Elisabeth Leopoldi

Hermann Leopoldi

Composer, Viennese Cabaret Pianist and Incurable Optimist

Translation: Jos Porath
Language: English
90 pages, softcover
21 illustrations
ISBN: 978-3-95565-332-3
Publication date: 2019
9.90 €

Jewish Miniatures Vol. 234A

Hermann Leopoldi (1888–1959) ranks among the most celebrated composers, piano players, singers and – as he liked to refer to himself – »cabaret pianists« of the Wiener Lied and German-language Schlager of the 1920s–1950s. After years of honing his musical skills, travelling to various places throughout the Danubian Monarchy, he established himself in Vienna, where he founded the legendary cabaret Leopoldi-Wiesenthal (L.W.) with his brother Ferdinand and the conférencier Fritz Wiesenthal. Even when the L.W. found itself financially depleted, nothing could break Leopoldi's stride, and well-received engagements in Berlin and concert tours through Europe with his partner Betja Milskaja followed. Hermann Leopoldi's career was brought to a screeching halt in 1938. After nine months of being imprisoned in concentration camps, he was able to escape to New York by means of an affidavit that his wife had procured for him. He found a new scene in German-language cafes for exiles, where he also met Helly Möslein, the woman who would eventually become his partner on stage and in life. Leopoldi collaborated with fellow emigres including lyricist Robert Gilbert in adapting his repertoire to his new English-speaking audience. In 1947 he returned to Vienna with Helly Möslein and picked up his career where he had been forced to leave off with songs like »In einem kleinen Café in Hernals«, as he had never been gone at all.

With a preface by Philip V. Bohlman

Elisabeth Leopoldi at Hentrich & Hentrich