Hansi Hinterseer – Hände zum Himmel

(Note: I guess this will have to serve as my belated Oktoberfest post.) Hans “Hansi” Hinterseer (born 2 February 1954) is an Austrian singer, actor, entertainer, and former alpine skier. In 1973 he won the overall giant slalom contest at the 1973 Alpine Skiing World Cup. He also won the silver medal at the world championship in 1974, and participated at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck.

Starting in 1994, Hinterseer reinvented himself as a singer in the Schlager genre. Schlager really has no exact translation in English… . It literally means “hits,” but the musical context is, not to put too fine a point on it, a backlash against the post-WWII inundation of European culture first by jazz and then by rock and roll. (Hardly the first, let alone the most, arguable assertion I have made over the past three decades!) Therefore, angst and rebellion are out, and homecoziness und romanze are in.

The above is Hansi & Co. singing and jumping around to what appears to be an inspirational song, and one must agree that the huge live audience appears, um, inspired.

Click on the link for a brief encore of what appears to be traditional Tyrolean music!

hansi_hinterseerHansi Hinterseer, circa 2006. (Wiki.)

The brief encore appears to be a song associated with the downhill ski resort Streif. Sources say that a large subset of Schlager music is about, for lack of a better phrase, nostalgia for tourist vistas such as mountain meadows and so forth. Hansi has by my rough estimate a few thousand YouTube videos associated with his name, so you can do your own research.

In answer to the question, “Why?” my answer is that I find something strangely cheering about Hansi’s sincere and simple music. And of course, “Auf der Streif” elicits much ringing of cowbells, and every real Mahlerian knows that you can never have too much cowbell. I also love the businesslike way he takes his button accordion from a roadie.


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