Book Rev Iews Music in German Immigrant Theater: New York City, 1840–1940. By John k oegel. e astman s tudies in Music. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2009. Is BN-13: 978-1-58046-215-4. Hardcover. Pp. xxv, 593. Includes CD. $80.00. when one thinks of musical theater in America, the initial response almost in- variably leads to english-language traditions, particularly those associated with Broadway, the fabled “Great white w ay.” Thanks to John koegel’s magnificent and substantial tome, long overdue light is shed on a parallel tradition, that of the German-language musical theater. koegel estimates (conservatively) that between 1840 and 1940, at least 40,000 to 50,000 musical theater performances of about 4,000 different works took place on New York City’s German-speaking stages. In the course of nearly six hundred pages, koegel reveals long-forgotten legacies of shows, theaters, impresarios, composers, conductors, and performers. The book is meticulous in its detail, but never ponderous or pedantic to read. The prose is lively, and many well-produced illustrations (including portraits, production photos, images of theaters, and sheet-music covers) add to the book’s charm. In the nineteenth century New York had the third largest German population of any city in the world, after Berlin and v ienna.
American Music – University of Illinois Press
Published: Aug 20, 2010