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Comedian Harmonists

The Comedian Harmonists were an internationally famous, all-male German close harmony ensemble that performed between 1928 and 1934 as one of the most successful musical groups in Europe before World War II. The group consisted of Harry Frommermann (tenor buffo), Asparuh "Ari" Leschnikoff (first tenor), Erich Collin (second tenor), Roman Cycowski (baritone), Robert Biberti (bass), and Erwin Bootz (pianist).

The hallmark of the Comedian Harmonists was its members' ability to blend their voices together so that the individual singers could appear and disappear back into the vocal texture. Its repertoire was wide, ranging from the folk and classical songs arranged by Frommermann to appealing and witty popular songs of the day by writers such as Peter Igelhoff, Werner Richard Heymann and Paul Abraham.

Birth and Death Data: Born 1927, Died 1935

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1935 - 1938

Roles Represented in DAHR: Vocal group, arranger

Notes: German close harmony vocal quintet and pianist formed in 1927 and disbanded around 1934, due to Nazi bias against Jewish members of the group. Three singers left Germany and united with new members to form a successor ensemble, also called Comedian Harmonists or Comedy Harmonists. See "Das Meistersextett" for recordings made by a successor group formed by original members remaining in Germany and new members.

See Also: Meistersextett, Das

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Gramophone 0RA2152 10-in. 6/28/1937 Wenn Matrosen mal an Land gehen Meistersextett Male vocal ensemble, with piano Vocal group  
Gramophone 0RA2930 10-in. 5/12/1938 Am Brunnen vor dem Tore Comedian Harmonists Male vocal ensemble Vocal group  
Gramophone 0RA2971 10-in. 5/23/1938 Ungarischer Tanz no. 5 Meistersextett Male vocal ensemble, with piano Vocal group  
Columbia (U.K.) CL5462 10-in. between 9/26/1935 and 12/2/1935 Sous le ciel d'Afrique Josephine Baker ; Comedian Harmonists Female vocal solo, with male vocal ensemble and piano Vocal group, arranger  
Columbia (U.K.) CL5463 10-in. between 9/26/1935 and 12/2/1935 Espabilate Josephine Baker Female vocal solo, with orchestra, piano, and male vocal ensemble Vocal group, arranger  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Comedian Harmonists," accessed July 31, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105637.

Comedian Harmonists. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 31, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105637.

"Comedian Harmonists." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 31 July 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105637

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