Just Another Immigrant
Wendell Kundermann, Barbara’s oldest son and the author’s grandfather, somehow learned to play the accordion, which became a life-long hobby. He wrote and arranged many pieces with an immaculate handwriting. He actively played until he and his wife moved into the Memorial Home. The pieces included in this book are from his collection of accordion pieces and were his favorites.
The Waves of the Danube This piece was one of Wendell Kundermann’s favorites. Written by Iosef Ivanovici (*1845 Timișoara, †1902 Bucharest) and first published in 1880 it wonderfully depicts the Great Danube River which flows through Vienna and Budapest. A reminder of home.
Marche Militaire This composition was written by Franz Schubert (*1797 Vienna, †1828 Vienna) around 1820 during a visit in Hungary. It was originally for piano four-hands but was soon adapted for military band and orchestra. Even today Marche Militaire is still associated with the Spanische Hofreitschule, the famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna.
Moonlight and Roses The original title of this piece was Andantino in Db-major and was published in 1892. The composer, Edwin Lemare (*1865 Isle of Wright, †1934 Los Angeles), received a flat fee of three guineas. 30 years later it became extremely popular, due to an extension of the text (using “Moonlight and Roses”) which were added without his permission.
Marienlied A Marienlied or Ava Maria is a traditional church song sung in honor of Jesus’ mother, Maria. This particular song (Maria, breit den Mantel aus) is from the 17th century and originated in Innsbruck. It is in the Hymnbook of the Catholic Church (Gotteslob) which is used in German-speaking parts of Europe.
Blue Danube Waltz Johann Strauß (*1825 Vienna, †1899 Vienna) lived at this time and was very popular. An der schönen blauen Donau was written in 1866. At the time of the wedding it was already an oldie but still popular. All waltzes, but especially this one, reflect a specific Vienna atmosphere. They were originally danced in the high society but by the time of Barbara’s wedding they were danced everywhere. This surely enhanced the Zimmermanns feeling of being part of the Austro-Hungarian society.
Walzer in F Wendell, Barbara’s oldest son, wrote this waltz in 1916 at age 21. Where he gained the skill of musical notation or the ability to play accordion is not known.
Gypsy Love Song Victor Herbert (1859 Dublin, †1924 New York City) wrote this song during this era. Originally titled “Slumber on, my little gypsy sweetheart“ was part of a operetta called “The Fortune Teller” which premiered on Broadway in 1898. This was always a big favorite of my grandfather, Wendell, who played it often, even at old age.
Vieni Sul Mar (Oh Come to the Sea) This is a Neapolitan folksong. It was sung by many famous artists, including Enrico Caruso.
El Choclo This tango was written by Ángel Villoldo, an Argentine musician, and was published in 1903. The music of South America at that time probably sounded very unusual for the European immigrants. But this and many other tangos were still to become popular world-wide, making the Latin American rhythms part of our music heritage.
Serenade The wonderful piece by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) has a melancholic touch that certainly appealed to Wendell Kundermann.
Ochi chyornye - Dark eyes (Russian Folksong) This song was written by Yevhen Hrebinka and was first published in 1843. It well depicts the hardship that Barbara was going through and years later was on the list of favorites of Wendell.
Largo from “The New World” This was composed by Antonín Dvořák (* 8. September 1841 in Nelahozeves; † 1. Mai 1904 in Prag) in 1893. It was part of this 9th Symphony in E minor (“New World Symphony”), Op. 95 and clearly reflects the feeling that many immigrants had, when they finally reach America after the turmoil of getting there.
Gold and Silver Waltz This famous waltz was written in 1902 by Franz Lehar (1870-1948), an Austrian composer with Hungarian roots.
Evening Waltz Barbara’s oldest son, Wendell, wrote this waltz at age 21.