The fall of the operetta

Edmund Eysler and Leo Fall are two operetta composers who along with Oscar Straus and Leo Ascher seemed to have vanished entirely from the repertoire. Whether this is the nature of operetta, which… Continue reading

The Zeitoper

Viktor Zuckerkandl makes a return to this page with his critique of the ‘Zeitoper’, a concept that has no English equivalent but was used to convey a genre of opera that offered the… Continue reading

From German comic opera to Parisian operetta

Speculating that Vienna’s ‘fin de siècle’ started with the stock market crash of 1873, followed by Johann Strauss’s ‘Die Fledermaus’ in April 1874, I started looking through the journals of the period in… Continue reading

The advent of sound film

Having pulled out one article about the advent of sound-Cinema from June 1929, I thought I would also translate this far more informative and entertaining review from the following month by Paul Goldmann,… Continue reading

Sound film’s potential

While raking around my collection of digital clippings from the Neue Freie Presse, I found this fascinating article anticipating the advent of the ‘talky’ from June 15, 1929. The night before the premiere… Continue reading

Modernism and Vienna’s Jewish salonnières

Berta Zuckerkandl (in the accompanying photo), Eugenie Schwarzwald, Josephine and Franziska von Wertheimstein were just four of Vienna’s Jewish salonnière who could justifiably be referred to as the engines of fin de siècle… Continue reading

Max Reinhardt – music, theatre, circus

Max Reinhardt (1873-1943) was probably too much of a pathological optimist to have viewed as tragic the manner in which his career ended in Hollywood. According to Otto Friedrich’s entertaining and highly informative… Continue reading


  There was an excerpt from a documentary on the internment of enemy aliens that was made by British Television (Channel 4), and shown in a 2004 exhibition I curated at Vienna’s Jewish… Continue reading

The Usual Suspects – pan-Germanism’s many imaginary enemies

The most articulate dismantling of Wagner’s arguments in his 1869 tract ‘Jewishness in Music’ is provided by Eduard Hanslick in the ‘Neue Freie Presse’. I quote it at length in ‘Forbidden Music’. Hot… Continue reading

Power plays

Political environments shape the arts. For this reason, it’s important to understand the debates and issues that surrounded and often engulfed both the Jewish and non-Jewish ‘Hitler-generation’ of composers. One of the most… Continue reading