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Abraham, Paul [brahm, Pl]

(b Apatin, Hungary, 2 Nov 1892; d Hamburg, 6 May


1960). Hungarian composer. He studied at the Budapest Academy of
Music (191016) and began as a composer of serious orchestral and
chamber music, a cello concerto being performed by the Budapest
PO and a string quartet at the 1922 Salzburg Festival. In 1927,
however, he was appointed conductor at the Budapest Operetta
Theatre, where he was called upon to write numbers for various
operettas. Viktria (1930), a work making use of the dance styles of
the time, enjoyed huge popularity and led to a move to Germany,
where his success continued with his score for the film Die
Privatsekretrin (1931) and the operettas Die Blume von
Hawaii (1931) and Ball im Savoy (1932). However, the rise of Hitler
forced him to leave Germany, at first for Vienna where the
operettas Mrchen im Grand-Hotel (1934), Dschainah (1935)
and Roxy und ihr Wunderteam (1937) failed to establish themselves.
On the outbreak of war he fled to Cuba, where he earned a modest
living as a pianist, and later moved to New York. In February 1946 he
was committed to hospital after a mental breakdown, but in May
1956 he returned to Europe to live in Hamburg. Abraham's operettas
pandered openly to the popular musical idiom of the time, but
contained strikingly effective numbers which have remained justly
popular.
OPERETTAS
Zenebona (L. Lakatos and I. Brdy), Budapest, Capital Operetta Theatre, 2 Mar
1928; Az utols Verebly lny [The Last Verebly Girl] (G. Drgely and I. Harmath),
Budapest, Capital Operetta Theatre, 13 Oct 1928; Szeretem a felesgem [I Love my
Wife] (A. Stella, after A. Birabeau and G. Dolley), Budapest, State Opera House, 15
June 1929; Viktria (I. Fldes, Harmath), Budapest, Kirly, 21 Feb 1930; Die Blume
von Hawaii (3, A. Grnwald, F. Lhner-Beda and E. Fldes), Leipzig, Neues, 24 July
1931; Ball im Savoy (3, Grnwald and Lhner-Beda), Berlin, Grosses
Schauspielhaus, 23 Dec 1932; Mrchen im Grand-Hotel (Grnwald and LhnerBeda, after A. Savoir: La Grande-Duchesse et le garon d'tage), Vienna, an der
Wien, 29 March 1934
Viki (Harmath and A. Bnyi), Budapest, State Opera House, 26 Jan 1935; Trtnnek
mg csodk [Miracles Still Happen] (I. Halsz and I. Bkeffry), Budapest, State
Opera House, 20 April 1935; Dschainah, das Mdchen aus dem Tanzhaus
(Grnewald and Lhner-Beda), Vienna, an der Wien, 20 Dec 1935; 3:1 a szerelem
javra [3:1 to Love] (Harmath, L. Szilgyi and D. Kellr), Budapest, Royal, 18 Dec

1936; Roxy und ihr Wunderteam (Grnwald and H. Weigel), Vienna, an der Wien, 25
March 1937; Jlia (Harmath and Fldes), Budapest, City Theatre, 23 Dec 1937;
Fehr hatty (Fldes), Budapest, City Theatre, 23 Dec 1938

BIBLIOGRAPHY
O. Schneidereit: Berlin wie es weint und lacht: Spaziergnge
durch Berlins Operetten-geschichte (Berlin, 1968)
R. Traubner: Operetta: a Theatrical History (New York, 1983)
M. Lichtfuss: Operette im Ausverkauf: Studien zum Libretto des
musikalischen Unterhalthungstheaters im sterreich der
Zwischenkriegszeit (Vienna, 1989)
A. Goodman: Angewandte und funktionelle Musik im Exil:
Musiktheater Film leichte Musik (Vienna, 1990)
H. Grunwald, G. Markus, M. Prawy and W. Hans: Ein Walzer
muss es sein: Alfred Grnwald und die Wiener
Operette (Vienna,1991)
V. Klotz: Operette: Portrt und Handbuch einer unerhrten
Kunst (Munich, 1991)
ANDREW LAMB