Author Topic: Erich Wolfgang Korngold  (Read 59360 times)

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Offline Brewski

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #60 on: September 16, 2010, 12:15:08 PM »
This is a beauty



Agreed. Recommended by me in a chamber music thread once upon a time.

That chamber disc is indeed sumptuous - almost all his music is.

Thanks to all of you for recommending this recording, which I will get soon after hearing the Korngold live last night.  What a great piece it is!  (It didn't hurt that the musicians were excellent, most from the MET Orchestra.)

Anyway, I was going to look for a recording, and found this immediately.

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Offline Guido

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #61 on: September 16, 2010, 12:22:16 PM »
It's a gorgeous recording and it's my favourite of his chamber works - such resourcefulness and fullness from the slightly odd combination, and finally the piano sounds like an equal partner in the chamber setting. Enjoy! The Schmidt with which it is coupled is remkarble too, less ravishing on first listen, but it is also a very fine work. Why doesn't Sony make discs like this any more?
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #62 on: September 16, 2010, 12:28:12 PM »
Yes, I was quite taken with structure and as you say, "slightly odd combination" (e.g., two violins instead of violin/viola), but it really works well in the end.  The "Groteske" middle movement was marvelous, as was the brief "Lied" that followed, but I liked the whole thing.  The pianist was Linda Hall (also an assistant conductor at the Met), a totally marvelous player.

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Offline Guido

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #63 on: September 16, 2010, 12:41:00 PM »
But also the left hand piano restriction add's to it's oddness and charm. The Schmidt is a conventional piano quintet, symphonic in scope, but again the pianist only uses his left hand.
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #64 on: September 16, 2010, 12:47:08 PM »
Yes, that left-hand piano is quite original.  I kept chuckling, wondering if Ms. Hall or others ever "cheated" and used both hands.  The opening is so complex, it sounds as if it were being done with two.

The Schmidt I don't know at all (or really much of his music in general) so that will be interesting to hear, too.

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Scarpia

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #65 on: September 16, 2010, 12:56:41 PM »
Whenever I hear something by Korngold I can't help but get the feeling that there is a movie running that I'm not seeing.

Offline Guido

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #66 on: September 16, 2010, 01:13:10 PM »
Yeah, but at his best his music isn't just lush background music. And he's caught in that curious trap of having defined the genre - movie music sounds like Korngold, not the other way round!
Geologist.

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anasazi

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #67 on: September 20, 2010, 04:15:10 PM »
I absolutely adore the violin concerto.  Recordings abound.  I have the Korngold DVD (The Adventures of a Wunderkind) and it includes a performance (Kavakos, violin, Wolff cond.)  The Hilary Hahn DVD (A Portrait) includes her performance (conducted by Nagano).  Then there are the CDs.  Shaham's is indeed a very fine one.  Several others.

I love the way the concerto begins, without fanfares or introduction.  It just .begins with that memorable tune.  Watching the DVDs I can easily notice that the solist plays just about the entire length of the concerto.  There are few breaks for the violinist.  But no cadenzas. 

Along with the Sibelius and the Barber, this is my favorite 20th century violin concerto.

I have sometimes felt sad for Korngold.  He grew up and lived to write opera.  His God-father was Richard Strauss, yet hs also was close with Puccini.  But fate dealt him a bad hand.  After trying some film scoring  for Warner Brothers (Captain Blood, etc) he wanted to return to Europe and write Opera.  That was about the time Hitler annexed Austria so  Jack Warner's invitation to stay in the US and score "The Adventures Of Robin Hood" began to make more sense (originally, Korngold had said 'too many notes').

Eventually (after the war) Korngold returned to a bombed-out Europe, but his style of writing operas was already passe.  So we are left with about 18 film scores in lieu of his real dreams.  And no mistake, many of them contain wonderful music.  This composer really did 'invent' Hollywood film music.

I also recommend the original Charles Gerhardt recordings (shame about that Dolby business that RCA added however).  Yet the performances are magnificent.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #68 on: September 20, 2010, 05:14:54 PM »
I've never been that impressed with Korngold's music. There's something about it that just doesn't seem genuine to me. Korngold composing music for film has nothing to do with my opinion. There are a lot of compoers who wrote music for film. This doesn't downgrade their own serious music.
 
I just haven't made a connection with anything that he composed and I have many recordings of his orchestral music.
 
 
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Offline Guido

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #69 on: September 21, 2010, 02:12:16 PM »
I've never been that impressed with Korngold's music. There's something about it that just doesn't seem genuine to me. Korngold composing music for film has nothing to do with my opinion. There are a lot of compoers who wrote music for film. This doesn't downgrade their own serious music.
 
I just haven't made a connection with anything that he composed and I have many recordings of his orchestral music.

His chamber music is often fine and never more so than the Suite mentioned above. But I think The Symphonic Serenade for Strings, the violin and cello concertos and the symphony are all fine too, as are the juiciest arias from the operas.
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Offline knight66

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #70 on: October 27, 2010, 11:19:35 AM »
I have just ordered this and am awaiting it eagerly. The review in Gramophone described the music in mouthwatering terms.



His four Abschiedslieder are gravely beautiful and well worth looking out for.

Mike
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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #71 on: October 27, 2010, 01:45:34 PM »
The Symphony, in memory of F. D. Roosevelt, ranks very high as far as I'm concerned.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #72 on: October 27, 2010, 02:01:43 PM »
I have just ordered this and am awaiting it eagerly. The review in Gramophone described the music in mouthwatering terms.


Have you heard other recordings of the Korngold quartets?

Offline knight66

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #73 on: October 27, 2010, 02:03:42 PM »
No it has never occured to me to look to them; but the review did its job and I decided to explore them.

Mike
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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #74 on: October 27, 2010, 02:17:11 PM »
I've never been that impressed with Korngold's music. There's something about it that just doesn't seem genuine to me. Korngold composing music for film has nothing to do with my opinion. There are a lot of composers who wrote music for film.................

Just for those who only associate Korngold w/ Hollywood film music, his life started out quite differently and that of a musical prodigy compared to Mozart - if interested, check out the Bio HERE - might provide a better perspective for those not familiar w/ his pre-Hollywood days -  :)

Offline knight66

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #75 on: October 31, 2010, 12:17:10 PM »
I have managed a couple of times through the new quartets disc in the last two days. I sense the music will find a firm foothold as a favourite. It is not as lyrical as I expected. The first quartet was started immediately after Die Tot Stadt was completed. It is fairly astringent with delicate chromaticism.

The later quartets are slightly more lush; but only slightly. This is not perfumed Brahms or watered down Strauss. It is muscular music and makes demands. There is beauty there, but not the easy beauty of his violin concerto.

Mike
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Offline Guido

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #76 on: October 31, 2010, 12:52:31 PM »
This is not perfumed Brahms or watered down Strauss.

I love these descriptions! I have serious issues with Korngold, and while I love a few of his pieces, I have serious reservations about much of the oeuvre (I think I've heard everything by him now) and am very sceptical of the seemingly endless claims of his being a forgotten genius of true stature, who has just been ignored because his music went out of fashion (and then various adjunct stories about the effects of the nazis and hollywood on his reputation). Apart from often being historically questionable to say the least, it's like people aren't actually hearing the music for these reasons and aren't able to truly judge it's worth without the historical blinkers on. It is a disservice to him I think to overstate his importance.
Geologist.

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Offline knight66

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #77 on: October 31, 2010, 01:30:42 PM »
I am reasonably aware of the historical background, who admired him and who did not. Some of his music I really don't much care for, but as I indicated, I do like these quartets and the background to the composer does not come into it for me.

Mike
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Offline listener

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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #78 on: November 01, 2010, 05:51:20 PM »
There's a recording of the Concerto with Hilary Hahn coming with the latest BBC Music Magazine (a Mozart concerto is the filler).   The customer ahead of me at my B&M bought their last copy so I can't comment further.
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Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
« Reply #79 on: November 01, 2010, 06:06:55 PM »
The orchestral music has some beautiful use of orchestra (lush orchestration, etc) but I typically don't find it the most convincing music with regards to musical argument.  But I am interested in the quartets and picked up this 2CD set also including a piano quintet for a favorable price.



(Previously I had a few odds and ends of Korngold chamber music.)  Will be listening soon.