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Music Of The Comedian Harmonists / Frommermann


Release Date: 02/12/2008 
Label:  Channel Classics   Catalog #: 26807   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Walter JurmannGioachino RossiniBert ReisfeldHarold Arlen,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.


If you haven't heard of the Comedian Harmonists--the six-man vocal group (five singers and a pianist) formed in Berlin in 1927 and forced to disband eight years later for having three Jewish members--you should rent the movie, read the many articles available on the web, and you certainly should listen to this CD. The group's founder, Harry Frommermann (obviously the source of this modern Dutch ensemble's name!), envisioned a quintet of singers that would entertain with exceptionally polished musicianship, first-rate arrangements, and--very importantly--humor. In fact, much of the Comedian Harmonists'
Read more popularity with audiences stemmed from their well-practiced, artful (and funny) imitation of various instruments--kazoos, horns, trombones, flutes, guitars--and their ability to bring an infectious personality to their performances.

And we certainly get plenty of all of the above-mentioned characteristics here: we don't have to actually see these six singers to know the sheer fun they're having; and their musicianship is beyond question. Songs such as "Stormy Weather" and "Night and Day" (Nuit et Jour) unashamedly revel in sheer schmaltz, while "Kannst du pfeifen Johanna?", and "Der Onkel Bumba aus Kalumba" are riotous examples of the kinds of songs one might have heard in Sally Bowles' infamous Kit Kat Klub. Of course, the real test of the singers' virtuosity comes in the arrangement of Rossini's Barber of Seville overture, a classic of the genre (yes, there is a genre!) and a real tour de force that these superb musicians nail convincingly, and again, with the requisite, irresistible humor. But they also sing German partsongs and cabaret numbers with equal sensitivity, precision, and attention to blend and emotional effect.

You may remember a King's Singers recording from the mid-1980s called "A Tribute to the Comedian Harmonists" (EMI); and that's just what it was--a tribute, with newly arranged versions of some of the original group's most popular repertoire. As excellent as that recording was (and the singing really is extraordinary), this one offers many of the group's original arrangements and thus more realistically captures the flavor of Harry Frommermann's unique--and still unsurpassed--creation. These performances project a live-concert spontaneity and energy, enhanced by the realistic, best-seat-in-the-cabaret ambience. Highly recommended!

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Veronika, der Lenz ist da by Walter Jurmann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: 20th Century 
2.
Il barbiere di Siviglia: Overture by Gioachino Rossini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
3.
Mein kleiner, grüner Kaktus by Bert Reisfeld
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Germany 
4.
Stormy weather by Harold Arlen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933; USA 
5.
In einem kühlen Grunde by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: Romantic 
6.
Wenn ich vergnügt bin by Peter Igelhoff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: 20th Century 
7.
Wir sind von Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe eingestellt by Friedrich Hollaender
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: 20th Century 
8.
Schöne Isabella aus Kastilien by Erwin Bootz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: 20th Century 
9.
Morgen muss ich fort von hier by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: Romantic 
10.
Wochenend und Sonnenschein by Milton Ager
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
11.
Gay Divorcée: Night and Day by Cole Porter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; USA 
12.
When Yumba Plays the Rhumba On the Tuba by Herman Hupfeld
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: 20th Century 
13.
Kannst du pfeifen Johanna? by Sten Axelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: 20th Century 
14.
Guter Mond by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
15.
Holzhackerlied by Knorr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: 20th Century 
16.
Gitarren spielt auf by Ludwig Smidseder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: 20th Century 
17.
Leb' wohl, gute Reise by Bert Reisfeld
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: 20th Century 
18.
Eine kleine Frühlingsweise by Lensfelded
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frommermann
Period: 20th Century 

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