"You are my Heart's Delight."

Franz Lehar 2
The melodies and waltzes from Franz Lehar's the Merry Widow and Wiener Frauen (Viennese Women) were familiar to me yet I was oblivious to the fact that this great musician was also a contemporary of the Beatles and Elvis Presley.
Lehár’s music was primarily associated with the blessed tranquility that reigned throughout Europe before the cataclysmic outbreak of the Great War in 1914, a cataclysmic conflict that was to change everything.
Best known as a composer of operettas the musician's output was prodigious. During his 35 years career as a composer and conductor he wrote nearly 40 operettas. Hungarian born of German ethnicity Franz Lehár’s best known and most enduring success was The Merry Widow. This was first played at Theater-an-der-Wien in 1905. It cast its enchanting spell over more than 5,000 performances. Such was its popularity that at one time it was playing simultaneously in five different languages. In Buenos Aires it was playing simultaneously in five different theatres.
It was impossible not to admire and enjoy Franz Lehár’s operettas, marches, dances and symphonic poems. His music was very much enjoyed by Adolph Hitler. The German Chancellor awarded the composer the distinguished Goethe Medal despite the fact that the composer was married to a Jewish lady. It is one of the quirks of history that Franz Lehár was born on 30 April, the same calendar date that the German Chancellor died.
Of his many waltzes most of us find his Golden and Silver Waltz irresistible. Many a parent has spun their child around the kitchen table to its lilting melody. My mother put me through such embarrassment but I can be sure I was her heart’s delight. This happened to be the name given to one of Franz Lehár’s most famous operetta songs. Wherever You Are My Heart’s Delight is played it brings audiences to their feet.
In July 2004 the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra held its end of the season concert at the Berlin Waldbuhne Stadium, which is one of the great parks situated just outside Berlin. On this occasion Rolando Villazon; the world famous Mexican tenor was joined by Madrid-born Placido Domingo and beautiful Russian soprano, Anna Netrebko. Together the trio sang Lehár’s You Are My Heart’s Delight ((Dein ist mein ganzes Herz). The effect on the 20,000 theatre-goers was electrifying.
Is it possible that songs written today will be bringing rapturous applause from such audiences in 90-years time? I very much doubt it. There is a saying: ‘To live in the hearts of those you leave behind is not to die.’ The music of this former military musician will live on in our hearts and our feet for centuries to come. Country:Spain

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