Welcome

Welcome to the new edition of the Fritz Loewe Community bulletin.  Feel free to contact us with any news or comments relating to the music of Frederick Loewe.

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18 Responses to Welcome

  1. Robert Howden says:

    I am wondering if there are any recordings of the earlier shows available on CD.
    I listened to the piano recording on your aechive and was most impressed by the stle and technicality of the playing.Are there anymore available.
    it is similar to that of Korngold I take it that it was an improvistion on the song Most enjoyable

  2. Peter says:

    Thanks for your comment. We haven’t heard of any available recordings of Fritz Loewe’s early shows, but perhaps other visitors here may know of some.

    Mr. Loewe did work as a concert pianist in his early days, and also spent time playing piano to accompany silent films. Accounts suggest that he generally threw away the supplied sheet music for the films, preferring to improvise melodies as the scenes flickered across the screen, so he had plenty of opportunity to experiment with improvisation. One can only imagine the melodies that appeared, then vanished forever, as the films were changed at the theater . . .

  3. Robert Howden says:

    Thanks for tHAT.Are there anyther recordingsof Mr Loewe playing the piano/

    • Peter says:

      To our knowledge, there are none that are generally commercially available. Perhaps others can add further information.

      • Elliot J. Cohen says:

        Many years ago PBS aired a documentary entitled “Lerner and Loewe: Broadway’s Last Romantics.” If my memory serves me, the program was was produced by Camera Three.

        The unedited interview footage is on deposit with the NYPL’s Theatre on Film and Video collection at the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. It includes unused footage of Mr. Loewe and Ms. Greshler at Mr. Loewe’s Palm Springs home. He can be seen walking and chatting in his gardens. He can also be heard off-screen playing two selections on his piano, while others are talking somewhere in the background.

        One selection, a jaunty march, was unfamiliar to me. While he was playing it, the cameraman was photographing the sheet music cover for a song entitled “Catherine.” It’s possible that this was a French version of his German song hit, “Katrina.”

        Anyway, listening to him play I was once again impressed by Mr. Loewe’s virtuoso mastery of the keyboard. Had his U.S. concert career taken off, when he was a young man, we would surely be remembering him as one of our country’s leading pianists, as well as being one of our country’s leading theater composers.

        • Peter says:

          Mr. Cohen,

          Thank you for your comment. I will forward it to Ms. Greshler. Perhaps she has some recollections of this film.

          My best wishes,

          -Peter Feldmann
          Moderator

  4. Ellen says:

    Hello,
    I am a lecturer on the lives of Lerner and Loewe. I am always looking for new and interesting information to share with my students on these extraordinary collaborators. I’ll keep checking this post for new information. Best, Ellen

  5. STANLEY BERKOWITZ says:

    I cannot find any information in the biographies of Fritz Loewe about his private life. I assume he was unmarried and perhaps he was homosexual but no mention of this is made. I admire his music and would like to know if there are any biographies of his life.

    • Peter says:

      A few years ago, a major study of Frederick Loewe’s life was attempted. Unfortunately, the author passed away before it could be completed. Mr. Loewe was married, but then divorced. He was not homosexual. He had little regard for the public’s view of his life, did not cooperate with the press, and thus remains amazingly little known in view of his major musical stature.

  6. Jaclyn says:

    I was just having a conversation with my grandmother who is 102 years young and she and my grandfather actually knew him. My grandfather was working as a publicity vice president and this funny story came along that when my grandpa took him to the ships to see if his Roll Royce car made it safely across seas. Upon seeing his can all banged up on this white beautiful car Frederick said he was going to give my grandpa the car! Unfortunately my grandpas company was no presents from clients , however my grandma said he was a sweet an generous man.

  7. Elliot J. Cohen says:

    Hello Peter and Francine. How are you both doing?

    I am writing to share news of my lastest “Fritz” Loewe discovery. As you may remember, I amassed a sizeable collection of material when I was working on my proposed book about “My Fair Lady.” [While my book did not find a publisher, I have shared some of my materials with Dominick McHugh, who is bringing out his MFL book this year.]

    Anyway, I thought I had copies of all of Mr. Loewe’s published songs from his early American works. But I was wrong! I have just found and purchased the sheet music for a “new” Loewe song: “The Son of the Wooden Soldier.” It was composed in 1941 and the lyrics are by John W. Bratton, the composer of “The Teddy Bears Picnic.”

    Of course, I am thrilled and am eagerly awaiting the music’s arrival. I am also chastised and wondering anew what else is out there waiting to be discovered.

    With my warm regards,

    • Peter says:

      Elliot,

      Thanks for the note. Neither of us had heard of this new song, so that’s exciting. Sorry to hear about your problems finding a publisher. We really can’t understand the apparent lack of interest in someone that was undeniably a major composer in the American musical scene.

      Our best wishes,

      -Peter & Francine

  8. Hugh Funk says:

    In preparation for a presentation on the musicals of Lerner & Lowe, I too – as did Robert Howden – listened to Mr. Lowe playing “You Haven’t Changed at All”. I’m sure you are aware, but if one listens very closely, you can hear Mr. Lowe occasionally humming along with his piano playing. I thought this most charming and rather poignant.

  9. I’m an archivist working at the New York Public Library. While processing James Barton’s papers, I found the sheet music for a Paint Your Wagon cut song, “What Do Other Folks Do?” which L&L later revised into a famous song from Camelot with a very similar title. I blogged about it here:

    http://www.nypl.org/blog/2013/01/17/metamorphosis-song-what-do-simple-folk-do

    • Peter says:

      Diana,

      Thanks very much for this post, which I’ve added to our archives. Please feel free to add any other information to our website as you wish.

      -Peter Feldmann
      Administrator

  10. Donald H. Sanborn III says:

    Thank you to all who keep this wonderful website running! I am curious as to whether research undertaken by other participants on this site has revealed whether, in “Brigadoon,” there was ever a song for the character of Harry Beaton to sing. Given the extent to which Lerner & Loewe attempted to pattern the show after “Oklahoma!” I find it interesting that they do not seem to have attempted to give Harry a pithy equivalent of Jud Fry’s “Lonely Room.” Obviously they decided not to musicalize the character, but does anyone know how early in the writing process this decision was taken?

    • Peter says:

      Mr. Sanborn,

      Thanks for your comment. We have added you to our list of contributors. You should receive an email with your password, which you should change to whatever you wish.

      Best,

      Peter Feldmann

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