Who composed music for German newsreels?

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Von Schadewald
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Who composed music for German newsreels?

Post by Von Schadewald » 22 May 2006 00:11

[Two threads dealing with the same subject have been merged by the host, Ivan Ž.]

Some of the background themes to the latter-war Deutsche Wochenschau battle scenes were almost classical in their "virtuosity". Who composed them? Which orchestra played them?

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Post by capitaine15 » 26 Aug 2006 18:22

Does anyone know who composed the beautiful and spectacular music of Die Deutsche Wochenschau (particularly Wochenschau of the years 1942-1945)? Which orchestras or bands played them?

Thanks for your help!

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Post by skoblin » 27 May 2008 02:39

There were two main composers as far as I know: Herbert Windt and Norbert Schultze.

obit for Norbert Schultze: http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/46/norbert.htm
"Recruited for military service, Schultze was mainly involved in composing music for Wochenschau journals during the war."

reference to Herbert Windt: Deutsche Wochenschau Nr. 681 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035803/fullcredits#cast
"Music Department: Herbert Windt .... composer: stock music"

I believe the opening fanfare comes from Liszt's Preludes


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Re: Who composed music for German newsreels?

Post by Ivan Ž. » 11 Dec 2020 16:45

(A few notes regarding the last reply: "stock music" means that they simply used his music, among others, not that Windt composed it for newsreels; I haven't come across a source stating that Schultze was one of the main newsreel composers; the fanfare containing the "Les préludes" tune were a newsreel theme only briefly, in the second half of 1941.)

As I already mentioned before, the recordings used in German newsreels were radio recordings. Many of them were recorded and used for various purposes (i.e. weren't specially composed for a particular event, scene, newsreel or radio broadcast).

Some of the composers that composed music for German newsreels were Hans Ebert, Franz R. Friedl, Siegfried Scheffler, Hermann Unger (see Prieberg's Handbuch, pp. 1289, 1688, 6060, 7314) and, I assume, quite a few others (see another name below).

Attached is an example of what a record containing newsreel music looked like:
Rundfunk 66450.jpg
It's a standard German (wartime) radio record. The title is quite common: "Dramatisches Vorspiel" (with a note: Wochenschaumusik), composed by Kurt Graunke. The performer is the band of the Wachbataillon der Luftwaffe, conducted by the composer. (Needless to say, other recordings used in newsreels were made by various performers; this band was just one of many.)

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