Harmony Is Still Heavenly

A top pop group of the '30s is back--in style

Ah, the divine decadence of Weimar Berlin! Brecht and Weill making acerbic music; Fritz Lang and F.W. Murnau creating film metaphors for Germany in chaos; famous artists like Grosz and Ernst--and a failed painter named Hitler. It was all so exciting, also grim. But amid the ferment, a buoyant sound could be heard: the impish artistry of the Comedian Harmonists. From 1928 until it was banned and disbanded by the Nazis in 1934, this male sextet brought smiles to Berliners in the political and economic dumps. One could almost believe the sentiment behind its hit tune Wochenend und Sonnenschein: Happy days...

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