OP0565. LILAC TIME (Berte & Clutsam, based on Schubert), recorded 1923, w.Raybould Cond. Clara Butterworth, Courtice Pounds, Percy Heming, Violet Essex, Thorpe Bates, Jameson Dodds, etc. (incl. members of Original Cast, 22 Dec., 1922, Lyric Theatre, London); plus additional orchestral sides by Marek Weber's orchestra with its sweet, mellifluous string tones and mid-European style; w.Elaborate ‘The Play’ 28pp. Brochure replete w.photos from the Lyric Theatre production. (England) Palaeophonics 80. Excellently transferred from the legendary Acoustic 78rpm rarities.
“DAS DREIMÄDERLHAUS (House of the Three Girls), adapted into English language versions as BLOSSOM TIME and LILAC TIME, is a Viennese pastiche 'operetta' with music by Franz Schubert, rearranged by Hungarian Heinrich Berté (1857–1924), and a libretto by Alfred Maria Willner and Heinz Reichert. The work gives a fictionalized account of Schubert's romantic life, and the story was adapted from the 1912 novel Schwammerl by Rudolf Hans Bartsch (1873–1952). Originally the score was mostly Berté, with just one piece of Schubert's (‘Ungeduld’ from DIE SCHÖNE MÜLLERIN), but the producers required Berté to discard his score and create a pasticcio of Schubert music.
The original production opened at the Raimundtheater in Vienna on 15 January 1916 and ran for over 650 performances in its original run in Austria and for hundreds more in Germany, followed by many successful revivals. It starred Fritz Schrödter as Schubert and Anny Rainer as Hannerl. Schrödter was already 60 in 1916. In 1886 he had sung the part of the ‘Prince of Song’ (i.e. Schubert) in Franz von Suppé's operetta about Schubert. The operetta spawned a sequel entitled HANNERL. Débuting during World War I, the operetta's popularity was fueled by the public's taste for nastalgia, harnessing an old-fashioned, sentimental story and Schubert's familiar music. Schubert worked hard during his lifetime to become a successful opera composer but found little success in this genre of music. With DAS DREIMÄDERLHAUS, ironically, his music finally became famous in a stage work.
Charles Courtice Pounds, better known by the stage name Courtice Pounds, was an English singer and actor known for his performances in the tenor roles of the Savoy Operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company and his later roles in Shakespeare plays and Edwardian musical comedies. As a young member of D'Oyly Carte, Pounds played tenor leads in New York and on tour in Britain and continental Europe. After being promoted to principal tenor at the Savoy Theatre, he created the principal tenor roles in THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD, THE GONDOLIERS, THE NAUTCH GIRL and HADDON HALL. After leaving the D'Oyly Carte company, Pounds was a prominent performer during the transition of light musical theatre from comic opera to musical comedy, creating roles in the West End in both genres between the 1890s and the 1920s. The new musical comedies in which he starred included the hits CHU CHIN CHOW and LILAC TIME.”
- Z. D. Akron
"Thomas Thorpe-Bates studied at the Guildhall and the Royal Academy of Music. He sang as principal baritone at provincial Music Festivals, Choral Societies, Promenade Concerts and the Hallé and Brand Lane Concerts, Manchester. He played in THE YANKEE PRINCESS in New York in 1922. He also appeared in THE MAID OF THE MOUNTAINS, THE REBEL MAID and many other plays. Bates’ daughter was the actress Peggy Thorpe-Bates, perhaps best remembered as one of three actresses who played Hilda Rumpole in the TV adaptations of John Mortimer’s RUMPOLE OF THE BAILEY novels.”
- Ned Ludd
“If you are interested in what original audiences of early 20th century English operetta and musical comedy heard, there is a great source for such recordings – the record label Paleophonics. Dominic Combe prepares CDs for them from his huge collection of shellacs and a few cylinders.
I came across these somewhat hard-to-find CDs on the website of the mail-order company NORBECK, PETERS AND FORD, (norpete.com) which is specialized in historical performances from the beginning of recorded sound all the way through to the 1960s.
There are now over fifty Paleophonics CDs, and more are being prepared or scheduled for future release. Each CD comes with a lavishly illustrated program booklet with reviews, information about the shows and fantastic publicity photographs, and artwork from the original London productions, in the form of reproductions of the magazine PLAY PICTORIAL.”
- Thomas Krebs, OPERETTA RESEARCH CENTER - PALEOPHONICS - A JOURNEY TO THE DAWN OF RECORDED SOUND IN MUSICAL COMEDY, 1 July, 2020