The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #1920   Message #1257949
Posted By: Polly Squeezebox
27-Aug-04 - 05:02 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Edelweiss (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
Subject: RE: edelweiss
The Edelweiss is the symbol flower of the Tirol - but not of the whole of Austria I believe. The Austrians have their own version of a song entitled Edelweiss, which is a very old, traditional and true Austrian folksong. Traditional Austrian singers dislike being asked to sing the R & H American song, and if asked to sing Edelweiss will usually sing the Austrian version. The 3/4 (waltz) rhythm of the R & H version is the rhythm of the modern waltz, whilst the Austrian traditional version is, I believe, of the 'landler' or 'Viennese waltz'.

The R & H version is sometimes sung at the shows put on in very 'touristy' towns/villages like Seefeld, Mayrhofen, Zell, etc., but usually only to pander to American/English visitors.

If you are in the Tirol and in search of REAL Austrian folksong and music, I strongly recommend a visit to Hotel Spielmann in Ehrwald. Every Thursday evening the hotel holds a special meal evening which is followed by Stub'n Music, provided by Hansjorg Spielmann a wonderful traditional singer (now in his seventies) who accompanies himself on guitar. Hans sings traditional songs from all areas of Austria and also from Sud Tirol, which is now in Italy but was Austrian pre-war and annexed off. Also performing each Thursday is a brilliant zither player called Engelbert (?), the two join together to do some two-part jodler songs. You don't need to be staying at the hotel or have the meal to attend the music evening - there will be a small entertainment charge added to your drinks bill at the end of the evening though. If you are able to add to the evening by singing a song or playing an instrument this will be welcomed (and drinks will usually be sent your way in the true Austrian manner of rewarding traditional performers).

Lucky me, we're off for our annual pilgrimage to this hotel in two weeks time.    If you are really interested in getting the Austrian version of Edelweiss let me know before I go and I will provide it on thread when I get back to UK.