you start producing records in Vienna where you have a large supply
of artists and orchestras at hand to perform the works of Mozart,
Beethoven, Haydn et al, sooner or later your microphones will be picking
up the popular Viennese culture of the Strausses, Lanners and Ziehrers
as well. In case of the Viennese born producer Marcel Prawy, it was
sooner instead of later.
Don Gabor the popular music from the second half of the 19th century
was an important vehicle to advertise his new label and attract the
large contingent of the listeners to the somewhat less serious music
as well. Moreover there were the many Americans of European origin
who certainly would buy the discs.
Prawy started his association with Don Gabor's Remington Records
Incorporated with recordings of The Strauss Dynasty as
the early catalog tells. They were either produced by Prawy himself
or could have been bought from the ORF (Austrian Public Broadcasting
Organization) where there was a fine conductor in charge of the Vienna
Radio Orchestra and he could be hired to conduct the Austrian Symphony
Orchestra as well. His name was Max Schönherr.
of Max Schönherr taken from the CD with the title Max Schönherr
Remembered (Herinnerungen an Max Schönherr), issued by
ORF with compositions of Max Schönherr conducted by the
composer during radio broadcasts.
was a versatile musician who was interested in performing the serious
works and those of the lighter side. He was a conductor, orchestrator,
composer and musicologist. The
divergence of interest prevented him to concentrate on one style or
one single occupation.
he studied with his father, then was a pupil at the Graz Conservatory
and played bass in the orchestra of the Graz Opera of which he eventually
became music director. The next post was conductor of the Wiener Volksoper,
the Vienna Broadcasting Orchestra and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.
During World War II he continued conducting the Radio Orchestra. His
popularity gave him indemnity and in that position he was able to
help many who had to fear discrimating actions by the Nazi regime.
Schönherr recorded extensively in the shellac 78 RPM era for
the Austrian Viennola and German Imperial labels. From 1941 is the
disc with the Overture to Banditenstreiche (The Jolly Robbers) composed
by Franz von Suppé - Imperial 014035.
the war Max Schönherr was asked to form a new radio orchestra.
He also was asked to write the Bundeshymne, the new Austrian national
hymn on a melody of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. See Schönherr's
biography at the
website where you can listen to the beginning of the Austrian
in 1952 he received the title of 'professor', was awarded the Joseph
Marx Price (Joseph-Marx-Preis) in 1954, and wrote a dissertation
about Carl Michael Ziehrer to receive a doctorate rather late in life,
in 1973. Max Schönherr was born in Marburg on November 23, 1903.
He died in Baden (near Vienna) on December 13, 1984.
was Andrew Lamb who published a book on Schönherr under
the title "Light Music From Austria - Reminiscences and Writings
of Max Schönherr", Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York,
1992 - a bilingual publication (English - German).
book not only deals with Schönherr's biography and artistry embedded
in the Viennese music scene, but it cites extensive recollections
told by Schönherr to Lamb. About the recordings that appeared
on the Remington label, Andrew Lamb says:
second major prong of Schönherr's recording output of the
early-1950s was on the Remington label. Items included an excellent
Lehár coupling of the overtures to Wiener Frauen
and Das Land des Lächelns performed by what was
described as the "Austrian Symphony Orchestra". (This
was presumably the Niederösterreichisches Tonkünstler
Orchestra.) These recordings also venture away from the Viennese
field with such items as the Delibes ballet suites, Offenbach's
Les Contes d'Hoffmann (with Paul Schöffler singing
'Scintille, Diamant') and, perhaps most intriguingly, a selection
of Jerome Kern melodies.
The Remington label also presented various operetta recordings
produced by Marcel Prawy. These included excerpts from Die
Fledermaus and Der Zigeunerbaron under Schönherr.
However, these have little to offer in face of the various subsequent
LP recordings of these works. More interesting are recordings
of Ein Walzertraum and Der Letzte Walzer recorded
in October 1952 and described as "conducted by the composer".
These were, in fact, conducted by Schönherr with Strauss,
then turned eighty, sitting in an arm-chair expressing his approval!"
- Andrew Lamb
of Max Schönherr on the Remington label:
- Johann Strauss Jr. - Overture to The Bat (Die Fledermaus) conducted
by Max Schönherr, coupled with "Dancing Vienna" conducted by Robert
RLP-149-3 - Johann Strauss - The Blue Danube, and Emmerich
Kalman - Gypsy Princess performed by the Vienna Radio Orchestra of
which Max Schönherr was the director.
149-7 - Johann Strauss II - The Gypsy Baron conducted by Robert
Stolz. Emil Waldteufel - Estudianta. The Vienna Symphonette (whatever
that may be - probably the Vienna Radio Orchestra) under Schönherr.
later other recordings of the Viennese repertoire were released with
Clemens Kraus conducting Strauss waltzes (RLP 149-26) and a program
of Famous Polkas and Waltzes (R-149-27),
apparently also listed as Famous Operetta Marches, conducted by
- Victor Herbert - Operetta Highlights performed by the Vienna Radio
Orchestra (possibly conducted by Max Schönherr), coupled with
"Strauss Polkas", conducted by Kurt Wöss.
features the Vienna Radio Orchestra playing Strauss Waltzes (possibly
with Max Schönherr as conductor).
- Jacques Offenbach - Tales of Hoffman (excerpts) with baritone Paul
Schöffler. Coupled with Famous Ballet Music, Max Schönherr conducting
the Austrian Symphony Orchestra.
RLP-149-40 - Franz Lehár - The Land of Smiles (Overture)
and Viennese Women (Overture). The Austrian Symphony Orchestra, Max
Music from The Ballet conducted
by Max Schönherr, coupled with Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio
Espagnol conducted by Ernst Mehlich.
- Music of The Balet - Delibes - Cortège de Bacchus, Pizzicato
from Sylvia, Naila Valse. Coupled with Capriccio Espoagnol - Nicolai
Rimsky-Korsakov (conducted by Ernst Mehlich).
Carroll sings Jerome Kern Favorites RLP-149-46
- Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Yesterdays, They'll Never Believe Me,
The Last Time I saw Paris, All The Things You Are. The Austrian
Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Max Schònherr, alternated
with a few selections played by Fred Clement and His Orchestra.
- Jerome Kern Melodies - Christina Carroll, the Austrian Symphony
Orchestra conducted by Max Schönherr, and Fred Clement And His Band:
Smoke gets in Your Eyes;Why Was I Born; They'll Never Believe Me;
Just the Way You Look Tonight; Yesterday; The Song is You; The Last
Time I Saw Paris; Who; All the Things You Are.
- Johann Strauss: Die Fledermaus
- The Bat (Highlights)
Artists of the Vienna State Opera - Emmy Funk (Soprano); Ruthilde
Boesch (Soprano); Rosette Anday (Contralto); Hugo-Meyer Wolfing (Tenor);
Georg Oeggl (Bass) - Austrian Symphony Orchestra - Max Schönherr,
Remington disc mentions the Austrian Symphony as the orchestra,
but Amazon tells that it is the Wiener Chorvereinigung (Vienna
Chorus Society) and the Wiener Unterhaltungsorchester (Entertainment
Orchestra) conducted by Max Schönherr.
Strauss Gypsy Baron - Highlights conducted
by Max Schönherr, coupled with Overture to "The Marriage
of Figaro" performed by the Austrian Symphony Orchestra, Robert
Heger conducting. The record was released in June 1952.
Strauss The Gypsy Baron (Highlights) - coupled with Overture to "The
Marriage of Figaro" performed by the Austrian Symphony Orchestra,
Robert Heger conducting. The record was released in June 1952.
- Jacques Offenbach - Tales of Hoffman, Austrian Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Max Schönherr. Coupled with selections of music
by Sibelius, Rachmaninoff, Rodgers and Hammerstein. R-199-115 is in
fact Twilight Concert No. 2.
- Otto Nicolai - Die Lustige Weiber von Windsor Overture.
- Edward Grieg - Peer Gynt Suite No. 2 (coupled with Suite No.
1, conduted by H. Arthur Brown.
REP-3 45 RPM 7"
Overture Die Fledermaus (Johann Strauss)
Dorfschwalben aus Oesterreich (Village Swallows from Austria)
Waltz (Joseph Strauss) Prince Methusalem Overture (Johann Strauss)
Schönherr appeared on many other labels. First of course on the
Viennola label on which other Remington-artists appeared as well.
Then there are the Elite recordings, the Philips 78 RPM and Long Play
performance that keeps coming up is Scheherazade, Tales of 1001 Nights
by Nicolai Rimskly-Korsakov, Max Schönherr conducting the Vienna
Festival Orchestra. World Record Club released two different issues.
The same recording appeared also on the Music Treasures of the World
releases of Schönherr's performance of Scheherazade (Nicolai
Rimsky-Korsakov). Two different covers of World Record Club T
12. The third is on the Music Treasures of the World Series,
MT 18. The solo violinist is not mentioned.
Music Treasures MT 20 Schönherr conducts Debussy's Prelude
to the Afternoon of a Faun and Richard Strauss 'Till Eulenspiegel's
merry Pranks' with the Vienna Festival Orchestra.
disc also contains Peer Gynt Suites Nos. 1 and 2 with Anton Paulik
conducting the Vienna Festival Orchestra.
Schönherr recorded for Amadeo, Philips and Decca as well.
At right Decca LW 5126 from 1955 with an operetta recital by soprano
Hilde Gueden and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Chorus conducted
At left the cover of the well-known Decca SXL
6231 disc with Highlights from The Count of Luxemburg (Franz
Lehár) with soprano Hilde Gueden and tenor Waldemar Kmentt.
Schönherr was born on 23 November 1903 and died 13 December 1984.
and text, Rudolf A Bruil.
Page first published on 20 October, 2013.