Rudolf Sieczynski

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Born: February 23, 1879; Vienna, Austria   Died: May 5, 1952; Vienna, Austria  
Widely ignored for a century by most reference books, even those in German, Rudolf Sieczynski is saved from oblivion by the popularity of a single song, the haunting Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume (Vienna, City of My Dreams). By day a government clerk, Sieczynski moonlighted most of his life as a composer, specializing in Wienerlieder, songs usually very sentimental and nostalgic about Vienna.

Born there at the height of Austria's Golden
Read more Age, Sieczynski learned the piano from his mother, but his formal studies were more practical, culminating in a doctorate in law from Vienna University. Johann Strauss II was still alive and a prominent Viennese musical figure through Sieczynski's youth, but with his death and the coming of the twentieth century, Austrian culture fell into what traditionalists regarded as decay, with a macabre expressionism developing in both music and visual art and the imperial political world falling apart in the years leading up to and including World War I. The period's new Viennese intellectuals and artists were seen as progressive trailblazers by the rest of the world, but at home they seemed more a threat to the comfortable old ways and nostalgia became a hot commodity among the bourgeoisie.

Sieczynski was very much a traditionalist by inclination and career. He was a government functionary all his adult life, toiling as a junior clerk in a provincial office when he wrote Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume in 1913. This he labeled as his Op. 1, and there followed through the war years a modest stream of similar pieces: such Wienerlieder as Das sind die Frauen und Mädchen von Wien and Ja, so ein Wiener Mäd'l, and such "conventional" but only subtly differentiated lieder as Du altes Österreich and the serenade Komm', mein Blondes, Kleines Mädchen. Almost incongruously, while he was writing this innocent-sounding material, he served through the war years as a director of the internment station of the Wöllersdorf prison camp.

After the war, firmly settled into a fairly high administrative post with Lower Austria's Regional Agricultural Authority, Sieczynski continued writing the occasional song, almost always setting his own text, into the early years of World War II. He also dabbled in literary areas, writing melodramas inspired by the works of minor Austrian poets and creating the libretto for a 1918 children's musical, Die selige Kinderzeit. His prose works include the studies Alt-Wien im Liede (1921) and Altwiener Volkskomiker (1947), and the largely autobiographical Wienerlied, Wiener Wein, Wiener Sprache (1947).

Sieczynski achieved positions of some authority in Viennese music circles, as president of the Österreichischer Komponistenbund (the Austrian composers' association) and, for 25 years, as vice president of AKM, the Austrian society of authors, composers, and music publishers. His greatest prize was probably Vienna's Ring of Honor, awarded him in 1948, but his music was so closely tied to its time and place that Sieczynski never achieved comparable recognition outside his native land. Read less
Browse 26-35 of 35 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Pamela Sanabria Sings Operetta & Musical Favorites
    Label: Pamela Sanabria   Catalog: 5637438025 Release Date: 03/16/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  George Gershwin,  Nico Dostal,  Rudolf Sieczynski  ... 
    Performer:  Pamela Sanabria
    CD: $18.99
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  • 27.
    The Best Of The Three Tenors
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 466999 Release Date: 06/11/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Helen Guy,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Placido Domingo,  José Carreras
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus,  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra,  Los Angeles Music Center Opera Chorus  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 28.
    Viennafest - The Music Of Lehar, Lanner, Etc / Kunzel, Etc
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80547 Release Date: 10/24/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmerich Kálmán,  Franz Lehár,  Rudolf Sieczynski,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Tracy Dahl
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    CD: $9.99
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  • 29.
    Light Classics - Salon Orchestra Favorites Vol 1 / Huber
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8554756 Release Date: 06/13/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Zdenék Fibich,  Isaac Albeniz,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Anton Rubinstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Georg Huber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salonorchester Schwanen
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  • 30.
    Operetta Arias / Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 67004 Release Date: 05/04/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Rudolf Sieczynski,  Franz Lehár,  Carl Zeller,  Franz von Suppé  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Otto Ackermann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 31.
    Essential Operetta / Tucker, Della Casa, Reardon, Et Al
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 63059 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Lehár,  Franz von Suppé,  Carl Zeller,  George Forrest  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Tucker,  Lisa Della Casa,  John Reardon,  Helena Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Allers,  Lehman Engel,  Skitch Henderson,  Paul Gemignani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  American Opera Society Chorus,  American Opera Society Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 32.
    Viennese Violin / McDuffie, Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80402 Release Date: 08/27/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Rudolf Sieczynski,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Franz Lehár
    Performer:  Robert McDuffie
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    CD: $17.99
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  • 33.
    From Holland With Love / André Rieu
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 522933 Release Date: 03/05/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Ludwig Gruber,  Ferry Wunsch,  Rudolf Sieczynski  ... 
    Performer:  André Rieu,  Frédéric Jenniges
    Conductor:  Jurre Haanstra
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Johann Strauss Orchestra Netherlands
    CD: $19.99
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  • 34.
    Label: Legacy   Catalog: 338 Release Date: 07/18/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Anonymous,  Franz Schubert,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Boys Choir of the Vienna Woods
    CD: $10.99
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  • 35.
    All Star Tenors Salute The World
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 64394 Release Date: 05/17/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eduardo Di Capua,  Manuel Esperon,  Traditional,  Agustín Lara  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Placido Domingo,  José Carreras,  Paco De Lucia  ... 
    Conductor:  Emerson Buckley,  Julio Salazar,  Joan Casas,  Ramon Noguera  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emilia Romagna Arturo Toscanini Symphony Orchestra,  Barcelona Teatro Liceu Orchestra,  Puig-Reig Polyphonic Chorus  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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