You Mean the World to Me
Jonas Kaufmann Rediscovers 20s & 30s Evergreens
Director: Wolfgang Wunderlich & Thomas Voigt
Distributor: C Major Entertainment
Length: 52 min.
16:9 shot in HD-Cam & archival footage| 5.1 Surround Sound
© 2014, a BFMI production in co-production with ZDF/Arte and Sony Classical
Jo­nas Kaufmann traces the paths of great sing­ers and com­posers dur­ing the last years of the Wei­mar Re­pub­lic (between Ger­many's de­feat at the end of World War I in 1918, and Hitler's rise to power in 1933). Wei­mar Ger­many was a centre of artist­ic in­nov­a­tion, great cre­ativ­ity, and con­sid­er­able ex­per­i­ment­a­tion.

One the one hand there was wide­spread lat­it­ude for vari­et­ies of cul­tur­al ex­pres­sion led to an ex­plo­sion of artist­ic pro­duc­tion; on the oth­er hand Ger­many was fa­cing severe polit­ic­al crises, un­em­ploy­ment and an in­stable eco­nom­ic situ­ation. Both of these factors also lead to an in­creased pro­duc­tion of pop­u­lar en­ter­tain­ment.

Wei­mar Ger­many was, ar­gu­ably, the last great ex­per­i­ment­al labor­at­ory for mu­sic in which the ‘pop­u­lar’ and ‘clas­sic­al’ truly in­ter­mingled.
Ele­ments of pop­u­lar mu­sic, dance num­bers and Jazz-ele­ments found their way in­to clas­sic­al oper­etta mu­sic struc­tures, which proved to be enorm­ously suc­cess­ful. Sadly, after the Nazi seizure of power in Ger­many such mu­sic and the mu­si­cians, who cre­ated and per­formed it, were sys­tem­at­ic­ally sup­pressed. The erstwhile cel­eb­rated mu­si­cians be­came vic­tims of ra­cial fan­at­icism who had to suf­fer the most tra­gic fates.

The film in­cludes ex­cerpts of Jo­nas Kaufmann’s re­cord­ing ses­sion for his al­bum in the Funkhaus Ber­lin. In­ter­view part­ners are Yvonne Kálmán (the com­poser’s daugh­ter) and Clarissa Henry (the step­daugh­ter of Robert Stolz).
The in­ter­woven archiv­al foot­age is a se­lec­tion of vari­ous oper­etta movies (“Ich liebe alle Fraun”, “Ein Lied ge­ht um die Welt”), re­ports cov­er­ing cur­rent af­fairs, ra­dio-doc­u­ments, hit re­cords (e.g. Joseph Schmidt, Jan Kie­pura), and his­tor­ic ma­ter­i­al of. Marta Eggerth, Franz Lehár and Richard Tauber.