Sunday, March 20, 2016

Victor Herbert's The Only Girl in Lady Windermere's Fan

This is a postscript to yesterday's post, in which we made some comments on music in the third scene of act 1 in Lady Windermere's Fan (1925), with the historically informed performance of Martin Marks in the Treasures series. (The film provides the main case study in Chapter 4 of Hearing the Movies (second edition), 127-35.)

In a clever title-allusion, Marks quotes the march that closes the overture for Victor Herbert's The Only Girl, which was produced in New York in 1914 and might possibly have been familiar to some cinema-goers in 1925.

Very near the beginning of the film, Marks quotes the opening of the overture as well (see HtM, Table 4-4): a bright, up-tempo waltz that is a close imitation of the familiar Viennese waltzes of Johann Strauss, jr.