LANDSER MARCHES 2
Includes favorites like: Pariser Einzugsmarsch (Paris Entry March), Lili marlene, and Wacht am Rhein.
CD240 Landser Nazi Marches 2 Review
If the first volume of “Landser Marches” was “traditional”, its second volume is historically narrative. It opens with a main theme from “Les Preludes”, the great 19th Century symphonic “tone poem”, as broadcast by the Reich radio to announce the latest German victory. Hitler himself had the idea of drawing a musical fanfare from Franz Liszt’s renowned “tone-poem”. It is followed on this C.D. by a triumphant rendering of the “Pariser Enzugmarsch” (“Paris Entry March”), composed and first performed during Liszt’s own lifetime for the 1871 arrival of Bismarck’s conquering troops in the French capital, where it was not heard again until 1940.
In late June of that year, every church-bell across Germany rang for a week to celebrate the fall of France, and we hear them tolling again, just as they did then, fading with long trumpet notes. A radio broadcaster interrupts the fanfare to say, “Attention! To the entire German people: At this moment, with the old military signal, a total cessation of hostilities is declared along the entire front and throughout France.” Then follows “Das Deutschlandlied”, the German national anthem, based on a melody by another world-famous composer, Franz Josef Haydn. These first four selections comprise a dramatic introduction to “Landser Marches 2”, with its emphasis on classic compositions, including “Preussens Gloria” (Prussia’s Glory”), the famous Radetzky March (another Franz Liszt masterpiece), and the Alexander March. While these pieces may be found on other C.D.s, even in contemporary collections, they are performed with an energy, power and drive missing from most other versions, especially postwar Bundeswehr renditions.
The more obscure “Koelner Funken Infantrie Marsch”, something of a collector’s item, was written for military radio operators in Cologne. No less interesting and unfamiliar is the pre-Hitler Reichswehr March, which does indeed sound like something composed during a former era. Better known is the older “Watch on the Rhine”, with its opening lines, “A cry roars out like the crack of thunder, like the clash of swords and death’s tolling bell: ‘To the Rhine! To the Rhine! To the Rhine! Who will be its protector?’ Dear Fatherland, rest assured. The watch on the Rhine is loyally guarding you.”
“Lili Marlene” has been sung in virtually every language (Perry Como recorded it during the war, and the Internet even boasts a Latin translation!), but “Landser Marches 2” features the original version by Lallie Andersen, the girl who started it all. Ironically, the lyrics for World War Two’s most famous song were composed in the First World War and set to music in 1938, before the Second World War began. Contrary to some historians, “Lili Marlene” is not about a prostitute, even though she “stands beneath a lamppost”. Another misconception is the song’s artificial identification with the expatriate lesbian film actress, Marlene “Dietrich” (aka Felsinger), outspoken for her visceral hatred of “everything German”, who appropriated it as her “signature tune” only after the war, and Lallie Andersen was conveniently silenced behind Allied bars as a “war criminal”.
Listeners fond of potpourri arrangements will find “Landser Marches 2” particularly valuable for both its samplers. The tone and quality of these selections, while clear, suggest they were recorded in the late 1920s or early ‘30s, before the Third Reich actually began.
Another song to have escaped the Allied censor’s black mark was “Reserve hat’ Ruh” (“Reservists on leave”), whose inoffensive lyrics are concerned with nothing more controversial than girl-watching at the Berlin and Metz railroad stations. The same may not be said, however, of “Liebling, wenn ich traurig bin” (“Dear, when I am sad”), which is still banned in Germany for such lines as, “Do not mourn for me, dear, if I shall fall, because at least I shall not have died as a slave of the Jews” (Judenknechte). Today’s visitors to Chancellor Merkels “democracy” may wish to leave “Lanser Marches 2” at home to avoid its confiscation and their arrest for violating her law against the possession of “hate music”.
TITLES ON THIS CD:
Armistice & Victory Bells over France 1940 (choral)
Deutschland über alles (choral)
Soldatenlied Potpourri (choral)
Marsch aus Petersburg
König Karl Marsch
Preussens Gloria Heeresmarsch
Ich bin der Bub von Westerwald (choral)
Düppeler Schanzen Sturmmarsch
Lili marlene (choral)
Im Rhythmus der Zeit/Tanzlieder
Liebling, wenn ich traurig bin (choral)
Marsch des hassischen Kreisregiments
Westerwald Marsch (choral)
Kölner Funken Infantrie Marsch
Reserve hat Ruh (choral)
Wacht am Rhein
TOTAL PLAYING TIME 71:35