Trio Lascano and the Comedian Harmonists (2 cents)

Last week, I learned about the Dutch Trio Lascano, composed of Dutch/Hungarian/Jewish sisters, who made their fame and name in Italy before WWII, and were stopped in their tracks by Jewish origin once Italian fascism fell to the disease of the German fascists. Their singing was in “close harmony”, which means that they all sang the same melodies, a la the Andrews Sisters.

Tonight, I learned about the Comedian Harmonists, a six person male group (five singers and a pianist) who became equally or more famous in Germany between the wars, and were forbidden to continue to play because three of the six were Jewish.

I learned about the Lascano sisters by seeing a 30 minute documentary about their careers at the Jewish Film Festival, and I learned about the Comedian Harmonists by watching a 2 hour film (based on fact, but not a documentary) at the Goethe Institute tonight. While the movie, made in Germany about ten years ago, is a bit stylized, I thought it was great, and thought the Comedian Harmonists were fantastic.

You can hear them both on youtube. I suggest that, when you listen to the Harmonists, you listen to ‘Isabella from Castille’ first, and their most well known song, ‘Veronika’ second.

You will be happy to know that they all seemed to have survived the war, although the three Jewish harmonists left Germany, one going to Bulgaria and two to the USA.

What a treat to listen to them.


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