Term applied to places of entertainment such as night clubs and to the mus. entertainment provided there. Cabaret in the modern sense began in 1881 when the ‘Chat Noir’ opened in Paris. From this milieu arose the great diseuse Yvette Guilbert (1885–1944). In Ger. the leading cabaret was the ‘Überbrettl’, founded by Ernst von Wolzogen (librettist of Strauss's Feuersnot) in 1901. Schoenberg cond. there and comp. some Brettllieder. Political satire was a prin. feature of the cabaret of the 1920s and 1930s in Ger., where Kurt Weill and Hanns Eisler were protagonists. This period was captured by Christopher Isherwood in his novel Goodbye to Berlin (1939) (re‐named Cabaret for the stage and film). In Eng., cabaret tended to be more genteel and like an intimate revue, but something of the Ger. spirit was emulated by W. H. Auden in his The Ascent of F6 (1936), the songs being set to mus. by Britten (e.g. ‘Tell me the truth about love’).
Subjects: Theatre — Music.