Die letzten Tage der Menschheit
Kraus / Lehar / Ziehrer / STOLZ / Benatzky
Wagner / Szanto / Schuh
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Die letzten Tage der Menschheit
Enthusiasm for war and violent patriotism, combined with clear economic interests in various categories of daily life and culture, appear to be very characteristic of the first months of World War I, which is documented by Austrian baritone Csongor Szanto with pianist and musicologist Karin Wagner on their album The Last Days of Mankind. Songs from operettas as well as traditional Wienerlied (Viennese songs) by composers such as Robert Stolz, Franz Lehar, Emil Hochreiter or Carl Michael Ziehrer are genuine examples of this initial phase of enthusiasm for war and patriotism in Viennese musical and cultural life. The great Austrian author Karl Kraus on the other hand was one of the early and harsh critics of the war; excerpts from his work are recited by the popular writer and critic Franz Schuh.
Csongor Szanto was born in Vienna in 1988 and his musical career commenced with the Vienna Boys' Choir. He performed in numerous concerts in Austria and abroad and sang the first child-spirit in Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Vienna State Opera as well as the Vienna Volksoper. A baritone, Sz?nt? first studied composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. In 2008, he switched majors to voice, studying in the class of Prof. Peter Thunhart, also at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. He subsequently studied early music in Basel at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in the class of Prof. Rosa Dom?nguez. Sz?nt? currently continues his studies there in ensemble singing and medieval music.
Karin Wagner, pianist, musicologist and author, studied piano at the Bruckner Konservatorium Linz and the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. There, she graduated with distinction, receiving the Achievement Prize of the Federal Ministry of Science. Karin Wagner wrote her dissertation in musicology at the Institute of Analysis, Theory and History of Music at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, with a minor in contemporary history at the University of Vienna. Karin Wagner performs as a chamber musician in Austria and abroad and can look back on an active career as a lecturer in collaboration with various national and international institutions.
Franz Schuh, author, critic and columnist, studied philosophy, history and German language and literature and received his Ph.D. in 1975 with a dissertation on "Hegel and the Logic of Praxis." From 1976 through 1980, he was secretary general of the Grazer Autorenversammlung (Graz Writers' Association) and editor of the literature journal Wespennest [Wasps' Nest] as of 1980. Since the beginning of the 1990s, he has been responsible for a book series produced by the Vienna newspaper Falter in collaboration with the Deuticke publishing house (Edition Falter bei Deuticke). Franz Schuh has received numerous prizes, among them the Austrian State Prize for Cultural Journalism (1985), the Jean Am?ry Essay Prize (2000), the Leipzig Book Fair Prize in the nonfiction/essay category (2006), the Tractatus essay prize by Philosophicum Lech (2009), and the Golden Medal of Service from the city of Vienna (2009).