Norbert Glanzberg (October 12, 1910 in Rohatyn, Poland - February 25, 2001 in Paris, France) is a Polish-born French composer. Mostly a composer of film music and songs, he is notable for some famous songs of Édith Piaf.
Norbert Glanzberg was born from Jewish parents in Rohatyn in Galicia in the dual Austro-Hungarian Royal and Imperial Monarchy. In 1911, his family moved to Würzburg in Bavaria, where Norbert received his first harmonica from his mother, which gave rise to the question: "Why does music laugh, why does music cry?" He entered the Conservatory of Würzburg in 1922, already a passionate, and he was appointed as assistant conductor of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1929, where he would meet Béla Bartók and Alban Berg.
Hired by the UFA (Universum Film AG) as a composer in 1930, he wrote his first film score for Billy Wilder, and the second for Max Ophüls. When the Nazi regime came into power in Germany in 1933, Joseph Goebbels referred to Glanzberg in the NSDAP newspaper, Der Angriff, as a degenerate Jewish artist. Glanzberg then went into exile in Paris.
In 1936, he met another exile in Paris: Django Reinhardt. Norbert then performed in ball-musette establishments. In 1938, he met Lily Gauty and wrote Le bonheur est entré dans mon cœur (Das Glück ist mein Herz in getreten) for her. Norbert became musical accompanist for singers performing in fashion collections shows.
In 1939, the Polish refugee Glanzberg was incorporated into the Polish army, stationed in England. In 1940, he was discharged from the army and returned to the south of France in the unoccupied zone, where he met the impresario Felix Marouani who hired him for the concert tours of Tino Rossi and Édith Piaf.
Yet in 1942, after having managed to escape the raids, he was a victim of denunciation and jailed for six months. Actress Marie Bell organized his escape with the help of a prison guard. Until 1944, he was hidden by Georges Auric and finally by the poet René Laporte at Antibes, where he met intellectual resistants Paul Éluard, Jacques Prévert, Louis Aragon, Elsa Triolet and René Julliard. He introduces Maurice Chevalier to Julliard, would publish the memoirs of the famed entertainer after the war: Ma route et mes chansons (My way and my songs).
After the Liberation in 1945, Norbert was free again. He helped in the release of Maurice Chevalier, who was kept in custody by a resistance movement. From 1946 to 1948 he toured with Charles Trenet in South America, followed by an international tour with Tino Rossi.
In 1948, Édith Piaf sung Padam Padam, a song he wrote with Henri Contet, and in 1952 Yves Montand performs Moi j'm'en fous et Les grands boulevards.
From 1953, Glanzberg composed many film scores, especially for Michel Strogoff with Curd Jürgens and, in 1954, for La Goualeuse. Édith Piaf made a huge success of his song Mon manège à moi.
In 1955, he composed the music for the film La sorcière, with Marina Vlady, and the next year the score for La mariée est trop belle, featuring Brigitte Bardot.
In 1983, Glanzberg went back to classical music and composed a series of lieder from a collection of poems written during the war by prisoners, La mort est un maître de l'Allemagne (der Tod ist ein ... Meister aus Deutschland), the chorus of what is perhaps the greatest poem by Paul Celan, Todesfuge (Death Fugue). He put into music, in two cycles each of ten works, songs from Berlin and romantic leader classics. In 1985, he wrote a concerto for two pianos, La suite yiddish, inspired from the novels of Isaac Bashevis Singer. This work would be arranged for a symphonic orchestra by his friend, the composer and conductor Frédéric Chaslin.
1931 : Der falsche Ehemann,
1931 : On préfère l'huile de foie de morue (Dann schon lieber Lebertran),
1938 : The Goualeuse,
1948 : Neuf garçons, un cœur,
1949 : Valse brillante,
1951 : Les deux Monsieur de madame,
1952 : Le costaud des Batignolles,
1952 : C'est arrivé à Paris,
1953 : Quitte ou double,
1953 : Mon frangin du Sénégal,
1954 : La rage au corps,
1954 : Ma petite folie,
1954 : Les corsaires du bois de Boulogne,
1955 : Chantage,
1955 : La lumière d'en face,
1956 : La sorcière,
1956 : La mariée est trop belle,
1956 : Michel Strogoff,
1957 : Quand vient l'amour,
1958 : Mon oncle,
1958 : La moucharde,
1959 : Les bateliers de la Volga (I Battellieri del Volga),
1960 : La Française et l'amour (segment Adultery),
1968 : Le bal des voyous,
Der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland: anthology of poems from victims of Nazism (title taken from a line of the poem by Paul Celan: Todesfuge),
Holocaust Lieder: 9 Lieder for baritone and piano (1983) on poems inspired by the concentration camps.,
Given in concert in Würzburg with Hanna Schygulla in 1998
Transport (Gerry Spies),
Ausflug machen (Rainer Kirsch),
Die letzte (Gerson Stern),
Ein Koffer spricht (Ilse Weber),
Der Gute Ort zu Wien (Franz Werfel),
Ballade von der Judenhure (Berthold Brecht),
Holocaust Songs: 11 songs for mezzo-soprano and piano or orchestra (1984),
Concerto for two pianos (1985),
Astrid Freyeisen : Chanson pour Edith Piaf: Norbert Glanzberg, toute une vie, 1910-2001, Geneva, JR, 2006, (ISBN 978-2883210424)