Madona/When day is done

LarssenLarssen Oslo, NorwayNew
edited February 2007 in Repertoire Posts: 43
I've been listening to Matelo Ferrés album "Tziganskaïa" and wonder if anyone know the connection between the song "Madona" from this album and "When day is done". It seems they are the same song but the titles and composers are different. Madona is composed by Smith/Praeger and when day is done by Katscher/DeSylva. I've searched the forum for information about this but haven't found anything. Anyone have some info?
Thank you!



  • BarengeroBarengero Auda CityProdigy
    Posts: 527
    Hi Larssen,
    I have an original old sheet of "Madonna, du bist schöner als der Sonnenschein!" It was composed in 1924 as part of a revue with the title "Küsse um Mitternacht" The revue was written in Vienna by Karl Farkas and Dr. Robert Katscher [20. 4. 1894 Vienna - 23. 2. 1942 Hollywood], but Dr. Robert Katscher wrote both the music and the lyrics of "Madonna, du bist schöner als der Sonnenschein!" alone.

    I don´t know for sure when this tune was first recorded under the title "When day is done". Buddy deSilva made new english lyrics (these are not an translation of the german lyrics). The first recording under the title "When day is done" I know about is by Ambrose. In 1931, "When Day Is Done" became his band's theme song. As far as I know "When Day Is Done" was first broadcast at the May Fair hotel on October 10th, 1931. But maybe you find some older ones.

    Robert Katscher was a real allrounder. He studied philosophy (in this subject he made his doctorate), law (his major subject) and composition (student of Hans Gál). He worked as a attorney at law in his own lawyer´s office (so he was a colleague of mine :) ) in vienna. But he was also very successfull as a composer of popular viennese songs ("Wienerlieder") and revues. Together with Karl Farkas he wrote several revues, as for example "Wunder-Bar", which was in Hollywood picturized with Al Jolson in 1931.

    In 1938 the Nazis occupied Austria and Robert Katscher was arrested by them for a short while. After they let him out again, he immediately emigrated to the USA. In Hollywood he found work as a film composer (esp. "Gambling Daughters", 1941; "Tales of Manhattan", 1942). In 1942 he passed away in Hollywood.

    The reason for the renaming may be that- for any reason - not every english speaking person knows how to pronounce the original german title :wink:

    Hope that helps a little bit,

  • BarengeroBarengero Auda CityProdigy
    Posts: 527
    the english version with the lyrics of deSilva was obviously available since 1926, too! I found a picture of the same "Art-Noveau"-Cover than the austrian first edition (on the right in the picture below), but this one has the title "When day is done" and gives deSilva as author of the lyrics.

    544.jpg 48.6K
  • LarssenLarssen Oslo, NorwayNew
    Posts: 43
    Thanks for all the information Barengero! That helps a lot.
    Do you know why it is listed with Smith and Praeger as composers on the Matelo Ferre-album?

  • Posts: 10

    Does anyone have the German lyrics for "when Day is Done" (Madonna, du bist schöner als der Sonnenschein)?

  • Posts: 10

    Thank you for sharing that link. I'm familiar with that recording from another thread. I was hoping someone had access to the written lyrics. Between the quality of the recording (copy of a very old copy) and my limited German, I don't trust myself to transcribe it by ear.

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    edited December 2020 Posts: 554

    Looks like Samy Daussat was visiting that Quadropenta video link ~8 yrs ago. ha ha!


    I did a little internet searching, as I'm sure you did. Even searching in German, I didn't have much luck. Depending on how badly you want the lyrics, there appear to be several copies of the score (which claims to have both the German and English text) for a few dollars + shipping.

    It also appears to be in the Smithsonian (National Museum of American History). Perhaps you could contact them and get a scan of the 4 pages? Or else search in your local university or public library collection?

  • europhoniceurophonic New couesnon
    Posts: 3

    Here are the German Lyrics of 'Madonna du bist schöner als der Sonnenschein' as sung by Engelbert Milde 1925, may be the earliest recording:

    Verse 1:

    Über blaue Wellen streicht der Abendwind

    und der pustet so leicht und gelind wie die Mutter ihr Kind

    aus der keinen Gondel klingt vom Meer allein

    eine Stimme so glockenrein in das Dunkle hinein


    Madonna du bist schöner als der Sonnenschein

    dein Haar das ist ein goldener Madonnenschein

    die Lippen sie gleichen den Kirschen auf dem Baum

    die Wangen die weichen dem Blütenhauch den Frühlingsttraum

    Madonna du bist schöner als der Sonnenschein

    wann neigst du endlich gnädig dich mir zu

    wenn ich ohne Glück und Sonne dann umsponnen schein

    bist du mein Glück und meine Sonne du

    Verse 2:

    Signorina lauscht dem fernen seichten Spiel

    und ihr Lächeln verspricht so viel und die Nacht wird so schwül

    doch der Gondoliere der sein Glück nicht sieht

    und nicht weiss wie ihr Herzchen glüht

    singt von fern nur sein Lied

    Repeat Refrain


    The 20's were surely the golden era of Jazz in German speaking Countries, many songs were composed, a few of them 'made' it internationally, like this one, 'just a gigolo' (schöner gigolo) or 'bei dir war es immer so schön'.


    BucoBill Da Costa Williamsbillyshakes
  • Bill Da Costa WilliamsBill Da Costa Williams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos
    Posts: 402

    The 20's were surely the golden era of Jazz in German speaking Countries, many songs were composed, a few of them 'made' it internationally, like this one, 'just a gigolo' (schöner gigolo) or 'bei dir war es immer so schön'.

    Thanks for the info.

    I was going to suggest Bei mir bist du schön also but after a little research I see it was apparently written in Yiddish in the US and only later popularized with the German title.

  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 574

    A professional jazz musician from New York named Mike Danzi went on a European tour with Alex Hyde's band in 1925 and wound up staying and working as a professional musician in Berlin until 1939. After his return to the USA he worked on Broadway and in show business as an arranger, scorer and musician until he passed away in 1986. He wrote a book about his experiences and he had a lot of good stories to tell about life and times in that world. "Different Drummers" by Michael Kater is another excellent chronicle of this time and place.

    BucoBill Da Costa Williams
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