B0582. ROBERT STOLZ. Melodie eines Lebens, ein Komponist erobert die Welt. (German Text) Hamburg, Marion von Schröder, 1967. 200pp. Index; Discography; Profusely illustrated w.Numerous Photos; DJ.
“The great-nephew of the soprano Teresa Stolz, Stolz was born of musical parents in Graz. His father was a conductor and his mother a concert pianist. At the age of seven, he toured Europe as a pianist, playing Mozart. He studied at the Vienna Conservatory with Robert Fuchs and Engelbert Humperdinck. From 1899 he held successive conducting posts at Maribor (then called Marburg), Salzburg and Brno before succeeding Artur Bodanzky at the Theater an der Wien in 1907. There he conducted, among other pieces, the first performance of Oscar Straus' DER TAPFERE SOLDAT (The Chocolate Soldier) in 1908, before leaving in 1910 to become a freelance composer and conductor. Meanwhile, he had begun to compose operettas and individual songs and had a number of successes in these fields.
After serving in the Austrian Army in World War I, Stolz devoted himself mainly to cabaret, and moved to Berlin in 1925. Around 1930, he started to compose music for films, such as the first German sound film ‘Zwei Herzen im Dreivierteltakt’ (Two Hearts in Waltz Time), of which the title-waltz rapidly became a popular favourite. Some earlier Stolz compositions, such as ‘Adieu, mein kleiner Gardeoffizier’ from his operetta DIE LUSTIGEN WEIBER VON WIEN, became known to wider audiences through the medium of film.
The rise of Nazi Germany led Stolz to return to Vienna, where his title-song for the film ‘Ungeküsst soll man nicht schlafen gehn’ was a hit, but then came the Anschluss, and he moved again, first to Zürich and then to Paris, where in 1939 he was interned as an enemy alien. With the help of friends he was released and in 1940 made his way to New York.
In America, Stolz achieved fame with his concerts of Viennese music, starting with ‘A Night in Vienna’ at Carnegie Hall. As a result, he received many invitations to compose music for shows and films, and he received two Academy Awards nominations. In 1946 Stolz returned to Vienna, where he lived for the rest of his life. In the 1960s and 1970s he made numerous recordings of operettas by composers such as Johann Strauss, Franz Lehár, Emmerich Kálmán, and Leo Fall, whom he had known previously. In later years he used a baton inherited from Franz Lehár, that had been originally owned by Johann Strauss and contained Strauss' initials engraved in silver.
After his death in Berlin in 1975, Robert Stolz received the honour of a lying-in-state in the foyer of the Vienna State Opera House. He was buried near Johannes Brahms and Johann Strauss II in Vienna's Zentralfriedhof, and a statue to him was erected in the Wiener Stadtpark.”
- Z. D.Akron