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The Anschluss versus Freedom with a memorable song!
on October 30, 2015
This movie needs a ten star-review. Despite its enchanting songs and story telling, it contrasts with the Anschluss plot. That somber period of Nazi Germany's annexation of Austria. "While The Sound of Music was in tryouts in Boston, Richard Rodgers felt Captain von Trapp should have a song with which he would bid farewell to the Austria he knew and loved. Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II decided to write an extra song that Captain von Trapp would sing in the 'Kaltzberg Festival' (Salzburg Festival in the film) concert sequence towards the end of the show. As they were writing it, they felt that this song could also utilize the guitar-playing and folk-singing talents of Theodore Bikel, who had been cast originally as the Captain (Christopher Plummer eventually got the job). The Lindsay and Crouse script provides the metaphor of the simple edelweiss wildflower as a symbol of the Austria that Captain von Trapp, Maria, and their children knew would live on in their hearts despite the Nazi annexation of their homeland. The metaphor of this song builds on an earlier scene when Gretl (played by Kym Karath, the youngest of the seven von Trapp children) presents a bouquet of edelweiss flowers to The Baroness Elsa Schraeder (played by Eleanor Parker) during her visit to the von Trapp household. Rodgers provided a simple yet haunting and affecting waltz-time melody to the simple Italian style ritornello lyric that Hammerstein wrote about the appearance of the edelweiss flower. This song turned out to be one of the most beloved songs in the musical, and also one of the best-loved songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein."