KING OF OPERATIONS IMRE KALMAN
In the 1930s, the name of this composer was on the lips of all music lovers of the world. Even classical musicians sang his tunes. How did Imre Kalman, who worked in the light genre of the Vienna operetta, manage to achieve such an unprecedented success? It’s simple – his works are considered a win-win option for all musical theaters. It is enough to stage his operetta on the stage, and the theater will be guaranteed to have its own audience. Kalman overcame many difficulties, experienced the greatest success and met true love. His name is now associated with the heyday of the Viennese operetta, because he created vivid, optimistic and funny works, although his life was often not so joyful.
Born on the shores of Balaton
October 24, 1882 in the Koppstein family was born a boy who went down in the history of music under the name Imre Kalman. His parents lived in the town of Siofok on the shore of the largest Hungarian lake Balaton and named their son Emmerich. In school years, instead of his Jewish surname, he took a more neutral – Kalman.
composer Imre Kalmansemya Koppsteinov (Imre next to his father)
As often happens in Jewish families, parents want their children to acquire musical literacy from an early age. For these purposes, a grand piano appeared in the Koppstein house, on which the eldest daughter Wilma began to play. Sounds of music poured around the house from morning to late evening. When Emmerich grew up, his sister was already performing unpretentious plays. Often, his mother looked for him around the house, and found him under the piano, where he climbed to listen to his favorite tunes, but there he fell asleep to the sounds of the instrument.
When the virtuoso violinist Francis Lild arrived at the resort Siofok and took off the lower floor of their house, Emmerich’s life made a sharp turn. The concertmaster of the Budapest Opera spent hours rehearsing on his violin, making a lasting impression on the boy. composer Imre KalmanTot peeped mesmerizedly out the window to the guest, he wanted not only to hear the bewitching sounds, but also to see how they are born. These observations distracted the venerable gentleman, and one day he complained about the boy to the master of the house. It turned out to be the son of Karl Koppstein. What a surprise Lilda was when he found out that a child can easily sing the Rhapsody of Franz Liszt played by his sister. Then the violinist asked him to sing another work of the great composer. Hearing the unmistakable singing of Emmerich, the professor-violinist was indescribable delight. Since then, the son of the owner of the house has been allowed to sit on a chair next to the professor for days on end and listen to his scales and studies.
The first burdens of Imre Kalman
In 1892, his father brought Emmerich to Budapest and gave him to the gymnasium. The boy was very homesick for his native city, and books helped him distract from these thoughts. He received his first piano lessons at the gymnasium. One day, Kalman received disturbing news from his relatives – it is better not to return home. composer Imre Kalman The fact is that Emmerich’s father wanted to turn his native city into a prosperous resort, so he invested a lot of money in building an operetta theater, building a hippodrome and several hotels. Everything ended for Karl Koppstein too sad – his property was confiscated for the debts of his companions, and his family had to move to Budapest.
Imre sheltered aunt Gizi, he entered another gymnasium and began to earn tutoring. After many years, Kalman recalled that a terrible feeling of insecurity in the future day had never left him in his life. And those who later wrote funny stories about him did not even have an idea how heavy Kalman’s youth was. Then he was possessed by a passion for music. He decided at all costs to learn and become a musician. Only music at that time helped him forget about daily problems.
Music is the cure for adversity
Imre continued to study at the gymnasium, giving lessons in Greek and Latin languages, physics and mathematics. And, despite such an overload, he made time to study at a music school. For this, peers called him Fugue. Having seized his free time, composer Imre Kalmanon rushed to the piano to learn the works of Chopin and Schumann. Their music intoxicated Imre. And during the holidays it was impossible to pull him away from the piano and make him dine. From now on, music became for Kalman the best cure for any adversity.
At the age of 15, Imre Kalman first addressed the audience and performed Mozart’s Fantasia in D minor. Journalists also came to the concert to evaluate the abilities of a novice musician. The young man was so frail that correspondents enthusiastically wrote about the talent of a “twelve-year-old musician.” The laudatory press called Kalman a child prodigy.
The long-awaited piano
Soon, his parents moved to a more spacious home, where Imre was able to move. Now he had no need to give back to his family the funds earned by tutoring. He collected 500 crowns, which composer Imre Kalmanpomli helped a young man to fulfill his dream – to buy a piano.