Article about the Berlin Operetta for the birthday of Paul Lincke

Paul Lincke (1866-1946) is the German composer of light music, the author of the march "Berlin Air" (Berliner Luft), which became the unofficial anthem of the German capital.

Paul Lincke studied playing bassoon, French horn and percussion instruments, then played in different dance orchestras in Berlin, sometimes performed as a conductor, was composing small pieces. In the early 1890s he gained popularity as a composer of popular songs and romances, since 1893, he conducted in variety theatres, including “The Apollo” in Berlin. Real popularity came to the composer after his operetta "Frau Luna" premiered in 1899, followed by other scenic works of the same genre. The orchestral fragments and songs from these operettas, filled with lightness and elegance, melodic simplicity, quickly became known not only in Germany, but also beyond its borders that made it possible to address Paul Lincke as the main creator of operetta music in Berlin, similar with Offenbach in Paris or Johann Strauss in Vienna.

After World War I, the music of Lincke music became an integral part of musical performances in cabaret and other "light" music venues. In 1941, the composer received the title of an honorary citizen of Berlin. Among the operettas that he composed were "Venus on Earth" (Venus auf Erden) (1897, Berlin); "Frau Luna" (1899, Berlin); "Lysistrata" (1902, Berlin); "Casanova" (1913, Darmstadt), etc.; songs, romances, marches and other orchestral works.

The review article "Berlin operetta in the late 1920s" features a new trend of the genre, pioneered by Paul Linke.
The particularity of the Berlin operetta lies in the fact that it is connected with the traditions of the German farcical theatre of the 19th century and restaurant variety show. The ponderousness of drama, implementation of buffoonery with coarse jokes and gags sprang from those peculiarities. The march becomes the dominant genre here, as opposed to the waltz widely applied in Vienna, or czardas in the works of the Hungarian composers. Waltz triple meter was replaced by duple meter march rhythm. After the First World War, Lincke continued to develop this genre. After working for several years at the Folies Bergère cabaret in Paris, he returned to Berlin, where he revised his attitude to the operetta genre, realising the growing importance of cabaret and popular modern dance.

The "Music Records" section of the museum exposition features a metal disc with the aria "What words can't say, a sweet kiss will say" from the operetta "Venus on Earth" by Paul Linсke. Produced by Polyphon Musikwerke. Germany. 1897.