Hans Gál
Musik Hinter Stacheldraht: Tagebuchblatter Aus Dem Sommer 1940
Herausgegeben Von Eva Fox-gal Mit Beitragen Von Richard Dove

Peter Lang Pub Inc.
31 janvier 2003
ISBN : 978-3-90676-487-0
Includes CD of the Huyton Suite and What a Life!
216 pages

What a Life!

A bilingual internment camp revue in two acts by G.M. Hollering
For middle voice(s), flute, clarinet, string quartet and piano.
Music by Hans Gál & Curt Wolf
Curt Wolf and his band
Berthold Schneider, piano

Einzugsmarsch (Entrance March),
Barbed Wire Song,
Frauen Song (Women's Song),
Die Ballade vom deutschen Refugee (The Ballad of the German Refugee),
Die Ballade vom armen Jakob (The Ballad of poor Jakob),
Keep Fit,
Besen Song (Broom Song),
Der Song vom Doppelbett (The Song of the Double Bed),

Piano Suite (1940) :

Jolly March

First performance
Full work - Douglas, Isle of Man, September 2nd & 3rd 1940
Piano Suite: London, May. 1941

G.M Höllering

What a Life!
Staged: 2. Sept. 1940 (first series) & 5. Sept. 1940 (second series);
Norbert Elias (*Breslau/D - †Amsterdam/NED), in part, in German, second series);
Richard Hutter
(*Wien/AUT - †London/GB; in English, first series),
Otto Erich Deutsch (* & † Wien/AUT; in English, first series);
Hans Gál
(* Wien/AUT - †Edinborough/GB; second series);
Curt Wolf
(*Frankfurt/M.; first series)
Regie/ director:
Georg M. Höllering (* Wien/AUT - †London/GB; both series)
What a Life! une comédie musicale montée par les internés qui dépeint la vie quotidienne du camp en différentes scènes entrecoupées de chansons dont les textes traduisent remarquablement l’état d’esprit des auteurs. Cette comédie, écrite en anglais et en allemand par Richard Hutter, Otto Erich Deutsch et Norbert Elias, était composée par Hans Gal et Curt Wolf et mise en scène par G. H. Höllering, un ancien collaborateur de Bertolt Brecht.
On y trouve, en même temps que l’affirmation naïve de leur loyauté envers la Grande-Bretagne, une désapprobation ironique du traitement qui leur est réservé comme le montre cet extrait de

The Barbed-Wire-Song

The seagulls are in a curious mood
Maybe they are getting much food
One thing they all very much deplore
Is the ugly barbed wire that grows up the shore
So in the seagulls’ parliament
There was a great debate on that end
Many of them did there inquire
Why are human beings behind a wire?

Ce message pacifiste à l’intention des dirigeants britanniques trouve son contrepoint dans l’humour belliqueux de la chanson suivante, intitulée

How We Warned Him:
Little Adolf now we’ll settle you
You’ll be sorry, that you started
And all your little nazis too
For we’re fighting to the finish
For the old RED, White and BLUE

Die Ballade vom Armen Jakob.
Staged in: What a Life!, Central Promenade Camp, Douglas/GB (Isle of Man), second version, 5. Sept. 1940
Text: Norbert Elias
Music: Hans Gál (* Wien/AUT - †Edinborough/GB)
Rediscovered by: Simon Fox-Gál (London/UK)
Director: Georg M. Höllering (* Wien/AUT - †London/GB)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hans Gál's "What a Life"

In England in 1940 about 27,000 'enemy aliens' were interned, including Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. The Austrian Jewish refugee composer Hans Gál was arrested in May 1940 and interned, first at Huyton, and then at Douglas on the Isle of Man.
Gál wrote two significant compositions in these places: the "Huyton Suite" for two violins and flute (the only ensemble available there), and an ambitious musical theater revue at Douglas called "What a Life!". He also kept a diary: "Music Behind Barbed Wire".
Washington Musica Viva has been fortunate enough to obtain the performance materials for "What a Life!" through Hans Gál's daughter, Eva Fox-Gál, grandson Simon Fox, and Bret Werb, music curator of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. We will present "What a Life!", the "Huyton Suite", and two of Gál's later chamber works at a concert at the Austrian Embassy on Thursday May 28. We were recently excited to discover that our performance of "What a Life!" will be the first since it was produced at Douglas in 1940. Bret Werb will talk about Hans Gál and his music and read excerpts from "Music Behind Barbed Wire".
Gál's music, by the way, is astonishingly beautiful. You can hear our recent rehearsal of his Trio for violin, clarinet, and piano posted on the WMV website. Here is a link to the Moderato assai.

First concert performance world-wide since 1940!

The revue "What a Life!," with music by Austrian exile Hans Gál, debuted during the War at a British internment camp for so called “Enemy Aliens” on the Isle of Man. This program spotlights Gál´s revue in its first concert performance since 1940. The program will be introduced by Bret Werb, music curator at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, who will also read excerpts from the diary Gál kept during this period. In addition, Washington Musica Viva will perform Gál´s “Huyton Suite” - also written during internment – as well as his Trio Op. 97 for clarinet, violin and piano, and Suite Op. 102b for alto, saxophone and piano.

Karyn Friedman - mezzo soprano, David Lonkevich - flute/piccolo, Ben Redwine - clarinet, Charley Gerard - alto saxophone, Regino Madrid - violin, Judith Spokes - violin, Nina Falk - viola, David Cho - cello, Carl Banner - piano.

Thursday May 28 | 7:30 pm | Embassy of Austria | 3524 International Court NW | Washington DC 20008
In cooperation with Simon Fox and Eva Fox-Gál.

1st part : 7:37 2nd part : 7:13 3rd part : 4:41 4th part : 5:14


Hans Gal "What a Life!"
Royal College of Music

A revue by Hans Gál (1890-1987), conceived by Georg Höllering (1897-1980) written and first performed during internment near Douglas, Isle of Man, UK, 1940


In these videos, Eric Levi (RHUL) and Norbert Meyn (RCM) introduce composer Hans Gal, describing his life before coming to Britain.
- Hans Gal and the story of 'What a Life!' 4:40 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r435s9xbLJI
- Hans Gal 'What a Life' - the work in detail 3:11 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCNAsFkrN1s
- What students can learn from performing Hans Gals 'What a Life' 2:54 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QvLMVey5cw


- Einzugsmarsch (Entrance March) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv6JY7MJ38U4:31
- Die Ballade vom Deutschen Refugee (The Ballad of the German Refugee) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZSpVgL-vLM 6:02
- Keep Fit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39ppI4T6Rkw 1:52
- Quodlibet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAFNn28lXWY 4:03
- Der Song vom Doppelbett (The song of the Double Bed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdg1O0WS4gc 2:59