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Musical Austrian Jewish Exiles: Examining the Jewish-Austrian Identities of Hermann Leopoldi and Georg Kreisler through Music

Cooper, Robert Thomas (2013)
Honors Thesis (72 pages)
Committee Chair / Thesis Adviser: Hoeyng, Peter
Committee Members: Maxim, Hiram ; Prior, Richard
Research Fields: Jewish Studies; Music; Language, General
Keywords: Austrian Jews; Wienerlied; Hermann Leopoldi; Georg Kreisler; Marcel Prawy; Jewish Exiles; Vienna
Program: College Honors Program, German
Permanent url:


Vienna owes its reputation as the rich and vibrant cultural center of Europe to renowned musicians, writers, artists, and intellectuals, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Arthur Schnitzler, Gustav Klimt, and Sigmund Freud. However, Vienna's history also contains darker moments, particularly the anti-Semitism exhibited by Austrian society following the Anschluss of Austria in 1938. Despite an incalculable amount of trauma inflicted on the Viennese Jews by the Holocaust, two prominent Viennese Jewish musicians, Hermann Leopoldi and Georg Kreisler, returned to Vienna after the end of World War II. This thesis examines the existence of the conflicted Viennese and Jewish identities of Leopoldi and Kreisler through a textual and musical analysis of four songs: the first two exemplify their attitudes towards Vienna, and the latter two illustrate their sentiments towards being Jewish. The analysis of each song coupled with a presentation of the conditions faced by Jews in Vienna from fin de Siecle to the Waldheim Affair aims to offer insight into Leopoldi's and Kreisler's places in Jewish Viennese musical culture.

Table of Contents

Chapter I: History of Jews in Vienna from fin de Siecle to the Waldheim Affair...5
Chapter II: Austrian Identity in Leopoldi's and Kreisler's Wienerlieder...21

A. History of the Wienerlied
B. Textual and Musical Analysis of Leopoldi's "In einem kleinen Café in Hernals"
C. Textual and Musical Analysis of Kreisler's "Der Tod, das muss ein Wiener sein"

Chapter III: Jewish Identity within two songs by Leopoldi and Kreisler...37

A. Historical Background of Jewish Music
B. Textual and Musical Analysis of Leopoldi's "Die Novaks aus Prag"
C. Textual and Musical Analysis of Kreisler's "Ich fühl mich nicht zu Hause"

Glossary of Musical Terms...59


application/pdf Honors Thesis 72 pages (423.8 KB) [Access copy of Honors Thesis]
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