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music room


caixa postal 50060
Rio de Janeiro/RJ - Brasil

At the age of 15, Stefan Zweig started collecting signatures, the first of them being from composer Johannes Brahms. He later became a fervent autograph collector. His famous collections started with a Hebbel manuscript. Among his beloved pieces were original scores by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. From the latter he owned a original work desk and a violin. From Mozart, besides the original socre of the famous lied Das Veilchen, he owned the letters written by the composer to his cousin.

Zweig was a friend of Alban Berg and Ferrucio Busoni. He did not know Mahler personally but was a friend of the composer's widow, Alma. He was also a friend of Arturo Toscanini and Bruno Walter, both of whom visited Zweig at his home in Salzburg.
After the death of the poet and playwright Hugo von Hofmannsthal, the favourite librettist of Richard Strauss, Zweig was chosen by the composer to write the libretto for the composer's operas. Zweig adapted a work by Ben Jonson, Die Schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman). ).

The collaboration between Strauss and Zweig lasted four years (1931-1935). It was a secret partnership, because Strauss was chosen in 1933 by Goebbels and Hitler to be the president of the Music Bureau of the Reich (Reichsmusikkammer) and his partnership with Zweig had to be clandestine. Goebbels and Hitler allowed that the Silent Women be staged, but prohibited the composer from commissioning other librettos from the writer. Zweig arranged various synopses which he sent to non-Jewish colleagues. The Gestapo apprehended a letter from Strauss to Zweig in which he composer supported his librettist, insulting the Nazis. The letter was brought to Hitler, who demanded that the premiere of The Silent Woman be cancelled. It was performed in 1935 in Dresden, but cancelled after two performances.

Various poems by Zweig have been set to music. The composer Max Reger (1873-1916) set among others Herbst (Autumn) and Ein Drang ist in meinem Herzen. This poem was also set into a Lied by Joseph Marx (1882-1964) .

Recently, a score of Zweig's translation of a poem by Emile Verhaeren (Die Auswanderer), set to music 1913 by Oscar Fried, was found in Germany.

Zweig's Last poem (Letztes Gedicht), written on the day of his 60th birthday, in November 1941, was set to music in Brazil by the German composer Henry Jolles (1902-1965), also a refugee. Jolles, who had once worked with Kurt Weill, managed to cross the Pyrenees, arrived in Brazil in 1940 and settled in Sao Paulo. The same poem was adapted into Portuguese by the Brazilian poet Manuel Bandeira. The original score of Zweig's Last poem can be found in the Brazilian National Library in Rio de Janeiro .

In 1941, depressed with the world situation, Stefan Zweig translated into German a strophe from Os Lusíadas from the Portuguese poet Luís de Camoes and sent it to his friends around the world as a message at the end of the year. 64 years later, Caetano Veloso, without knowing of Zweig's gesture, set to music four verses of the same strophe for the musical score of the spetacle for Brazil's contemporary ballet group Corpo. Onqotô, do Grupo Corpo.

Zweig's work Brazil ,the land of the future inspired the title of a composition by Jose Brandao (1911-200 2) - composer, maestro and assistant of Heitor Villa-Lobos. The hymn used to be performed by Brazilian school choirs, but its martial rhythm and patriotic spirit certainly contrasted with the Zweig's anti-nationalist and humanist beliefs.

Recently, Brazilian singer (and former minister of Culture) Gilberto Gil interpreted a song he wrote with Jorge Mautner, which refers to Stefan Zweig: Outros virao (Others will come).