Paul Lincke (1866–1946) was one of Germany’s finest melodists and the composer of many short pieces indelibly associated with the city of Berlin. He played and conducted in dance orchestras and theatres and was for two seasons musical director at the Folies-Bergère in Paris before establishing himself as conductor at Berlin’s Apollo Theatre. In 1899 he composed the first of a series of short operettas for the Apollo, which concentrated less on dramatic integration than on spectacle and individual display pieces. It was for one of these, Lysistrata
(1902), a burlesque of the Aristophanes story, that Lincke produced the haunting Glühwürmchen-Idyll
(‘Glow worm idyll’). For concert performance he added to the operetta’s song a contrasted central section, in which form the piece became a celebrated vehicle for the ballerina Anna Pavlova.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 1998