(German pronunciation: ['?o?z?n?t?lts\]) was a German pop duo from Berlin that was active from 1991 to 2012 and had chart hits in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The duo consisted of singer AnNa R. and musician Peter Plate, who also occasionally provided vocals. Rosenstolz achieved significant chart success in the second decade of their career, with five of their studio albums going to No. 1 in the German albums chart. Their biggest selling album, Das große Leben
(2006), sold over one million copies. Although Rosenstolz split up to pursue separate music careers, they left open the possibility of a future reunion.1991: FormationShortly after moving to Berlin-Friedrichshain in December 1990, Plate met native Berliner AnNa R. They were put in contact with each other by the landlord of Plate's flat, who knew that singer AnNa R. was looking for a pianist and that keyboard player Plate needed a singer. The duo first met in AnNa R.'s flat and went on to Plate's flat the same evening, where they recorded a song together.The duo began to meet regularly to work on new songs despite their different music tastes – AnNa R. had a preference for singing chanson, while Plate's interests lay in making English-language pop music. After about 4 months, they had enough material to produce their first cassette and were eager to give their first concert. They needed a name for their band and considered many possibilities, one of the early favourites being A & P
. Eventually, they somehow came up with Rosenstolz
, which immediately appealed to them.The first Rosenstolz concert took place on 4 October 1991 in Berlin at the Galerie Bellevue, where most of the people present were friends of the duo. The next concert at the SchwuZ gay club in Berlin on 7 December 1991 was in front of an audience of 400 people. However, the audience, who were waiting for the main act, became restless after Rosenstolz had played a few songs and eventually shouted at the duo.
1992–1995: Soubrette werd' ich nie, Nur einmal noch and Mittwoch is' er fällig
Rosenstolz continued to perform live following their initial concerts and were soon discovered by record producer Tom Müller, who had previously worked with German singer Nina Hagen. Recording began on their debut album, Soubrette werd' ich nie
, which was released towards the end of 1992 by Pool, an indie label. However, the album received little attention and was not a commercial success. Müller was not concerned whether the album would be a hit or not and provided Plate and AnNa R. with temporary financial support so that they could devote more time to writing new songs for their next album and to performing live.Eventually, Rosenstolz were giving around 10 concerts per month, mostly in the eastern states of Germany. By 1993, the band were able to hold their first proper concert, which took place at the WABE culture centre in Berlin and had 600 fans attending. Two years later in 1995, the band's planned concert at the Metropol in Berlin quickly sold out, resulting in the band deciding to hold an additional concert at the same venue. The audience of 1500 people at the Metropol was the band's largest to date.Rosenstolz also recorded two further studio albums: Nur einmal noch
(1994) and Mittwoch is' er fällig
(1995). By then, the band had left Pool owing to a disagreement and had moved to the small record label Traumton Records. The first single from Nur einmal noch
, also of the same name, received frequent airplay on local radio in Berlin, helping to give the band more exposure. At the same time, the discos in Berlin started to play Rosenstolz's music.
1996–1999: Objekt der Begierde, Die Schlampen sind Müde and Zucker
By the mid-nineties, major record labels were starting to show an interest in Rosenstolz. After considering various offers, the band decided to switch to Polydor, where they were able to retain their artistic independence. The move to a major label meant that the costs of producing the band's albums were no longer borne by Müller, but instead by the record label. In addition, the band now had more resources available to them, such as the use of a 20-piece string ensemble for the production of the song "Der Moment". The song was part of the band's next studio album, Objekt der Begierde
, which was released in 1996 and coincided with a tour that took place between May and December, with a break for the summer. During the tour, the band saw increased audience numbers in the western states of Germany and performed in front of over 4000 people in the final concert in Berlin. In 1997, Rosenstolz were invited by the Goethe-Institut to perform at a concert in Novosibirsk, Russia. The audience of about 10,000 people was their largest so far. In the same year, they also entered the German charts for the first time with Die Schlampen sind müde
, their fifth studio album. Despite the lack of airplay, the album remained in the charts for several weeks, peaking at No. 31.Rosenstolz gained more exposure in 1998 when they participated in the televised qualifying competition to find Germany's next representative for the Eurovision Song Contest. Although they did not win and were runners-up, their song "Herzensschöner" was the first Rosenstolz song to enter the German singles chart, peaking at No. 34.In 1999, Rosenstolz released their sixth studio album, Zucker
, which charted more highly than their previous album, entering the charts at No. 2. They also toured the same year and released their first live album, Zuckerschlampen:live
, which also charted highly, entering the charts at No. 5.Also in 1999, Rosenstolz released the song "Ja, ich will" in support of the introduction of same-sex marriage. At the time, Germany had not yet legalized registered partnerships for same-sex couples. The song was a collaboration with German comedienne Hella von Sinnen, who sang a duet with Plate in the song.
2000–2004: Kassengift, Macht Liebe and Herz
The start of the new millennium saw Rosenstolz topping the German albums chart for the first time. Kassengift
, the band's seventh studio album, was released in September 2000 and went straight to No. 1. The band also received more airplay on music television channels through the music video for the single "Amo Vitam", which was from the new album and sung entirely in Latin. Coinciding with the release of Kassengift
, Rosenstolz re-recorded two songs from the album as collaborations with other artists: "Total Eclipse", which was recorded with Marc Almond, and "Die schwarze Witwe", which was recorded with Nina Hagen.Rosenstolz's next studio album, Macht Liebe
, came out in 2002 and differed from earlier albums, with electropop elements to be seen in songs such as "Sternraketen". Macht Liebe
reached No. 3 in the German albums chart, and the accompanying concert tour was a sell-out, with seven sold-out concerts in the Columbiahalle in Berlin. At the concerts, Rosenstolz performed "Laut", a protest song they had written against the invasion of Iraq.In the summer of 2003, Rosenstolz released their second live album and their first live DVD, both titled Live aus Berlin
, which were recorded during the Macht Liebe tour. In the same summer, Rosenstolz also gave their first open-air concert tour, which ended in Berlin in front of an audience of 17,000 people.The release of Herz
(2004), Rosenstolz's ninth studio album, marked a change in the band's direction: in an interview in 2008, Plate expressed his opinion that there were two phases of Rosenstolz, the first one ending with Macht Liebe
and the second one starting with Herz
reached gold status after just one week and then platinum status shortly afterwards; it also went to No. 1 in the German albums chart. The singles "Liebe ist alles", "Ich will mich verlieben" and "Willkommen" from the album were top 10 hits in the German singles chart, and a record number of people attended the concert tour following the album release. The song "Liebe ist alles" was later covered by Melanie C and Grégory Lemarchal. Their versions of the song are titled "Let There Be Love" (2011) and "Je Deviens Moi" (2005), respectively.
2005–2011: Das große Leben, Die Suche geht weiter and Wir sind am Leben
In March 2006, Rosenstolz released their tenth studio album, Das große Leben
. Consisting mostly of ballads, the album was the most successful in the band's history, staying at No. 1 in the German charts for four consecutive weeks and selling over one million copies. It was also the band's first album to top the Austrian charts. All the singles from the album entered the German top 20: "Ich bin ich (Wir sind wir)", "Nichts von alledem (tut mir leid)", "Ich geh in Flammen auf", "Auch im Regen" and "Aus Liebe wollt ich alles wissen". The accompanying concert tour encompassed 36 concerts and concluded in Berlin with three sold-out open-air concerts at Kindl-Bühne Wuhlheide in Berlin.In August 2008, Rosenstolz topped the German singles chart for the first time with "Gib mir Sonne". The song was from the band's eleventh studio album, Die Suche geht weiter
, which was more reflective than earlier albums and written following the death of the mother of Ulf Leo Sommer (Plate's partner). The album itself went straight to No. 1 in the German charts and received platinum status. Two further singles from the album, "Wie weit ist vorbei" and "Blaue Flecken", reached the top 10 of the German singles chart. In November 2008, Rosenstolz began their 2008/2009 Bist du dabei tour, which ended prematurely in Hamburg in January 2009. It was later announced that Plate was suffering from burnout and that all future tour dates were cancelled.After a break of nearly three years, Rosenstolz returned to public attention in September 2011 with the release of the single "Wir sind am Leben" and a new studio album of the same name. Wir sind am Leben
was well received by fans, reaching No. 1 in the German albums chart. 2011 was also Rosenstolz's 20th anniversary and to mark this occasion, German broadcaster ARD broadcast the one-hour documentary Rosenstolz – Wir sind Wir! – Die Erfolgsgeschichte eines Popduos
by Marc Boettcher.
2012: Indefinite break
In February 2012, there were rumours in the media that Rosenstolz were going to split up. These rumours were fuelled by cancellations of appearances on a television show and at the 2012 ECHO awards. However, the band's record label said the cancellations were due to illness.At the end of 2012, Rosenstolz posted a message on their website and on Facebook and Twitter to announce that they would be taking a break for an indefinite period of time. After many years together, the duo felt now was the best time to give each other some space and to go their separate ways. In 2013, the duo announced their new music careers, with Plate becoming a solo artist and AnNa R. becoming the lead singer of the newly formed band Gleis 8.
Virtually all of Rosenstolz's songs were sung in German. This was considered unusual at the start of the band's career in the early nineties, as other German pop acts were singing in English. Rosenstolz had initially attempted to work with English-language songs, but they were not satisfied with the results and consequently turned to their mother tongue.Rosenstolz defined themselves as a pop group whose music embraced all genres, including classical, rock, chanson and R&B. They also stated that ballads were amongst their strong points. Owing to the difficulty in categorizing Rosenstolz, the media used the term Mondänpop
to describe the band's music. The term was invented by one journalist who, upon seeing a photo of AnNa R. wearing a hat, commented that she looked mondän
(chic).Ernst Hofacker, editor of music magazine Musikexpress
, commented in 2002 that Rosenstolz's music flowed between chanson, German songs from the twenties, schlager and modern pop music. Other journalists were also of the opinion that Rosenstolz's music contained elements of pop and chanson and/or schlager. However, comparisons between Rosenstolz's music and schlager were strongly disputed by the band, who themselves expressed a dislike of the latter.Commons themes in Rosenstolz songs were those of an emotional nature, such as love, friendship and pain. Rosenstolz also wrote songs of a sexual nature, but these were less evident in their later albums. Rosenstolz also changed musically over the course of their career: various journalists remarked that the band had a maturer and more serious sound in their later albums and that the band in their later years no longer exhibited the quirkiness and over-the-top vocals from their early years.
During their career, Rosenstolz were active in raising money for AIDS charities. At their concerts, the band collected donations for Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe (German AIDS Aid) and highlighted the issue of AIDS.In 1993, Rosenstolz released the limited edition CD Sanfte Verführer
and donated the proceeds to Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe. In March 2007, Rosenstolz released the charity single "Aus Liebe wollt ich alles wissen", with all proceeds going to the Deutsche AIDS-Stiftung (German AIDS Foundation). They then held a benefit concert on 18 June 2007 in the Columbiahalle in Berlin, where they presented a cheque for 100,000 euros to the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, who accepted it on behalf of the Deutsche AIDS-Stiftung.Rosenstolz received two official awards in recognition of their efforts in the fight against AIDS. The first was the Sächsische Ehrenmedaille »Für herausragende Leistungen im Kampf gegen HIV und Aids«
(Saxon medal of honour "for outstanding achievements in the fight against HIV and AIDS"), which was awarded on World AIDS Day 2009. The second was the Bundesverdienstkreuz
(Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany), which was awarded on 31 August 2011.
Rosenstolz won various German music awards during their career. Among their achievements, they were six-times winners of a Goldene Stimmgabel, five-times winners of an ECHO award and two-times winners of a Comet award.In 2003, the band won three awards. These were an ECHO for best website by an artist, a Comet for best national music video ("Es tut immer noch weh"), and a Goldene Stimmgabel for best German pop duo.A few years later in 2007, Rosenstolz were the recipient of six awards. The band won a Goldene Kamera for best national pop act, an ECHO for best national rock/pop group, and two DIVA awards, one for best artist and the other for best album. In addition, the band were awarded the Fred-Jay-Preis for song writing and Plate received the Paul-Lincke-Ring in recognition of his contribution to music.
Film, television and other media
- Scenes from one of Rosenstolz's first concerts can be seen in the 14th episode of the gay television series Licht und Schatten by Andreas Weiß.
- The song "Willkommen" from the album Herz forms part of the soundtrack for Sommersturm (2004), a coming-of-age film about a teenage boy coming out, and is played during the closing credits. Scenes from the film can be seen in the music video for "Willkommen".
- Another song by Rosenstolz, "Gib mir Sonne" from the album Die Suche geht weiter, was used as the title song for Anna und die Liebe, a German telenovela starring Jeanette Biedermann.
- Rosenstolz wrote and sung the title song for Tiger Taps, a series of children's audio dramas about the adventures of a tiger and his jungle friends. The title of the song is "Weil wir Freunde sind (Der Tiger Taps Song)".