Paul Lincke

Paul Lincke

German Classical Under 2000 Listeners
Carl Emil Paul Lincke (7 November 1866 – 3 September 1946) was a German composer and theater conductor. He is considered the "father" of the Berlin opera and holds the same significance for Berlin as does Johann Strauss for Vienna and Jacques Offenbach for Paris.

He was the son of magistrate August Lincke and and wife Emilie. Paul Lincke was born on 7 November 1866 in the Jungfernbrücke district of Berlin. His father played the violin in several small orchestras. More Info »

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Paul Lincke. Artist Bio

Carl Emil Paul Lincke (7 November 1866 – 3 September 1946) was a German composer and theater conductor. He is considered the "father" of the Berlin opera and holds the same significance for Berlin as does Johann Strauss for Vienna and Jacques Offenbach for Paris.

He was the son of magistrate August Lincke and and wife Emilie. Paul Lincke was born on 7 November 1866 in the Jungfernbrücke district of Berlin. His father played the violin in several small orchestras. When Paul was only five years old his father died. Emilie moved with her three children to Adalbert, and later to Eisenbahnstraße, near Lausitzer Platz.

Paul's early musical inclinations had a taste for military music. So his mother sent him after the completion of secondary school education to Wittenberg. Here he was trained in the Wittenberg City Band under Rudolf Kleinow as a bassoonist. He also learned to play the tenor horn, the drums, playing the piano and the violin.

Instead of pursuing a career as a military musician he secured employment the Central Theatre in Alten Jakobstraße under Adolf Ernst as a bassoonist. After one year, he joined the orchestra of the Grand Theatre in Großen Frankfurter Straße. He immediately fell in love with the 16-year-old soubrette Anna Mueller, whom he married a year later. His wife later celebrated triumphs with the Berlin audience under the name Anna Müller-Lincke.

In entertainment and dance music Lincke gained valuable experience at the Königsstädtischen Theater, the Belle-Alliance-Theater and the Parodie-Theater in Oranienstraße. He accompanied the musical vaudeville programs and provided his own compositions for popular singers. Venus auf Erden, a revue-like one-act play was created in 1897 at the Apollo Theater in Friedrichstraß.

For two years, Paul Lincke worked at the most famous European vaudeville house, the Folies Bergere in Paris. He then returned with new compositions to the Apollo Theater where, with huge success in 1899 Frau Luna was premiered. That same year, followed Im Reiche des Indra, and in 1902 the operetta Lysistrata. The librettos of these were from Heinz Bolten-Baeckers.

In 1901 Lincke met a young actress who was known under the stage name Ellen Sousa. She played in the Friedrich-Wilhelmstädtischen Theater and enchanted Lincke from the first moment. Sousa at first rejected his advances but Lincke was persistent. Within a few weeks she had visited his home at Oranienstraße 64 They developed a deeply affectionate relationship leading to her request to be cast to sing Frau Luna at the Apollo Theater. Sousa had hoped the connection would boost her career but it did not. She became pregnant and left the stage before giving birth to a son, Ellen Sousa Lincke. Lincke now demanded that Sousa fulfil maternal duties and leave stage work. However three months later Sousa was again singing Frau Luna at the Apollo.

Lincke's attempts to come to terms with this situation have failed, and he offered Ellen Sousa marriage in return that she should leave the stage. She in return demanded a cooling-off period to consider her new role as wife and mother. Lincke experienced another wave of success from Paris leading to him spending many nights out on the social scene leaving Sousa at home unable to attend to to her maternal commitments. Lincke now pressured Sousa to choose between him or returnin g to the stage giving her ten days to think it over while he vacated to a guesthouse. When he returned after six days, Sousa and the child had moved out.

Years later Ellen Sousa married but a wholesale merchant, whom she followed to Dresden whilst her son Lincke adopted without objection. This was the final end of the relationship with Ellen Sousa and his son. From those events came the well-known instrumental waltz Verschmähte Liebe

In 1908 Paul Lincke 1908 became principal conductor and composer for the Metropol Theatre, whose pompous spectacular revues were the capital’s biggest attraction.

With the Nazi rise to power in 1933 maintained his position and was feted by the Nazi regime. In 1937 he was awarded the Silver Medal of Honour of his native city, on his 75th birthday he was made an honorary citizen of Berlin. In 1943 Lincke toured Marienbad, Bohemia to conduct his work Frau Luna whose first performance in 1899 is now regarded as the birth of the Berlin opera. During his absence his house and his music publisher in Berlin’s Oranienstraße were bombed. After the war Lincke wanted to return to Berlin. He strove in vain to obtain the approval of the Allies which, as a native Berliner, he was required to obtain at that time. With the help of one American General Pierce, he moved first with his housekeeper Johanna Hildebrandt, who had already worked for him for 35 years, to Arzberg.

His ailing health was worsened by the climate there and he moved again to Hahnenklee. Here he died shortly before his 80th birthday. His funeral was held in Hahnenklee where his grave is maintained to today.

His march Berliner Luft ("Berlin Air") is the unofficial anthem of Berlin.

The march Berliner Luft comes from the 1922 revision of Lincke's 1899 operetta Frau Luna about a trip to the moon in a hot air balloon, where an adventurous party of prominent Berliners meet Frau Luna and her court. The march was originally from Lincke's 1904 2-act burlesque Berliner Luft from which music was taken for the 1922 re-write. Other Lincke operettas include Im Reiche des Indra (In the Kingdom of Indra) and Lysistrata. The latter includes the song "Das Glühwürmchen," known in English as "The Glow-Worm". It was originally translated into English by Lilla Cayley Robinson in the early 20th century, but famous American lyricist Johnny Mercer later expanded and greatly revised her lyrics. His version was a hit for the Mills Brothers in 1952 and has been performed by others.

He also composed the wedding dance played in the 1997 movie Titanic which is played while the ship is going down and in the dining room in earlier scenes.

Berliner Luft is one of the traditional Encores of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra.





Memorial in Oranienstrasse 64, Berlin. The sign reads: "In the house on this site, which was destroyed as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Lincke

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