February 11 is the 140th jubilee of Jean Gilbert - one of the founders of the Berlin operetta genre

Jean Gilbert is one of the three founders of the Berlin operetta genre along with Paul Linke and Walter Kollo.

Young conductor, the graduator from the Berlin Conservatory Max Winterfeld took the stage name Jean Gilbert (1879-1942). He served in the Apollo Theater. He took the stage name Jean Gilbert (1879-1942). In 1933, after the Nazis captured the political power, Max Winterfeld left Germany, lived in Spain, later in Paris. Beginning 1939, he lived in Buenos Aires, where he worked at the radio. Author of more than 50 operettas, the most successful of which were Die Keusche Susanne (1910) and The Queen of Die Kino-Königin (1913).

Jean Gilbert works are stored in the Museum Collection. They are the pieces from such works as Polnische Wirtschaft, 1909 (duet Wer kann dafur), Das Autoliebchen, 1912 (Versuch's doch mal), Die kleine Sünderin, 1922 (In Berlin, and der Ecke von der Kaiser Allee) - piano transcriptions of the works by the composer on Welte Mignon and Helios. Paper music rolls for the fairground organ A. Ruth & Sohn also contain records of the popular hits of the Berlin operetta composers, including works by Gilbert, the numbers from the operettas Puppchen, du bist mein Augenstern, 1912 and Wer kann dafur, 1909.

Jean Gilbert became the most popular operetta composer in Berlin. The search for a new melodic basis was closely connected with his name. Franz von Suppé and Carl Millöcker drew inspiration for their operettas in folklore - folk songs and everyday dance rhythms. Conversely, Jean Gilbert found a new style in the street song culture; he took the plots from Berlin citizens’ common life. Some music critics evaluated the works of Gilbert as “the apotheosis of street vulgarity”. On the other hand, his music conveyed the spirit of the time and reflected the values and choices of the era.

New offshoot of the genre appeared in the 20’s of the 20th century. It was recognized as the Berlin operetta, the founder of which were Paul Lincke (1866-1946), Walter Kollo (1866-1946) and Max Winterfeld, who took the stage name Jean Gilbert (1879-1942).

Review article on the development of the Berlin Operetta genre is in the section "Reviews".

Musical selection of the Berlin Operetta genre works, recorded from the musical media Welte Mignon and Helios that are stored in the Museum Collection.