Ferdinand Raimund

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Raimund, Ferdinand


Born June 1, 1790, in Vienna; died Sept. 5, 1836, in Pottenstein, Lower Austria. Austrian actor and playwright.

Beginning in 1814, Raimund first worked in the Josefstadt-theater in Vienna, where he played the role of Franz Moor in Schiller’s The Robbers and then in the Leopoldstàdter Theater. His first play, staged in 1823, was The Barometer-maker on the Magic Island. His later plays, based on the Austrian folk theater, became well known, including The Girl From the Fairy World, or The Peasant Millionaire (1826), The King of the Alps, or the Enemy of Mankind (1828), and The Spendthrift (1834).

Raimund revived the romantic fairy-tale comedy and gave it a new form and social relevance. A humanist, he united in his works the comic and the serious, a life-affirming sense of humor and a melancholy sadness. In his poetic plays, fantasy alternated with reality, and dialogue was interspersed with musical couplets and arias. W. Müller composed the music for many of Raimund’s plays. Raimund performed character roles in a number of his own plays, including Bartholomäus in The Barometer-maker, Florian in The Diamond of the King of Spirits, Gluthahn in The Magic Spell of Moisasur, Rappelkopf in The King of The Alps, and Fortunatus Wurzel in The Girl From the Fairy World.


Sämtliche Werke, vols. 1–6. Vienna [1925–34]


Sieczynski, R. Altwiener Volkskomiker. Vienna, 1947.
Holzer, R. Die Wiener Vorstadtbühnen. Vienna, 1951.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
I venture to submit the following definition: Es singen die Steine constitutes an odd and unperformable medley of elements from the best tradition of the charming Viennese Volkstheater (with its dramatic fairy tales a la Ferdinand Raimund) and the stale and shopworn tradition of an erstwhile flourishing-both paradoxically meaningful and eminently stagy-theater of the absurd.
The author's familiarity with music and theater enriches our perception of Adami's wife and son and also acquaints us with Ferdinand Raimund, the Austrian actor and farce playwright whose suicide was precipitated by the fear that he had been bitten by a mad dog.