[The Sound of Music] Trapp Family Singers
"The Trapp Family Book of Christmas Songs" - SIGNED
New York: Pantheon Books. 1950. First.
Oblong 8vo. 128 pp. Hardcover. Collection of Christmas songs from around the world decorated with woodcut-style illustrations. Signed by Franz Wasner, editor/arranger of this volume and music director for the Trapp Family Singers, Baroness Maria Augusta von Trapp (Signed "Maria A. Trapp"), the inspiration for the character portrayed by Julia Andrews in The Sound of Music and author of the present volume's introduction, and Agathe von Trapp, eldest of the von Trapp children and illustrator of the present volume. In illustrated boards, in very fine condition, lacking fragile outer dust jacket which reproduced the same cover design.
The classic film The Sound of Music was based on their experiences escaping the Nazi invasion of Austria. "Four months after the Nazi invasion, the von Trapps worked in earnest to make their discreet plans to emigrate....Although leaving Austria permanently would be difficult, the von Trapps were blessed, for they had the one thing that most refugees can only dream about: a job, or at least a contract. A year earlier, an American impresario named Charles L. Wagner had offered the choir a chance to sing in New York. This offer would now give them sanctuary in the new world. Their beloved Father Wasner got permission from his superiors to join them. In August 1938, each family member packed one rucksack, pretending that they were going on family vacation in Italy...Georg von Trapp had been born in Trieste...so his passport allowed him and his family to travel freely across the border. The family and Father Wasner calmly boarded a train which took them into the south Tryol, part of Italy. The next day, the border was closed. Their timing, as befits a close-harmony group, was again impeccable....Eventually, Wagner wired them their money and, on October 7, 1938, they traveled to London to board the SS American Farmer, sailing to New York." (Laurence Masion, "The Sound of Music Companion," p. 43)