1974)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

3 Kommentare:

Anonym hat gesagt…

Er war der Beste... er hat mir so viele, langeweile Stunden leichter gemacht...

zero hat gesagt…

I totally agree!

Anonym hat gesagt…

please re-up the downfiles of georg kreisler

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