GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: tjguitar on April 15, 2007, 05:23:22 PM

Title: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: tjguitar on April 15, 2007, 05:23:22 PM
One of my favorite non-British composers, especially a fan of his film work. But his cello concerto is one of my favorite cello concerto's and the concerto for piano left hand.  There's some fantastic recordings out there of Korngol's film and concert work.  As far as film goes, the two Charles Gerhardt conducted compilations are on top for me, I also enjoy Varujan Kojian's recordings of The Sea Hawk and Adventures of Robin Hood with the Utah Symphony on Varese sarabande. Both were originally on LP so they are only around 40-45 minutes long, We already have a complete Adventures of Robin Hood on MARCO POLO with WIlliam Stromberg and the Moscow Symphony, they also have recorded The Sea hawk and Deception which should be released any time now.  I go to chandos for the concert work but I still don't have a recording of his (arguably most famous!) concert works his Symphony in F# and Violin Concerto.

Can't wait for the upcoming 2 disc complete score to the Sea Hawk on Naxos. 


(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000000B0F.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V46719228_AA240_.jpg)(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000007MY8.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V45547894_AA240_.jpg)(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000000AVM.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V44525636_AA240_.jpg)
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000003EM4.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000003F6H.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V45285543_AA240_.jpg)(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0000BX5L0.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V44340298_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 15, 2007, 05:42:45 PM
And oddly, his violin concerto in D is the only work of his that I DO have! It is a lovely late Romantic piece, rich and lush. Even though I don't listen to a lot of 20th century music, I always have a soft spot for this work. I have Perlman, playing it along with the Goldmark a minor concerto, another great late Romantic classic. :)

8)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Harry on April 15, 2007, 09:56:33 PM
The first three of the Chandos I have also, and think them very good in sound and interpretation. Added to that are some discs I have on CPO. which are also worth while to check out
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: vandermolen on April 16, 2007, 01:46:26 AM
I like the Symphony and Cello Concerto.  There are a number of good recordings of the former by Previn (DGG), Downes (Chandos), De Priest (Delos) and Kempe (Varese Saraband nla).
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on April 24, 2007, 12:21:04 PM
Regarding the marvelous cello concerto, the best version known to me is on the Korngold Arthaus DVD, with an incandescent Quirine Viersen.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: tjguitar on May 20, 2007, 08:14:36 PM
(http://www.screenarchives.com/gifs/large/7241.gif)

Can't wait for this.  May 29th release date in the UK, some sound clips at screenarchives.com :)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: sound67 on May 21, 2007, 12:12:49 AM
I go to chandos for the concert work but I still don't have a recording of his (arguably most famous!) concert works his Symphony in F# and Violin Concerto.

Go for these versions:

(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/7096608.jpg) (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/61CRPQBG3DL._AA240_.gif)

Thomas
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: sound67 on May 21, 2007, 12:14:27 AM
(http://www.screenarchives.com/gifs/large/7241.gif)

Can't wait for this.  May 29th release date in the UK, some sound clips at screenarchives.com :)

As with all other Stromberg/Moscow recordings, this should not be better than OK. I heard Chandos also recorded the entire The Sea Hawk under Rumon Gamba...

Thomas
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: The new erato on May 21, 2007, 12:21:58 AM
I'd go for Welzer-Møst on a cheap EMI CD for the symphony.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Harry Collier on May 21, 2007, 02:09:24 AM

There is a fine CD (Oehms OC 537) with Benjamin Schmid and the Vienna Philharmonic playing the violin concerto, David Frühwirth playing the Much Ado About Nothing suite, and a group including Schmid playing the Suite for 2 violins, cello and piano. Well worth acquiring and getting to know. Somehow, it being an all-Austrian cast, recorded in Austria, gives the music the appropriate dash of schmaltz. The recording comes from the 2004 Salzburg Festival.

Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: sound67 on May 21, 2007, 02:14:34 AM
There is a fine CD (Oehms OC 537) with Benjamin Schmid and the Vienna Philharmonic playing the violin concerto

What's not so nice about this particular live recording is that there is applause - after the 1st movement !!! Why they didn't edit this out I will never know.

Thomas
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Harry Collier on May 21, 2007, 03:18:23 AM
What's not so nice about this particular live recording is that there is applause - after the 1st movement !!! Why they didn't edit this out I will never know.

Thomas

It's strange, but there is also applause after the first movement in the 1947 Heifetz recording (New York). Must be something about the first movement of the Korngold violin concerto. But it is usually fairly simple to edit these things out (unless the applause overlaps the end of the music) and I cannot think why record companies don't do it. I've burned my own copy of the 1947 Heifetz ... senza applause.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Grazioso on May 21, 2007, 03:25:57 AM
This is a beauty

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51G9F9MJG5L._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: The new erato on May 21, 2007, 03:40:44 AM
Agreed. Recommended by me in a chamber music thread once upon a time.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Guido on May 21, 2007, 02:05:17 PM
That chamber disc is indeed sumptuous - almost all his music is.

Naturally I love the Cello concerto - I wish the film Deception that it derives from was available on DVD. Surely one of the best film scores of all time! I'd love to see that DVD.

It's a great piece for the cello, virtuosic and with beautiful themes, but actually as far as modern concertos go, its quite manageable technically. I think the main reason for its relative neglect is its short length, but I personally have a penchant for single concerto/concertante movements, a category that is severely lacking in the cello repertoire!

There is an absolutely gorgeous miniature for cello and piano that was intended for the film but never made it and was never published. Its very short but its just so ravishing! Maybe I'll record it and put it up here one day (A perfect encore methinks). The direction at the start of the score is 'With great heartness' - touchingly naive.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: tjguitar on May 21, 2007, 02:10:10 PM
Quote
I wish the film Deception that it derives from was available on CD.

Bill Stromberg and the Moscow Symphony recorded it along with Sea Hawk:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000Q6ZUVM
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Guido on May 21, 2007, 02:21:35 PM
sorry I meant DVD! Thanks for the tip though - its coming out on my Birthday - Might just have to treat myself)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 22, 2007, 01:01:28 PM
Agreed. Recommended by me in a chamber music thread once upon a time.

Yes, recommended by you and subsequently bought by me. Thank you.

Sarge
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: sound67 on June 24, 2007, 12:17:05 AM
(http://www.screenarchives.com/gifs/large/7241.gif)

Can't wait for this.  May 29th release date in the UK, some sound clips at screenarchives.com :)

Bought this one last week. I already got all the other re-recordings of selections from "The Sea Hawk", by Charles Gerhardt, Varujan Koijan, James de Preist (8 minutes only) and André Previn, respectively, and sadly I must report that while the new version is welcome for being complete, it is all too obviously the weakest in terms of both performance and recorded sound.

The trouble begins with the dullest recording of the Main Titles imaginable. Stromberg's reading here lacks any of the "schwung" this fanfare demands and that is best captured by Kojian as part of his 45-min Utah Symphony recording. The brass from Moscow sound limp and defensive not just here, but in many places. Things improve after that, with some sensitive playing especially in the lyrical or atmospheric (Panama) sequences. However, the Moscow forces cannot swash nor buckle with the best orchestras from England or the US.

Why Stromberg/Morgan chose to hire a Russian soprano (Irina Romishevskaya) for the short but beautiful Dona Maria's song, other than because of easy availability, is a mystery. She sings the ballad with the most inappropriate Russian accent, and with none of the required sensitivity. Even in comparison to Carol Wetzel's small-voiced but sweet and sensitive take on this song in the Kojian recording, Romishevskaya is totally unacceptable. Mind though, we're talking here of just under a minute of Naxos' 115minute reading of The Sea Hawk.

The Moscow Chorus do better in "Strike for the Shores of Dover", but again are no match for the London singers in Gerhardt's recording or the Utah Symphony Chorus (for reasons unknown, Previn chose to replace the chorus with a brass section carrying the theme in his LSO recording).

A word on sound: The Prelude alarmed me because of a rather cavernous and mushy sound that cannot be the state of the art today even in Moscow, but it gets better from track 2 on. However, solo instruments are frequently spotlighted in the way movie soundtracks are being recorded, which is true to these producers' expressed aim to make film music sound as intended and not as "ersatz symphonic music" - resulting in a balance that is clear but never natural. While this policy made a lot of sense in many of Morgan/Stromberg's earlier recordings, like the film music of Roy Webb, Hans Salter etc., it is highly questionable here. Erich Wolfgang Korngold made no distinction between concert and film music, and his orchestration here (except compromises with regard to the size of the Warner Bros Orchestra) does not differ from his concert music. It should IMHO be recorded ike concert music.

The notes on the scores are, predictably, splendid, and with one exception Brendan Carroll (the president of the Korngold Society) this time refrains from hyperbole when referring to Korngold's importance in the history of film music - in his notes for the Previn Sea Hawk CD he erroneously credited Korngold having singlehandedly reinvented Hollywood film music.

A slightly disappointing release then as far as The Sea Hawk is concerned (the twofer also contains a 30-minute suite of Korngold's Deception score, including the shorter film version of the Cello Concerto, which also gets a rather pedestrian treatment by soloist Alexander Zagorinsky), which is valuable for its completeness, but falls short occasionally in the "perfomance department". If you want a CD of most of the substantial music from THE SEA HAWK, go with Varese Sarabande's clearly superior Utah Symphony Orchestra version of 1987. If you need the highlights only, but shown to the greatest possible advantage, try and hunt down the RCA suites conducted by Charles Gerhardt and recorded by the best classical recording engineer of them all, Decca's Ken J. Wilkinson.

Thomas
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: tjguitar on June 24, 2007, 06:48:34 AM
Thanks for the review Thomas.  I too love the Varese recording, but it is sadly out of print.


I will be picking this up when it is released in the US (July 31st)

Also there is a semi-complete Chandos recording supposedly on the way, not sure what they cut out but it is going to fit on one CD.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: vandermolen on June 24, 2007, 11:54:03 PM
I'd go for Welzer-Møst on a cheap EMI CD for the symphony.

That's a v good recording.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: tjguitar on June 30, 2007, 02:04:39 PM
Chandos has reissued its Korngold recordings it seems:


(http://chandos.co.uk/hiresart/CHAN%2010431.jpg)(http://chandos.co.uk/hiresart/CHAN%2010432.jpg)
(http://chandos.co.uk/hiresart/CHAN%2010433.jpg)(http://chandos.co.uk/hiresart/CHAN%2010434.jpg)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: tjguitar on November 18, 2007, 06:26:54 PM
Stromberg and the Moscow Symphony are going to be recording the complete score to The Prince and the Pauper next year.

By my count, that's the 6th complete Korngold score from that team? Cool!


I do wish that some label would record a complete Juarez and Captain Blood, although the latter seems unlikely because of the Lizst cue.


Pretty soon, we could have complete score recordings for all 17 of Korngold films. :D
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: tjguitar on November 19, 2007, 09:46:11 AM
(http://www.varesesarabande.com/assets/product_images/lg/107111071071.jpg)

http://www.varesesarabande.com/details.asp?pid=vcl%2D1107%2D1071
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Kullervo on November 19, 2007, 02:28:56 PM
(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/6667047.jpg)

I love this opera, improbable libretto and all.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Lethevich on November 19, 2007, 02:33:32 PM
(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/6667047.jpg)

I love this opera, improbable libretto and all.

That recording is great. I am surprised there haven't been more performances of the work - especially in Europe, as there is ample room in the plot for gratuotous nudity to satisfy the patrons :P
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Kullervo on November 19, 2007, 02:35:51 PM
That recording is great. I am surprised there haven't been more performances of the work - especially in Europe, as there is ample room in the plot for gratuotous nudity to satisfy the patrons :P

I would imagine the staging would be difficult, and the instrumentation is pretty non-standard. I think there are at least five keyboard instruments. Hmm, I need to listen to this again soon.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Lethevich on November 19, 2007, 02:37:36 PM
I would imagine the staging would be difficult, and the instrumentation is pretty non-standard. I think there are at least five keyboard instruments. Hmm, I need to listen to this again soon.

Indeedie - but I never underestimate how much money European politicians are willing to pump into white elephant arts projects. It's one of the things I love about this place :D
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Novi on November 19, 2007, 04:18:59 PM
That recording is great. I am surprised there haven't been more performances of the work - especially in Europe, as there is ample room in the plot for gratuotous nudity to satisfy the patrons :P

Hey Lethe, Wednesday this week ...
http://shop.lpo.org.uk/performances/detail.asp?1205,63,0,0,0
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Lethevich on November 19, 2007, 04:41:50 PM
Hey Lethe, Wednesday this week ...
http://shop.lpo.org.uk/performances/detail.asp?1205,63,0,0,0

How silly of me - I've actually been on that exact page recently. I created a DWDH article for Wikipedia, and was looking for sources - I assumed it was for an old performance, not a future one :)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Grazioso on November 23, 2007, 05:42:02 AM
I just heard his Symphony in F# for the first time

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51200EPZ8YL._AA240_.jpg)

Can't say I like the engineering on this disc at all, but the symphony is darn impressive: a heavy, dark work leavened with a dash of Hollywood romance.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on November 26, 2007, 02:09:45 PM
I love EWK's work. His Sinfonietta is of astonishing maturity - he was 14 when he wrote it. I also like his Piano Concerto for the Left hand, his Symphony in F sharp, and the symphonic poem Sursum Corda. His Symphonic Serenade for string orchestra is one of the most beautiful essays in the genre. And the opera 'Das Wunder der Heliane' ends in an ecstasy that really makes you soar.

A wonderful composer!
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on June 14, 2008, 10:40:12 PM
Time to resurrect this. I had written an answer to a recent thread about Korngold's violin concerto just in time to find it - deservedly - locked. Maybe the relevant posts from that thread should be moved here?

...

For my taste, the best overall renditions of Korngold's violin concerto available are those by Schmid and Shaham. They are both brilliant and manage to sound quite different; the Vienna version manages to gloriously illustrate the bittersweet Korngoldian harmonies and atmosphere in an electrifying performance, whereas the LSO version paints a more exuberant, virtuosic soundscape. I slightly prefer Schmid's performance, but I wouldn't want to be without Shaham, either.

The Oehms release has the advantage of an all-Korngold program, immaculately performed. The op.23 suite for two violins, cello and left hand piano (a second Wittgenstein commission, after his satisfaction with the op.17 left hand piano concerto Korngold had composed for him) is a glorious work that ought to be standard repertoire and it receives an impressively atmospheric performance here, as well.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/4260034865372.jpg)(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0028943988629.jpg)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: knight66 on June 15, 2008, 01:02:25 AM
Here is the relevent post from the locked thread

Mike


This is the only recording I have of the Korngold concerto:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31X2HYTW05L._SL500_AA180_.jpg)

(In case the text is too tiny for you to read, the soloist is Chantal Juillet, with John Mauceri conducting the Berlin RSO.)

It is coupled with the completely-forgotten Krenek concerto, which has a gauzy, Berg-like atmosphere (though sounds nothing like the Berg concerto), and Weill's concerto for violin and wind ensemble, which is a nice slice of 20's modernism a la Hindemith.

If I had the time and money, I would buy as much as the Entartete Musik as I could, before it disappears completely.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Guido on June 15, 2008, 02:00:06 AM
I really want to get recordings of Die Tote Stadt, and Die stumme Serenade. What is the best recording of the former, and is there a recording of the latter?
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on June 15, 2008, 02:09:03 AM
For Die tote Stadt, I'd recommend Leinsdorf. Segerstam on Naxos is also quite good (and cheap) and it would serve as an excellent second version.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0035628776723.jpg)(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0730099606028.jpg)

I don't think there's a recording for Die stumme Serenade.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 15, 2008, 02:36:42 AM
I don't think there's a recording for Die stumme Serenade.

On Wikipedia I read the following about the availability or otherwise of Die Stumme Serenade:

Ein hausinterner Mitschnitt auf DVD der Wiederaufführung im Münchner Haus der Kunst existiert. Er ist über die Hochschule für Musik und Theater München erhältlich.

Which means that an in-house recording of a production given at the Munich 'Haus der Kunst' exists on DVD, which you can order through the 'Hochschule für Musik und Theater' in Munich...
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Guido on June 15, 2008, 03:41:17 AM
Cheers to both of you. I just ordered both versions of Die Tote Stadt as the Naxos was so cheap! I might look into getting that DVD Jezetha.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: scarpia on June 15, 2008, 04:09:52 PM
One of my favorite non-British composers, especially a fan of his film work.

Here is the strangest thing, that someone could have a "favorite non-British composer."  To divide composers into British and non-British is like dividing the bobsled teams into "Jamaican and non-Jamaican."
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: tjguitar on June 15, 2008, 05:14:51 PM
when it comes to Classical, the majority I listen to is British.

As far as music in general, I don't think the same qualifier would be valid/accurate.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Josquin des Prez on June 15, 2008, 05:21:41 PM
when it comes to Classical, the majority I listen to is British.

Ouch. I feel sorry for you.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: mjwal on August 29, 2008, 06:55:41 AM
About Die tote Stadt & Das Wunder der Heliane: to get the full gorgeous passion of these works one has to listen to the 2 historical excerpts of Die tote Stadt recorded by Tauber and (in the duet) Lehmann (the singers at the premiere and conducted by Szell in 1924), and the recording by Lehmann of "Ich ging zu ihm" from Das Wunder. Some of the greatest singing ever recorded - das gibt's nie wieder...
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: tjguitar on June 23, 2009, 07:25:06 AM
I'm looking forward to hearing the new Phillipe Quint recording of the violin concerto:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Dq2YGblvL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: vandermolen on June 24, 2009, 08:44:27 AM
Apart from the Symphony I like the 'Cello Concerto from Deception' very much. I recently found a second hand CD copy of Rudolph Kempe's fine Munich premiere recording of the Symphony.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on June 24, 2009, 09:35:32 AM
The cello concerto is a great favourite of mine, as well (my recommendation would be Quirine Viersen on Arthaus DVD).
The new Naxos recording looks interesting; but my main interest lies not with yet another version of the violin concerto (Shaham and Schmid are not likely to be surpassed by this) but with the Schauspiel Overture, a charming piece that deserves as many alternative recordings as it can get.  8)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: jlaurson on June 24, 2009, 11:19:47 AM
Here's an article on the big Korngold (Jr. & Sr.!) exhibit at the Jewish Museum in Vienna, overseen by the man who was responsible for Decca's "Entartete Musik" series:

Korngold Sr. & Jr. – Cliché, Critic and Composer (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=241)

& my favorite recordings of Korngold

The Sounds of Korngold (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=314)


Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on June 24, 2009, 10:58:25 PM
The classic Leinsdorf rendition of Die tote Stadt has been reissued by RCA at budget price; not to be missed!

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/NR_July09/88697446602.htm (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/NR_July09/88697446602.htm)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 25, 2009, 01:45:00 AM
The classic Leinsdorf rendition of Die tote Stadt has been reissued by RCA at budget price; not to be missed!

Indeed.

Other essential pieces for me - the early Sinfonietta and the Symphonic Serenade. And Das Wunder der Heliane out-Tristans Wagner to glorious effect - the ending is literally 'out of this world'.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: tjguitar on June 25, 2009, 01:37:08 PM
Never been much of an opera fan, but I enjoy his orchestral stuff. Should I check out the operas?
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 25, 2009, 02:32:38 PM
Never been much of an opera fan, but I enjoy his orchestral stuff. Should I check out the operas?

You could give both Die tote Stadt and Das Wunder der Heliane a try. They inhabit a Straussian world, musically speaking, but with that magical Korngold touch. The orchestra plays a major role.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Siedler on June 25, 2009, 02:52:00 PM
The classic Leinsdorf rendition of Die tote Stadt has been reissued by RCA at budget price; not to be missed!

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/NR_July09/88697446602.htm (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/NR_July09/88697446602.htm)
Unfortunately, it seems that this release doesn't include the libretto.  >:(
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 25, 2009, 09:06:50 PM
Unfortunately, it seems that this release doesn't include the libretto.  >:(

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3d/Korngold-Die_Tote_Stadt-Libretto-1921.pdf
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on June 25, 2009, 09:50:00 PM
Never been much of an opera fan, but I enjoy his orchestral stuff. Should I check out the operas?

The orchestra plays a major part in Korngold's operas, as Johan already noted; a constant commentator as well as a protagonist. The soundworld is akin to R. Strauss with the melodic insidiousness of Puccini and inflected with Korngold's unique style.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 26, 2009, 04:40:53 PM
Don't believe that I'm a member of this thread yet -  ::)

But, I've been buying a number of non-movie Korngold discs in the last year or so - my most recent puchase shown below: 

String Quartets & Sextet w/ the Flesch Quartet - wonderful compositions worth exploring -  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/568929835_Mn2hv-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Siedler on April 25, 2010, 10:23:35 AM
Finnish National Opera is going to perform Die Tote Stadt next fall with Klaus Florian Vogt  and Camilla Nylund! Wonderful and with that cast I can hardly wait!  :o
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Guido on April 25, 2010, 02:12:54 PM
Never been much of an opera fan, but I enjoy his orchestral stuff. Should I check out the operas?

I don't recommend them - The two major ones, Die Todte Stadt and Das Wunder der Heliane are both sickly creations, utterly kitsch - like Strauss without the touching humanity - they aim at quasi-morality (which Strauss never does) and just lay everything on with so much syrup that the overall effect is bland and anaemic. There's something quite horrible about such consummately masterful kitsch - this is the most opulent of the most opulent scoring - 4 harps, celeste, pianos, etc etc etc millions of notes... however, for all that the harmony and melody is curiously unmemorable. Die Todte Stadt is the more interesting work, but Heliane is just completely overbearing.

I'm a big Korngold fan for the instrumental works which can be genuinely gorgeous and touching. I haven't got to grips with Die Kathrin yet - the other big opera (though it is much lighter in tone than these other two mentioned)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Guido on April 25, 2010, 02:25:41 PM
And let it also be said that Strauss' operas are infinitely finer and more interesting (and I don't think all Strauss is kitsch obviously, but Korngold's operas are like Strauss when he is at his most flagrantly kitsch, but Korngold's characters lack Strauss touching and beautifully depicted humanity, so its nowhere near as stomachable - also Strauss doesn't try to pretend that he's anything but - "I respond best to sentimentality and parody" as he said to Hofmannsthal. He knew the line he was treading.)

(btw I'm partial to the commonly excerpted arias - "Mariettas lied" from Stadt and "Ich Ging Zu Ihm" from Heliane and also "Ich soll ihn niemals mehr seh'n" from Die Kathrin - each contain wonderful music and are about as much as is possible to take in a sitting!)

so much bracketing!
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Dax on April 25, 2010, 10:16:18 PM
There's something quite horrible about such consummately masterful kitsch - this is the most opulent of the most opulent scoring - 4 harps, celeste, pianos, etc etc etc millions of notes... however, for all that the harmony and melody is curiously unmemorable.

You made it sound so appetising that I had to check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2x5NgtGSx4
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: jlaurson on April 25, 2010, 10:26:29 PM
Never been much of an opera fan, but I enjoy his orchestral stuff. Should I check out the operas?

I empathetically disagree Korngold is not kitsch. The idea of kitsch is in our ears when we approach him.

Go ahead and try Das Wunder der Heliane. (Review: http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=155 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=155))
It's an astonishing opera.

That said, I'm less of a fan of "Die Tote Stadt"--partly because of a bad experience in the opera house, where I heard it (among others with K.F.Vogt, btw.) in Frankfurt and hated it . [Review in Opera]
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Guido on April 27, 2010, 05:12:16 AM
You made it sound so appetising that I had to check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2x5NgtGSx4

Yes this excerpt is gorgeous (I mentioned it in the post above), and Renee is the perfect voice for this repertoire in terms of her opulent timbre and ravishing phrasing (though the full role is unbelievably taxing and needs a Wagnerian soprano really). Probably the highlight of the opera.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Brewski on September 16, 2010, 12:15:08 PM
This is a beauty

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51G9F9MJG5L._AA240_.jpg)

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.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Guido 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?
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Brewski 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.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Guido 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.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Brewski 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.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Scarpia 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.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Guido 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!
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: anasazi 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.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
 
 
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Guido 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.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: knight66 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.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Rh2GWYguL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

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

Mike
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Scarpia 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.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Rh2GWYguL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Have you heard other recordings of the Korngold quartets?
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: knight66 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
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: SonicMan46 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 (http://www.korngold-society.org/bio.html) - might provide a better perspective for those not familiar w/ his pre-Hollywood days -  :)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: knight66 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
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Guido 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.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: knight66 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
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: listener 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.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Scarpia 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.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61-vdfZm4VL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

(Previously I had a few odds and ends of Korngold chamber music.)  Will be listening soon.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 01, 2010, 06:45:40 PM
Well, judging by a fairly quick scan of this thread, it seems that other than film music, one must be pretty much content with the violin concerto and the string quartets. I have the Perlman concerto and I like it fine. And I have these string quartets;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/KorngoldStringQuartetscover.jpg)

which I haven't seen earlier in the thread, except that I am guessing that the Brilliant disk is a reissue of this one. What else of his music can I not live without? :)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Franco Mezzena (Violin) - Viotti G 034 Concerto #6 in E for Violin 1st mvmt - Allegro
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Scarpia on November 01, 2010, 06:55:34 PM
There's the opera, which is rather good in the Korngoldian way (rich orchestration, etc) and there is a series of songs.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4191YDZK4QL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on November 02, 2010, 12:34:09 AM
What else of his music can I not live without? :)

The op.23 Suite for 2 violins, cello & piano left hand, the (left hand) piano concerto, the cello concerto, the late Symphony, the Suite from "Much ado about nothing" and, of course, Die tote Stadt. I'd add Das Wunder der Heliane but, then, that's just me. You'll find your way from there.

I don't actually hold the violin concerto in such high esteem as some of the above works, but it's good that at least one Korngold work so far has secured a place in the repertoire.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4191YDZK4QL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

This is absolutely indispensable. von Otter gives impressive accounts of the (very worthwhile) songs - especially the Shakespearean ones. Plus, the Forsberg & co. version of the magisterial Suite for 2 violins, cello & piano left hand is, I believe, the most intense and distinguished on record so far.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 02, 2010, 04:43:28 AM
There's the opera, which is rather good in the Korngoldian way (rich orchestration, etc) and there is a series of songs.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4191YDZK4QL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
The op.23 Suite for 2 violins, cello & piano left hand, the (left hand) piano concerto, the cello concerto, the late Symphony, the Suite from "Much ado about nothing" and, of course, Die tote Stadt. I'd add Das Wunder der Heliane but, then, that's just me. You'll find your way from there.

I don't actually hold the violin concerto in such high esteem as some of the above works, but it's good that at least one Korngold work so far has secured a place in the repertoire.

This is absolutely indispensable. von Otter gives impressive accounts of the (very worthwhile) songs - especially the Shakespearean ones. Plus, the Forsberg & co. version of the magisterial Suite for 2 violins, cello & piano left hand is, I believe, the most intense and distinguished on record so far.

Thanks, guys. I may approach the opera rather obliquely, which is totally in character for me. :)  Meanwhile the cello concerto and the Op 23 suite look quite interesting.

Bear in mind that for me, this is a tentative exploration of "that modern music" more than moving around in my comfort zone. I reckon that's alien to many of you, but hey, what can I say? :)

8)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: karlhenning on November 02, 2010, 04:48:28 AM
Take that walk on the wild side, Gurn! ; )
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 02, 2010, 04:51:02 AM
Take that walk on the wild side, Gurn! ; )

Working myself up to it, Karl. And after this, I have that pile of Kabelevsky disks at home, as yet unheard... :)

8)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: karlhenning on November 02, 2010, 04:52:53 AM
Oh, that made me smile : )
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 02, 2010, 05:10:47 AM
Oh, that made me smile : )

You should start a Kabelevsky thread so we don't hijack this one. I have a bunch to talk about... :)

8)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Guido on November 06, 2010, 06:25:32 AM
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

Sorry my post wasn't directed at you, more just a general musing on the status of Korngold.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: knight66 on November 06, 2010, 07:02:01 AM
Guido, I can see my post could read as a bit defensive, which 0t was not meant to be....no problems with your post for me, I was just outlining my own approach.

Mike
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Guido on November 06, 2010, 08:05:56 AM
Good, good!

Just listened to Tomorrow again - love that piece - absolute Hollywood sentimental melodrama at its finest, and for once the harmony seems to have strong direction and pull.

Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Siedler on November 29, 2010, 01:00:07 PM
I am going to see Die Tote Stadt live tomorrow at Finnish National Opera and I couldn't be more excited as I love the opera! Helsingin Sanomat gave a rave review both of the work and the performance, calling the production and cast luxurious (Klaus Florian Vogt as Paul and  Camilla Nylund as Marietta). The performance will be released on DVD later.
(http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs1226.snc4/155853_464047036715_192041626715_6099082_4466810_n.jpg)
(http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs563.ash2/148528_464047076715_192041626715_6099084_2007468_n.jpg)
(http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs988.snc4/76148_464047056715_192041626715_6099083_6299378_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Grazioso on November 30, 2010, 05:13:53 AM
Well, judging by a fairly quick scan of this thread, it seems that other than film music, one must be pretty much content with the violin concerto and the string quartets. .... What else of his music can I not live without? :)

His symphony, one of the best of the 20th century. A number of recordings are available.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: jlaurson on November 30, 2010, 05:56:51 AM
Well, judging by a fairly quick scan of this thread, it seems that other than film music, one must be pretty much content with the violin concerto and the string quartets. I have the Perlman concerto and I like it fine. And I have these string quartets;

Here's a list to answer precisely that question.


(http://www.weta.org/fmblog/wp-content/themes/fmblog/images/masthead/masthead_main.png)
The Sounds of Korngold
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=314 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=314)

Doesn't include early works like "The Snowman" or the Piano Trio, but since Korngold was nearly as good a composer when he was 13 as he was with 53, those are very worthwhile, too.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on May 29, 2011, 11:22:59 AM
It's Erich Wolfgang Korngold's birthday!


http://www.youtube.com/v/vsNrSrgDBDo
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: knight66 on May 29, 2011, 11:28:22 AM
I had no idea, but an hour ago I was listening to this on Youtube. I had never heard it before, delightful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkqdjdIRZyo

Mike
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on May 29, 2011, 11:34:03 AM
Didn't know that either. Thanks, Mike. It was uploaded by Brendan G. Carroll, the Korngold expert, whom I befriended on Facebook a few minutes ago!
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: knight66 on May 29, 2011, 12:05:40 PM
What a strange coincidence. I read his notes and clearly he knows his stuff.

Mike
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on May 29, 2011, 12:08:50 PM
Well, he wrote the definitive biography, so he should! Though Jessica Duchen's book is excellent, too. Both books make you all eager to hear Korngold's music, but Jessica's book especially so.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: jlaurson on May 29, 2011, 03:03:59 PM
It's Erich Wolfgang Korngold's birthday!


Ah, Poppen at work.

Listened to Korngold's Symphony yesterday... but that work rarely works for me... for all the other Korngold stuff I like so much.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on May 29, 2011, 10:13:56 PM
Ah, Poppen at work.

Listened to Korngold's Symphony yesterday... but that work rarely works for me... for all the other Korngold stuff I like so much.


It depends, as so often, on the performance. Which do you know? Though if you ask me which I prefer, I have difficulty in answering, because for one reason or another the several interpretations I know (Kempe, Downes, Previn, Albrecht, Welser-Möst...) all huddle together in a blur. But I like Kempe a lot, because he is so raw.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: jlaurson on May 30, 2011, 12:04:23 AM

It depends, as so often, on the performance. Which do you know? Though if you ask me which I prefer, I have difficulty in answering, because for one reason or another the several interpretations I know (Kempe, Downes, Previn, Albrecht, Welser-Möst...) all huddle together in a blur. But I like Kempe a lot, because he is so raw.

That response was specifically to John Storgårds & Helsinki (Ondine). I do remember liking Welser-Möst very much; I don't even know which others I (still) have -- Previn, Downes, and Albert methinks. I know I've not listened to Marc Albrecht, which is tempting.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: karlhenning on June 21, 2011, 03:13:45 AM
Why didn't anyone ever tell me that the Piano Quintet in E is such brilliant, hot music?
 
You guys are letting the side down!!!  ; )
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on June 21, 2011, 10:30:00 AM
Why didn't anyone ever tell me that the Piano Quintet in E is such brilliant, hot music?
 
You guys are letting the side down!!!  ; )

I think I might have, in the olden times of the forum.

A reminder: the op.23 Suite is also magnificent, if you'd care to venture another brilliant chamber work afterwards.  0:)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: madaboutmahler on April 29, 2012, 04:48:46 AM
Have been listening to this on loop for the last half hour... just a 2 minute excerpt from the violin concerto, the first time I have heard any Korngold. It's brilliant!
http://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/2885/dudamel-kavakos-ravel-korngold-strauss (http://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/2885/dudamel-kavakos-ravel-korngold-strauss)

Definitely want to hear this work in full now. I have had a look throughout the thread and see that the Shaham/Previn recording is the most popular. Thinking about buying this now... is this a wise choice?

This excerpt from the concerto is so incredibly uplifting and wonderful! I can anticipate enjoy the whole work... :)  0:)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: jlaurson on April 29, 2012, 06:43:57 AM
Have been listening to this on loop for the last half hour... just a 2 minute excerpt from the violin concerto, the first time I have heard any Korngold. It's brilliant!
http://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/2885/dudamel-kavakos-ravel-korngold-strauss (http://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/2885/dudamel-kavakos-ravel-korngold-strauss)

Definitely want to hear this work in full now. I have had a look throughout the thread and see that the Shaham/Previn recording is the most popular. Thinking about buying this now... is this a wise choice?

Yes. It absolutely is. No downplaying of its character  like Heifetz, no up-playing like the dreadful "Star-Wars" version of Previn/Mutter... and superb couplings.
The Sounds of Korngold
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=314 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=314)

Quote
Concerto for Violin op.35 & Much Ado about Nothing, op.11 Suite with Gil Shaham and André Previn (Deutsche Grammophon 439886 – also contains the Barber Violin Concerto). Two great romantic violin concertos and played with utmost mastery and beauty. Unlike on his later recording with Anne-Sophie Mutter (coupled with an unattractively played Tchaikovsky concerto), Previn neither plays up the film music aspect (much to the performance’s benefit), nor does Shaham self-consciously struggle against it’s Hollywood-ring (as does Heifetz, for example).
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: madaboutmahler on April 29, 2012, 08:34:48 AM
Yes. It absolutely is. No downplaying of its character  like Heifetz, no up-playing like the dreadful "Star-Wars" version of Previn/Mutter... and superb couplings.
The Sounds of Korngold
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=314 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=314)

Thank you for the recommendation, Jens, and also for warning me against the recordings I certainly shouldn't get!

Very interesting blog entry by the way, as they always are. Very helpful! :)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: ChamberNut on October 25, 2012, 04:42:01 PM
Being only familiar with Korngold's famous Violin Concerto, I was ever so pleasantly surprised to find this disc at my library!

Wonderful, upon first listen!  These are very intriguing and unique string quartets!  :)

String Quartet No. 1 in A major, Op. 16
String Quartet No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 26
*String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 34 (dedicated to Bruno Walter)

Performed by the Doric String Quartet
Chandos (2010)

*The 3rd string quartet contains several thematic material and extracts from some of his films scores.

Definitely recommend any chamber music lover to check this disc out!  :)

Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Scarpia on October 25, 2012, 09:29:13 PM
Was thinking I need that, then remembered I have this one, and haven't had time to listen yet.



 :(
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Octave on April 07, 2013, 12:37:59 AM

Well, judging by a fairly quick scan of this thread, it seems that other than film music, one must be pretty much content with the violin concerto and the string quartets. I have the Perlman concerto and I like it fine. And I have these string quartets;

Here's a list to answer precisely that question.


(http://www.weta.org/fmblog/wp-content/themes/fmblog/images/masthead/masthead_main.png)
The Sounds of Korngold
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=314 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=314)

Doesn't include early works like "The Snowman" or the Piano Trio, but since Korngold was nearly as good a composer when he was 13 as he was with 53, those are very worthwhile, too.

Jens, I am having a bit of trouble finding that post at the Ionarts site; did it ever migrate from WETA?  I did not find it at WETA, either.

On television just yesterday, I saw Anne Sofie von Otter singing a song adapted (?) from DIE TOTE STADT, with Bengt Forsberg leading a piano quintet (?) in accompaniment.  It was beautiful, I loved the rich, dark harmonies.  (This performance was from a TDK "Korngold Recital" DVD of hers.)  Now I am interested in digging into Mr. Korngold's music.
I did some sampling of that Decca recording of DAS WUNDER DER HELIANE and bought it straightaway; I am almost certain that is a sound I'm attracted to.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: jlaurson on April 07, 2013, 01:51:12 PM

Jens, I am having a bit of trouble finding that post at the Ionarts site; did it ever migrate from WETA? 

Not yet... I'm afraid. But maybe I'll get to it this week.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Octave on December 01, 2013, 04:00:30 AM
A trivial question about a small difference in these two Korngold starter comps from EMI:



The big difference is that the first of these has the Piano Trio (Margalit/Dicterow/Stepansky) and the second comp omits this but includes the Violin Sonata (Margalit/Dicterow).

I guess whichever of these two chamber performances comes off the best, that's the comp I would buy; I intend to get some of the chamber music elsewhere, anyway.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: jlaurson on December 01, 2013, 04:52:13 AM
A trivial question about a small difference in these two Korngold starter comps from EMI:

The big difference is that the first of these has the Piano Trio (Margalit/Dicterow/Stepansky) and the second comp omits this but includes the Violin Sonata (Margalit/Dicterow).

I guess whichever of these two chamber performances comes off the best, that's the comp I would buy; I intend to get some of the chamber music elsewhere, anyway.

I  think that's the only difference, no?
Just as you say: Get either (whichever is less expensive) and get the chamber music elsewhere... the Trio is early, but essential young Korngold.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Fafner on December 01, 2013, 05:43:43 AM
I  think that's the only difference, no?
Just as you say: Get either (whichever is less expensive) and get the chamber music elsewhere... the Trio is early, but essential young Korngold.

The first compilation has Mariettas Lied with Kiri Te Kanawa  and Pierrots Lied with Thomas Hampson.

The latter has Mariettas Lied with Barbara Hendricks who also sings 6 Einfache Lieder not included in the other collection.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: jlaurson on December 01, 2013, 08:07:12 AM
The first compilation has Mariettas Lied with Kiri Te Kanawa  and Pierrots Lied with Thomas Hampson.

The latter has Mariettas Lied with Barbara Hendricks who also sings 6 Einfache Lieder not included in the other collection.

Oh, in that case slight favoring of the latter.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: George on August 13, 2014, 03:15:55 AM
My friends, can I ask for recommendations for your favorite recording(s) of the Korngold string quartets?
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: ChamberNut on August 13, 2014, 03:29:19 AM
My friends, can I ask for recommendations for your favorite recording(s) of the Korngold string quartets?



George, this is the only set I've heard, and I was super impressed!  :)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Sergeant Rock on August 13, 2014, 03:36:47 AM
My friends, can I ask for recommendations for your favorite recording(s) of the Korngold string quartets?

I only have the Aron Quartett (coupled with the Piano Quintet). I don't know how they compare to others but I'm happy with it. The Fanfare review reproduced at Arkiv thinks highly of it.

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=381727

Downside: it's two discs and not cheap (unless one lives in Germany and can take advantage of JPC's reduced price).

Sarge
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: George on August 13, 2014, 04:05:38 AM
Thanks, guys! Please keep the recommendations coming!
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on November 05, 2015, 08:51:30 AM
Looking for a complete edition of Korngold's compositions (if there is one). Not successful yet. :(
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on November 05, 2015, 10:42:35 AM
Looking for a complete edition of Korngold's compositions (if there is one).

There isn't.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: tjguitar on November 07, 2015, 09:09:49 PM
Chandos reissued their recordings of his orchestral works as budget CDs maybe 7 or 8 years ago. Search Amazon...for his film music, I recommend the various Charles Gerhardt recordings. There were two Korngold albums as well as an Errol Flynn films album which had quite a bit of Korngold.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: vandermolen on November 08, 2015, 03:10:10 AM
Chandos reissued their recordings of his orchestral works as budget CDs maybe 7 or 8 years ago. Search Amazon...for his film music, I recommend the various Charles Gerhardt recordings. There were two Korngold albums as well as an Errol Flynn films album which had quite a bit of Korngold.
I think that the excellent Gerhardt recordings have been reissued - in the USA I think - they now have yellow covers.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on November 08, 2015, 09:44:57 AM
I was especially interested in his  first compositions, so far unknown to me (because more mature works of his are to be found more easily and I'm already acquainted with most of them).
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on November 08, 2015, 09:50:57 AM
Fell in love with 2nd movement of E flat string quartet. Really puts me in the good mood.  :)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Mirror Image on November 08, 2015, 09:52:45 AM
From what I can tell so far, this is quite a good performance of the masterful Violin Concerto:

https://www.youtube.com/v/c0mN39wBDKo

https://www.youtube.com/v/Fng4OCzrTdw

https://www.youtube.com/v/A2ZlAS0GA4s
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Mirror Image on November 08, 2015, 10:04:03 AM
Fell in love with 2nd movement of E flat string quartet. Really puts me in the good mood.  :)

Looking forward to hearing all of the SQs and just the chamber music in general.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Mirror Image on November 08, 2015, 12:08:41 PM
What is everyone's favorite performance of the Symphony in F-sharp major?
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: SonicMan46 on November 08, 2015, 12:59:07 PM
What is everyone's favorite performance of the Symphony in F-sharp major?

Hi John - just curious 'how much' classical music he composed - below from a Wiki article which also lists his works in other genres, for those interested.  From that source, his classical compositions by Opus numbers (not sure if this is complete?) - but I wanted to see just what I own which I've put in bold along w/ the performers and labels.

Relative to your question, I've probably only heard the version I own but am 'all ears' as to other suggestions - also, there are some piano & violin works that I might also want to obtain; the songs & operas probably not so, but that's just me - Dave :)

Quote
By opus number[Source (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compositions_by_Erich_Wolfgang_Korngold)]
Op. 1 - Piano Trio in D major (1909-1910) - Trio Parnassus, MDG
Op. 2 - Piano Sonata No. 2 in E major (1910)
Op. 3 - Märchenbilder ("Fairy Tale Pictures"), for piano solo (also orchestrated) (1910)
Op. 4 - Schauspiel-Ouvertüre ("Overture to a Play") (1911)
Op. 5 - Sinfonietta in B major (1911-1912) - Matthias Bamert, BBC Philharmonic, Chandos
Op. 6 - Violin Sonata in G major (1912-1913)
Op. 7 - Der Ring des Polykrates, opera buffa in one act (1913-1914)
Op. 8 - Violanta, opera in one act (1914-1915)
Op. 9 - (Sechs) Einfache Lieder ("Six Simple Songs") (1911)
Op. 10 - String Sextet in D major (1914-1916) - The Raphael Ensemble, Helios; Flesch Quartet, Brilliant (2-CD)
Op. 11 - Viel Lärmen um Nichts ("Much Ado for Nothing"), suite for violin-piano (1918-1919) - Mattes, RS Stuttgart, EMI (2-CD)
Op. 12 - Die tote Stadt, Op. 12, opera in three acts (1920) - just a song w/ Kiri Te Kanawa, EMI (2-CD)
Op. 13 - Sursum Corda (1919) - Matthias Bamert, BBC Philharmonic, Chandos
Op. 14 - (Vier) Lieder des Abschieds ("Four Songs of Farewell") (1920-1921)
Op. 15 - Piano Quintet in E major (1921-1922)
Op. 16 - String Quartet No. 1 in A major (1920-1923) - Flesch Quartet, Brilliant (2-CD)
Op. 17 - Piano Concerto in C-sharp major for piano left hand (1923) (composed for Paul Wittgenstein) - Howard Shelley, Bamert, Chandos
Op. 18 - Drei Gesänge ("Three Songs"), Op. 18 (1924)
Op. 19 - Vier kleine Karikaturen für Kinder ("Four Little Caricatures for Children") (1926)
Op. 20 - Das Wunder der Heliane, opera in three acts (1927)
Op. 21 - Geschichten von Strauss ("Tales from Strauss") (also orchestrated) (1927)
Op. 22 - Drei Lieder' ("Three Songs") (1928-1929)
Op. 23 - Suite for two violins, cello and piano left hand (1930) - Trio Parnassus, MDG
Op. 24 - Baby-Serenade (1928-1929)
Op. 25 - Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major (1931)
Op. 26 - String Quartet No. 2 in E-flat major (1933) - Flesch Quartet, Brilliant (2-CD)
Op. 27 - Unvergänglichkeit ("Immortality") (1933)
Op. 28 - Die Kathrin, opera in three acts (1939)
Op. 29 - Narrenlieder ("Songs of the Clown") (1937)
Op. 30 - Passover Psalm, hymn for solo voice, chorus and orchestra (1941)
Op. 31 - Vier Shakespeare-Lieder ("Four Shakespeare Songs") (1937-1941)
Op. 32 - Prayer, for tenor, women's choir and organ (1941)
Op. 33 - Tomorrow, tone poem for mezzo-soprano, women's choir and orchestra, from the movie The Constant Nymph (1944)
Op. 34 - String Quartet No. 3 in D major (1944-1945) - Flesch Quartet, Brilliant (2-CD)
Op. 35 - Violin Concerto in D major (1937-1939, revised in 1945) - Ulf Hoelscher, Mattes w/ RS Stuttgart, EMI (2-CD)
Op. 36 - Die stumme Serenade, operetta (1946-1950)
Op. 37 - Cello Concerto in C major (1946) - Peter Dixon, Bamert-BBC Philharmonic, Chandos
Op. 38 - Fünf Lieder ("Five Songs") (1948)
Op. 39 - Symphonic Serenade in B-flat major, for string orchestra (1947-1948) - Matthias Bamert, BBC Philharmonic, Chandos
Op. 40 - Symphony in F-sharp major (1947-1952) - Franz Weiser-Möst w/ Philly Orch, EMI (2-CD)
Op. 41 - Sonett für Wien ("Sonnet for Vienna") (1953)
Op. 42 - Theme and Variations (1953) - Mattes, RS Stuttgart, EMI (2-CD)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: SonicMan46 on November 08, 2015, 01:41:06 PM
Well, I was reviewing my Korngold recordings as shown in my preceding post - of what is left of his instrumental works that might interest me, I was curious about the Violin Sonata (Op. 6) and the Piano Quintet (Op. 15), and was looking for a recording that might have both - found the one below on Amazon but the review attached was somewhat negative - anyone heard this performance?  Thanks - Dave :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51lDKfWzflL.jpg)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Sergeant Rock on November 08, 2015, 01:47:05 PM
What is everyone's favorite performance of the Symphony in F-sharp major?

I have these:
                           I         II         III        IV      Total
Welser-Möst       12:50   9:48   14:45    10:11   47:34
Kempe               14:12   9:14   15:04   10:23   48:53
Albrecht             14:50   9:56   15:20   10:25   50.31 
Downes              14:14  10:14  16:28   10:24   51:20
Previn                15:55  10:32  16:09   10:31   53:07
Storgards           15:55  11:03  15:36   11:11   53:48


I like a slow first movement. Previn's my favorite. He seems to bring out the drama more than the others. He also has the coolest cover  ;)

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/feb2010/KornSymPrev.jpg)

Sarge

Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Mirror Image on November 08, 2015, 02:30:47 PM
Hi John - just curious 'how much' classical music he composed - below from a Wiki article which also lists his works in other genres, for those interested.  From that source, his classical compositions by Opus numbers (not sure if this is complete?) - but I wanted to see just what I own which I've put in bold along w/ the performers and labels.

Relative to your question, I've probably only heard the version I own but am 'all ears' as to other suggestions - also, there are some piano & violin works that I might also want to obtain; the songs & operas probably not so, but that's just me - Dave :)

Dave, this site should be of better assistance to you (in particular this link):

http://www.korngoldsociety.com/complete-works/?series=3
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Mirror Image on November 08, 2015, 02:31:24 PM
I have these:
                           I         II         III        IV      Total
Welser-Möst       12:50   9:48   14:45    10:11   47:34
Kempe               14:12   9:14   15:04   10:23   48:53
Albrecht             14:50   9:56   15:20   10:25   50.31 
Downes              14:14  10:14  16:28   10:24   51:20
Previn                15:55  10:32  16:09   10:31   53:07
Storgards           15:55  11:03  15:36   11:11   53:48


I like a slow first movement. Previn's my favorite. He seems to bring out the drama more than the others. He also has the coolest cover  ;)

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/feb2010/KornSymPrev.jpg)

Sarge

Thanks, Sarge. I bought the Previn on your recommendation.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: SonicMan46 on November 08, 2015, 02:41:15 PM
Dave, this site should be of better assistance to you (in particular this link):

http://www.korngoldsociety.com/complete-works/?series=3

Thanks John - looks like a great site which I've not visited before - includes his non-Opus assigned works - I'm listening to his Symphony at the moment (version I own mentioned before), and enjoying - another performance may be in my near future and the Previn as suggested by Sarge is the likely candidate!  Dave :)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Mirror Image on November 08, 2015, 02:46:14 PM
Thanks John - looks like a great site which I've not visited before - includes his non-Opus assigned works - I'm listening to his Symphony at the moment (version I own mentioned before), and enjoying - another performance may be in my near future and the Previn as suggested by Sarge is the likely candidate!  Dave :)

I, too, took Sarge's suggestion of the Previn and look forward to hearing it. I'm still debating on what I'm going to listen to first whenever all of these Korngold recordings start arriving. Decisions, decisions, but it will probably be some chamber music.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on November 08, 2015, 05:27:41 PM
Well, I was reviewing my Korngold recordings as shown in my preceding post - of what is left of his instrumental works that might interest me, I was curious about the Violin Sonata (Op. 6) and the Piano Quintet (Op. 15), and was looking for a recording that might have both - found the one below on Amazon but the review attached was somewhat negative - anyone heard this performance?  Thanks - Dave :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51lDKfWzflL.jpg)

Listening to that recording right now and, personally, I love it.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on November 08, 2015, 11:47:29 PM
.



I've been listening to this exceptional new release for the past few weeks. The op.23 Suite, my favourite among Korngold's chamber works, is a highly chromatic and wildly imaginative piano quartet (with unusual instrumentation: 2 violins, cello and piano left hand - written for the infamous Paul Wittgenstein). It is given here an intense and idiomatic interpretation that captures every nuance of the score, the fragrant allure, dreamy grotesquerie and ferocity. The  first movement, with a muscular piano cadenza that grips the ear like a dark incantation, unfolds like a feverish reverie; the middle movements veer into the fantastic, the dreamy and the bizarre and the splendid finale ends in a riotous theme-and-variations Korngoldian Mardi Gras. The piano trio is also given an exquisite performance. This is one of the most - if not the most - important Korngold releases of the last few years, the fresh, enthusiastic interpretations surpassing their recorded rivals in every way and by a long margin. Enthusiastically recommended.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on November 08, 2015, 11:57:55 PM
Previn's my favorite. He seems to bring out the drama more than the others. He also has the coolest cover  ;)

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/feb2010/KornSymPrev.jpg)

I agree. Still the best way to get to know Korngold's late symphonic musings (accompanied by a very good Viel Lärm um nichts Suite).
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: SonicMan46 on November 09, 2015, 05:42:48 AM
Listening to that recording right now and, personally, I love it.

Thanks for the support of the Marco Polo disc - on order along w/ the Previn CD - Dave :)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2015, 06:50:50 AM
.



I've been listening to this exceptional new release for the past few weeks. The op.23 Suite, my favourite among Korngold's chamber works, is a highly chromatic and wildly imaginative piano quartet (with unusual instrumentation: 2 violins, cello and piano left hand - written for the infamous Paul Wittgenstein). It is given here an intense and idiomatic interpretation that captures every nuance of the score, the fragrant allure, dreamy grotesquerie and ferocity. The  first movement, with a muscular piano cadenza that grips the ear like a dark incantation, unfolds like a feverish reverie; the middle movements veer into the fantastic, the dreamy and the bizarre and the splendid finale ends in a riotous theme-and-variations Korngoldian Mardi Gras. The piano trio is also given an exquisite performance. This is one of the most - if not the most - important Korngold releases of the last few years, the fresh, enthusiastic interpretations surpassing their recorded rivals in every way and by a long margin. Enthusiastically recommended.

This is good to hear. I bought this recording yesterday. 8) The audio samples certainly sounds great.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: jlaurson on May 29, 2016, 05:39:53 AM
Happy Birthday, Wolferl!

Latest on Forbes.com:
An Introduction To Erich Wolfgang Korngold (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/05/29/korngold_surprised-by-beauty/)

...It wasn’t that far from his Snowman to Korngold’s first works of artistic maturity – and the Sextet, op.10, premièred in Vienna just before the composers’ 20th birthday May 29th, 1917, already shows a composer in the fullest bloom of creative prowess. Think Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht or Richard Strauss’ Metamorphosen and you get a fair idea of its perfectly developed chromatic romanticism. Add to that a touch of Viennese gaiety in the Intermezzo, and an Adagio that teases the ear with unfamiliar harmonies—not unlike the opening of Mozart’s “Dissonance Quartet” or Alban Berg’s Piano Sonata op.1—before offering up the notes that reel us back into familiar, lush territory...

(http://blogs-images.forbes.com/jenslaurson/files/2016/05/korngold_1940ca_am_klavier_forbes640.jpg)
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/05/29/korngold_surprised-by-beauty/ (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/05/29/korngold_surprised-by-beauty/)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 29, 2016, 06:23:56 AM
Excellent article, Jens  8)

Sarge
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Mirror Image on May 29, 2016, 07:35:50 AM
I still am of the opinion that Korngold's Violin Concerto is his best work. I haven't quite warmed up to much else, although I do recall enjoying the Piano Trio quite a bit.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: jlaurson on May 29, 2016, 07:51:37 AM
Excellent article, Jens  8)

Sarge

Thanks kindly. If you like this, you will love "Surprised by Beauty".   ;)

I still am of the opinion that Korngold's Violin Concerto is his best work. I haven't quite warmed up to much else, although I do recall enjoying the Piano Trio quite a bit.

I tend to agree. Or at least I wouldn't disagree. It's one of his great works... but there are others that serve different tastes better, I'd argue. Here, on ionarts, is an accompanying piece with favorite recordings and the VC is right up the first item.


The Sounds of Korngold

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2016/05/TheSoundsofKorngold.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2016/05/TheSoundsofKorngold.html)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 29, 2016, 08:03:44 AM
Excellent article, Jens  8)

+1 - excellent article - I'll have to pull out my 10 discs or so of Korngold today!  Dave :)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: vandermolen on May 29, 2016, 09:40:40 AM
Coincidentally was listening to his symphony (Storgards, Helsinki PO) earlier today. I like that work best of all.
Interesting new (reissue) release:

Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 29, 2016, 10:15:08 AM
Thanks kindly. If you like this, you will love "Surprised by Beauty".   ;)

There's a Kindle edition, yeah! I'll order it.

Sarge
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 29, 2016, 10:17:36 AM
Coincidentally was listening to his symphony (Storgards, Helsinki PO) earlier today. I like that work best of all.
Interesting new (reissue) release:



That reissue includes my favorite performance of the Symphony...although Jens' pick (Welser-Möst) is sensational too, much faster in the first movement, more dramatic.

Sarge
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: vandermolen on May 29, 2016, 11:11:28 AM
That reissue includes my favorite performance of the Symphony...although Jens' pick (Welser-Möst) is sensational too, much faster in the first movement, more dramatic.

Sarge
I rate this version very highly too Sarge, although I like Kempe's pioneering version as well.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Jo498 on May 29, 2016, 10:27:35 PM
The Sextet and Piano Quintet are certainly worthwhile for everyone liking very late romantic chamber stuff (e.g. Verklärte Nacht). I don't think I have ever heard the symphony and I am not enough into opera, but Die tote Stadt used to be quite popular and still is staged once in a while.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Scion7 on May 30, 2016, 11:21:17 PM
Yeah, his chamber works are pretty good.
My favorite recording of the 2nd String Quartet in Eb, Op.26 is by the New World Quartet, recorded back in 1978 - issued on LP by Vox and currently on CD along with other new music from old world composers.

(http://s33.postimg.org/7dhtb1xof/Vox_Set_Korngold.jpg)

^ click to enlarge
The Aron Quartett, the Doric Quartet and the Flesch Quartet have recorded the string quartets more recently.

(http://s33.postimg.org/okp93lsfz/back_Korngold.jpg)

Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on May 29, 2017, 09:57:22 AM
Happy Birthday, Wolferl!

Latest on Forbes.com:
An Introduction To Erich Wolfgang Korngold (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/05/29/korngold_surprised-by-beauty/)

...It wasn’t that far from his Snowman to Korngold’s first works of artistic maturity – and the Sextet, op.10, premièred in Vienna just before the composers’ 20th birthday May 29th, 1917, already shows a composer in the fullest bloom of creative prowess. Think Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht or Richard Strauss’ Metamorphosen and you get a fair idea of its perfectly developed chromatic romanticism. Add to that a touch of Viennese gaiety in the Intermezzo, and an Adagio that teases the ear with unfamiliar harmonies—not unlike the opening of Mozart’s “Dissonance Quartet” or Alban Berg’s Piano Sonata op.1—before offering up the notes that reel us back into familiar, lush territory...

(http://blogs-images.forbes.com/jenslaurson/files/2016/05/korngold_1940ca_am_klavier_forbes640.jpg)
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/05/29/korngold_surprised-by-beauty/ (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/05/29/korngold_surprised-by-beauty/)

It's his birthday again! 120th, this time.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: vandermolen on May 29, 2017, 10:19:23 AM
It's his birthday again! 120th, this time.
😀
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 29, 2017, 02:16:18 PM
😀

Missed the birthday party...and it's too late (after 1a.m.) to celebrate now. Tomorrow, then, a belated celebration.

Sarge
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: SymphonicAddict on June 10, 2017, 08:26:39 PM
Playing the Suite for 2 violins, cello and piano (left hand), op. 23: It's quite quite good, an exceptional chamber piece. What a great discovery for my ears!! His symphony, Sursum Corda and the Violin concerto are other great favorites of mine. Having heard this, the most probable thing is there are other jewels in his chamber output.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on June 07, 2018, 08:09:55 AM
This is something I've long wanted to do, and of course it took several OTHER projects that I should be working on right now for me to finally do that, namely the cleaning, updating, and generally sprucing-up of the Recommended Recordings Sections of the Surprised By Beauty website.

Now I've tackled Ahmad Saygun (https://surprisedbybeautyorg.wordpress.com/2017/01/07/ahmed-saygun-recommended-recordings/) & Erich Wolfgang Korngold (https://surprisedbybeautyorg.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/erich-wolfgang-korngold-recommended-recordings/):


Erich Wolfgang Korngold – Recommended Recordings
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DeKJz3JWAAA-MIT.jpg)
(https://surprisedbybeautyorg.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/korngold_profile-870x290_surprised-by-beauty_classical-critic_jens-f-laurson.jpg?w=748)
https://surprisedbybeautyorg.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/erich-wolfgang-korngold-recommended-recordings/
 (https://surprisedbybeautyorg.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/erich-wolfgang-korngold-recommended-recordings/)


Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Maestro267 on June 08, 2018, 05:28:18 AM
Oh, just as this thread shows up on the front page of Composer Discussion, I happen to be listening to the Sinfonietta in B major. A deceptive title for such a large-scale work, both in duration and in orchestral forces.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on June 09, 2018, 10:36:23 AM
Oh, just as this thread shows up on the front page of Composer Discussion, I happen to be listening to the Sinfonietta in B major. A deceptive title for such a large-scale work, both in duration and in orchestral forces.

It is a proper symphony, the diminutive title is in conjunction to its sunny disposition and ebullient character. Also, I imagine, due to the fact that wunderkind Korngold was in his teens when he wrote it and wouldn't have wanted to take himself too seriously. It is, however, a seriously brilliant work, full of good - and clever! - humour, superb ideas, resplendent orchestration and tons of swagger. I wish it were performed more often.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold: 2 Articles on Korngold
Post by: Cato on July 31, 2019, 04:04:59 AM
Today's (July 31, 2019) has a full-page devoted to Erich Wolfgang because the Bard (college) Festival, thanks to conductor Leon Botstein, is offering an opera by Korngold, i.e. Das Wunder der Heliane!

The first article is by Barrymore Scherer:

Quote


Now that film music enjoys an unequivocal presence on contemporary orchestral programs, it’s no surprise that the Bard Music Festival, that bastion of imaginative programming, is marking its 30th anniversary season by turning to a figure somewhat unfamiliar as a “serious” composer: Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957). Korngold was arguably the pre-eminent film composer during Hollywood’s “Golden Age.” Yet, by the time he died, his work there during the 1930s and ’40s had effectively obliterated the exceptional stature he had achieved in Europe’s concert halls and opera houses.

The son of a powerful Viennese music critic, he was a child prodigy whose early compositions astounded leading figures of the time. In 1906, at age 9, he played his cantata “Gold” for Gustav Mahler, who pronounced him a genius. When Korngold was 14 his his Piano Sonata in E Major was championed throughout Europe by the great pianist Artur Schnabel, and he dedicated his “Schauspiel-Ouvertüre” (1911) to the eminent conductor Arthur Nikisch, who conducted its premiere that year in Leipzig.

Korngold found his personal idiom from the start, one rooted in the richly melodic late-Romantic language of the newborn century. It was the post-Wagnerian vernacular employed by Mahler, Richard Strauss and Rachmaninoff. And Korngold never felt the desire to alter what came naturally to him, especially as it so successfully answered his dramatic needs.

His operas earned critical and popular acclaim, climaxing with “Die tote Stadt” (“The Dead City”) in 1920 and “Das Wunder der Heliane” (“The Miracle of Heliane”) in 1927. During that period, Korngold also collaborated on several theatrical projects with the leading Viennese stage director Max Reinhardt, who brought him to Hollywood in 1934 to adapt Mendelssohn’s incidental music to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for Reinhardt’s epochal film of Shakespeare’s play. The success of this pioneering effort by Warner Bros. to popularize Shakespeare led to Korngold’s employment at the studio.

Starting with “Captain Blood” (1935), Korngold contributed mightily to perfecting the symphonic film score as an art form. With his considerable theatrical experience, he approached film music no differently than opera and symphonic music. Having essentially invented what became identified as the lush “Hollywood sound” decades before arriving there, he simply transferred his accustomed idiom to the new medium. He regarded his film scores as operas without singing—with Wagnerian-style leitmotifs for characters and a richly orchestrated symphonic continuity that moved the drama along while subtly underscoring its shifting emotions. Korngold intended them eventually to be played at concerts, like Beethoven’s “Egmont” music or Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” suite.

Nevertheless, while it was Korngold’s good fortune to arrive in Hollywood when he did, that he concentrated on film at a time when music critics accorded no serious consideration to such “commercial” work proved to be his tragedy. Indeed, by establishing himself in Hollywood, Korngold unwittingly struck a Faustian bargain that only later became evident.

Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria in 1938 cut short the transatlantic career he had been pursuing between the world wars and cost the Jewish Korngold his personal and professional ties with Vienna—as well as his home and property there. Following the war’s end, and after writing one of his last film scores—“Deception” (1946), from which he fashioned his Cello Concerto—he focused on composing straightforward concert works, including his Symphony in F-sharp (1947-52).

Naïvely hoping to resume his old life, he traveled back to Vienna in 1949, only to be crushed by dismissal of his music as ephemeral and out of touch with contemporary trends. Embittered and ill, yet faithful to his musical ideals, he died at 60 believing himself forgotten. And he was, until the 1970s, when revived interest in his film scores began to spread to his symphonic and chamber works.

Through performances, pre-concert talks and panel discussions, the Bard Festival will investigate the Korngold question by offering a comprehensive sampling of his music, including his early “Much Ado About Nothing” Suite (1918-19); the Piano Concerto in C-sharp, for the left hand (1923); the Piano Quintet in E (1921–22); the Symphony in F-sharp and “A Passover Psalm” (1941); excerpts from iconic film scores; as well as a special screening of “The Constant Nymph,” and a semi-staged production of his best-known opera, “Die tote Stadt.” Korngold’s work will be presented in the context of music by predecessors, contemporaries and successors ranging from Alexander von Zemlinsky, Franz Schmidt, Ernst Krenek and Paul Hindemith to such Broadway doyens as Jerome Kern and George Gershwin.

“The festival will try to show that the 20th century wasn’t only about Schoenberg, Bartók, Stravinsky, but about a continuous allegiance to tonality,” notes Leon Botstein, Bard Music Festival co-director. “Like Shostakovich, Strauss and Rachmaninoff, Korngold remained faithful to the traditions. Yet his music raises the unsettled debate over what meaning aesthetic beauty has in a world full of ugliness—must you break with the past or can you reconstruct your ties with it, as Korngold did?”


See:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/serious-works-from-a-hollywood-composer-11564518246?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1 (https://www.wsj.com/articles/serious-works-from-a-hollywood-composer-11564518246?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1)

The second is a review of the opera by Heidi Waleson:


Quote


 Each summer, as part of its one-composer focus, Bard Summerscape exhumes an opera from the repertory graveyard. The Austrian-born Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957), the subject of this year’s examination, is best known in the U.S. for his movie scores, whose symphonic lyricism swept Hollywood (he resettled there in the 1930s, after the Nazis invaded Austria), and for his crowd-pleasing Violin Concerto, given its premiere by Jascha Heifetz in 1947.

Korngold was a major star in Europe before he scored films like “The Adventures of Robin Hood.” A child prodigy, he attracted attention with a ballet at age 11, and his opera “Die tote Stadt” (1920) was an enormous hit, receiving multiple productions after its premiere in Germany. Bard will present “Die tote Stadt” in concert on Aug. 18, but its fully staged opera production, which opened on Friday, is the truly obscure “Das Wunder der Heliane” (“The Miracle of Heliane,” 1927).

With its weird, mystical story, “Heliane” was out of step with Weimar-era operatic fashion, since audiences were more interested in pieces with contemporary themes. The Bard production, directed by Christian Räth, tried to play down the opera’s heavy-handed, fairy-tale symbolism and religious aura in favor of the emotional journey of the heroine, with some success. However, “Heliane” still seemed less a buried treasure than an intriguing curiosity, worth hearing for its massive, Technicolor orchestration and the way that Korngold’s distinctive idiom recalls not just Strauss and Wagner, but also the clangorous fortissimos of Bartók and the rhapsodic lines of Puccini.

 Hans Müller-Einigen’s libretto is based on a play by Hans Kaltneker. Heliane, the only character with a name, is married to the despotic Ruler of an unhappy country. The Ruler has arrested and condemned to death the charismatic Stranger, who has tried to bring joy to the country’s downtrodden people. Heliane secretly visits the Stranger in prison, and to comfort him on the eve of his execution, she shows him her naked body. Her jealous husband, who has never himself gotten past what he calls her “icy innocence,” has her put on trial for adultery (the penalty is death). When the Stranger kills himself to protect her, she is ordered to prove her purity by raising him from the dead, which, indirectly, she does. The overarching theme is the power of love—the act of accepting her own erotic nature allows Heliane to finish the Stranger’s work and free the people. Unsurprisingly, she has to die for this to happen.

Led by Leon Botstein, the 80-member orchestra—complete with triple and quadruple winds, extra brass, two harps and multiple keyboards, including organ, harmonium and celesta—excelled in big statements. Other than the voluptuous eroticism of the encounter between the Stranger and Heliane, Act I was mostly muscular and noisy. However, the court scene of Act II had the dramatic urgency of Puccini. By Act III, the mystical trial, we were well into the realm of Wagnerian apotheosis, with ecstatic melodies enveloped in opulent harmonies.

The massed forces require powerful singers, and soprano Aušrine Stundyte was consistently impressive as Heliane, able to soar over the orchestra yet still maintain an affecting vulnerability, especially in the purity trial, when she sounded like a woman who wanted her lover back. Bass-baritone Alfred Walker clearly conveyed the vicious cruelty of the Ruler with his clipped, aggressive delivery. The Stranger is a challenging Heldentenor part, and Daniel Brenna acquitted himself with clarion distinction in the first two acts, but sounded weary after his resurrection in the third. As the Messenger, who is also the Ruler’s ex-lover, mezzo Jennifer Feinstein infused her performance with bile; tenor Joseph Demarest had a sweetly lyrical cameo moment as the Young Man, who speaks in defense of Heliane. The capable chorus captured the fickle nature of the crowd.

Designer Esther Bialas created an ingenious, if gloomy-looking, Rubik’s cube of a set—several translucent panels, with stairs behind them, that were rearranged throughout to create the various locations. The best was the courtroom, where the six bald judges, in red robes with flowing sleeves and giant ruffs, arrayed themselves forbiddingly on steep bleachers. Ms. Bialis also came up with a good solution for Heliane’s nakedness: a gauzy, semi-transparent garment that revealed just enough to make the point. However, neither the Stranger’s unflattering orange prison jumpsuit nor his resurrection outfit, which looked like plastic wrap, helped reinforce the character’s seductive appeal. Thomas C. Hase’s lighting also took the story’s dark environment a bit too literally: In Act I, it was sometimes difficult to see what was going on.

Mr. Räth’s directing emphasized the story’s human aspects—the Ruler’s festering anger at his wife, Heliane’s gradual awakening as she discovers that she actually loves the Stranger, and how the power of the state is arrayed against her. Catherine Galasso’s movement direction added texture, contrasting the rigid exercises of the guards with a flowing dream sequence during the radiant Act III prelude: A bevy of women, costumed, like Heliane, in the nakedness garment, danced with her, demonstrating the awakening of her true feelings. (They then put her into a straitjacket for the purity trial to come.) The transcendent music at the end of the opera suggests some kind of supernatural union of the two deceased lovers, but Mr. Räth left the dead Heliane alone on the stage at curtain, her “miracle” having cost her everything. So much for fairy tales.


See:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/das-wunder-der-heliane-review-love-sex-and-death-11564517199?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=2 (https://www.wsj.com/articles/das-wunder-der-heliane-review-love-sex-and-death-11564517199?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=2)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: kyjo on July 31, 2019, 01:22:07 PM
It’s great to see that Bard College is devoting a festival to Korngold’s music, unlike most orchestras/festivals who seem to do a Beethoven celebration every year. They’re programming many of Korngold’s major works, most of which are rarely programmed here in the states (with the notable exception of the Violin Concerto). I’ve always admired conductor Leon Botstein’s adventurous programming.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold: 2 Articles on Korngold
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 31, 2019, 02:38:15 PM
Today's (July 31, 2019) has a full-page devoted to Erich Wolfgang because the Bard (college) Festival, thanks to conductor Leon Botstein, is offering an opera by Korngold, i.e. Das Wunder der Heliane!

Thanks, Cato, for the articles. I plan to listen to Das Wunder der Heliane tomorrow.

Sarge
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Cato on July 31, 2019, 04:30:32 PM
It’s great to see that Bard College is devoting a festival to Korngold’s music, unlike most orchestras/festivals who seem to do a Beethoven celebration every year. They’re programming many of Korngold’s major works, most of which are rarely programmed here in the states, with the notable exception of the Violin Concerto. I’ve always admired conductor Leon Botstein’s adventurous programming.

5 or 6 years ago (Tempus fugit!!!) Leon Botstein produced via the Bard Festival an uncut performance of Sergei Taneyev's great opera The Oresteia (q.v.)

Thanks, Cato, for the articles. I plan to listen to Das Wunder der Heliane tomorrow.

Sarge

Then the few minutes to cut and paste everything were worth it!   0:)  I hope to hear some of it tomorrow as well!
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Roasted Swan on August 04, 2019, 10:23:26 PM
 I see Chandos are releasing another version of the Symphony in SACD with John Wilson conducting the "Sinfonia of London" which I assume is near enough "The John Wilson Orchestra" plus some other session players.  I seem to remember that name from some film score reconstructions as well as the famous Barbirolli/English String Music recording.  Not sure I need another version of the Symphony and I'm not Wilson's biggest fan...  I did some work in an orchestra with him a few times some years ago and he was fussy without being enlightening.  That annoying type of person - a non-string player who then tells string players how to play.  By all means tell me what you want but leave the how to those who know!

Amongst the many/nearly all of the available versions I know this one is surprisingly good.... sadly only available as a cheap but low bit rate download here (why write a symphony in F sharp major unless you dislike string players!!);



   
Korngold : Sinfonia Op.40 & Captain Blood [Excerpts]
Pedro Halffter y la Orchestra Filarmonica de Gran Canaria
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: vandermolen on August 05, 2019, 12:49:40 AM
I see Chandos are releasing another version of the Symphony in SACD with John Wilson conducting the "Sinfonia of London" which I assume is near enough "The John Wilson Orchestra" plus some other session players.  I seem to remember that name from some film score reconstructions as well as the famous Barbirolli/English String Music recording.  Not sure I need another version of the Symphony and I'm not Wilson's biggest fan...  I did some work in an orchestra with him a few times some years ago and he was fussy without being enlightening.  That annoying type of person - a non-string player who then tells string players how to play.  By all means tell me what you want but leave the how to those who know!
Interesting about the new recording and I'm not sure that I need another recording of the work. Sorry to hear that about Wilson. On the whole I've enjoyed his Copland recordings. I'm happy to stick with Previn's fine recording of the Symphony for now.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Roasted Swan on August 05, 2019, 04:07:29 AM
Interesting about the new recording and I'm not sure that I need another recording of the work. Sorry to hear that about Wilson. On the whole I've enjoyed his Copland recordings. I'm happy to stick with Previn's fine recording of the Symphony for now.

I might be eating my own words here...... just listened to the brief excerpts of this new recording on the Chandos website.  Tempi are MUCH faster than I'm used to - a full 8 minutes quicker than Previn for example making the work 44ish minutes instead of 52.  The scherzo sounds incredibly tight and brilliant.  I see Andrew Haveron is the leader as indeed he is for "The John Wilson Orchestra" so I think my guess above about the line-up of the band is right.  Not sure how this approach will work across the whole work but I must admit I'm tempted and intrigued!
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Sergeant Rock on August 05, 2019, 05:16:14 AM
I might be eating my own words here...... just listened to the brief excerpts of this new recording on the Chandos website.  Tempi are MUCH faster than I'm used to[...] I must admit I'm tempted and intrigued!

Even faster than W-M....intriguing indeed.

Korngold Symphony F sharp major
                                     I         II         III         IV        Total
Welser-Möst            12:50    9:48    14:45    10:11    47:34
Kempe                     14:12    9:14    15:04    10:23    48:53
Albrecht                   14:50    9:56    15:20    10:25    50.31 
Downes                   14:14   10:14   16:28    10:24    51:20
Previn                      15:55   10:32   16:09    10:31    53:07
Storgards                15:55   11:03   15:36    11:11    53:48


Sarge
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Sergeant Rock on August 05, 2019, 05:20:14 AM
I'm happy to stick with Previn's fine recording of the Symphony for now.

Of the six versions I own, Previn's my desert island pick.

Sarge
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Roasted Swan on August 05, 2019, 12:58:43 PM
Even faster than W-M....intriguing indeed.

Korngold Symphony F sharp major
                                     I         II         III         IV        Total
Welser-Möst            12:50    9:48    14:45    10:11    47:34
Kempe                     14:12    9:14    15:04    10:23    48:53
Albrecht                   14:50    9:56    15:20    10:25    50.31 
Downes                   14:14   10:14   16:28    10:24    51:20
Previn                      15:55   10:32   16:09    10:31    53:07
Storgards                15:55   11:03   15:36    11:11    53:48


Sarge

Wilson                    12:37     8:27    13:45    9:54        44:43
Halffter                   15:38    10:54   17:14    11:02      54:48

Yer pays yer money yer takes yer choice.......!
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: vandermolen on August 05, 2019, 09:58:27 PM
I might be eating my own words here...... just listened to the brief excerpts of this new recording on the Chandos website.  Tempi are MUCH faster than I'm used to - a full 8 minutes quicker than Previn for example making the work 44ish minutes instead of 52.  The scherzo sounds incredibly tight and brilliant.  I see Andrew Haveron is the leader as indeed he is for "The John Wilson Orchestra" so I think my guess above about the line-up of the band is right.  Not sure how this approach will work across the whole work but I must admit I'm tempted and intrigued!
Yes, it's quite tempting I must agree. I'm glad that Sarge thinks highly of the Previn as well. I must own about six versions of the symphony on CD including the Kempe, which was my LP introduction to the symphony on RCA Gold Seal I think. That was a very special pioneering recording.
(http://)
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Andy D. on August 06, 2019, 12:09:27 AM
I started listening to guys like Steiner and Korngold after I learned my favorite movie score composer (Alfred Newman) was somewhat influenced by them both.

The Sea Hawk and Robin Hood are essential imo.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Roasted Swan on August 09, 2019, 01:37:05 AM
I succumbed..... and am probably having to eat my words re John Wilson at least as far as this recording of the Korngold Symphony is concerned.

As ever, I think a great work can be effectively interpreted in differing but valid ways.  For me people like Kempe/Previn/Halffter see it as an "end of era" work so the power of their performances lie in the nostalgia, the sadness of time past and lost.  This might seem like a slightly simplified view, but it strikes me that Wilson emphasises the elements that link this late score to the early brilliant film scores.  This does result in tempi that are always at the faster end of the performance spectrum but in this he is helped by simply stunning playing from the orchestra - the more I hear it the more I am certain its his own hand-picked "John Wilson Orchestra" showing off just how virtuosic they are.  Chandos - certainly on the evidence of the Studio Master download I bought - provide one of their finest recent recordings; a perfect balance of detail, warmth and dynamic range. 

The least successful movement is definitely the slow/3rd movement.  This is where weariness and sorrow must surely triumph and although beautifully played here I think Wilson misses that quality.  Another bonus are the two fillers - easily the best/most brilliant/joyful versions of the "little" Theme & Variations and Straussiana.  Both benefit from the sheer virtuosity of the orchestra and the joie de vivre of the interpretations.

Sorry to bring added pain to your pockets..... but admirers of this composer/these works will need to hear this disc.........

Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: vandermolen on August 09, 2019, 03:25:25 AM
I succumbed..... and am probably having to eat my words re John Wilson at least as far as this recording of the Korngold Symphony is concerned.

As ever, I think a great work can be effectively interpreted in differing but valid ways.  For me people like Kempe/Previn/Halffter see it as an "end of era" work so the power of their performances lie in the nostalgia, the sadness of time past and lost.  This might seem like a slightly simplified view, but it strikes me that Wilson emphasises the elements that link this late score to the early brilliant film scores.  This does result in tempi that are always at the faster end of the performance spectrum but in this he is helped by simply stunning playing from the orchestra - the more I hear it the more I am certain its his own hand-picked "John Wilson Orchestra" showing off just how virtuosic they are.  Chandos - certainly on the evidence of the Studio Master download I bought - provide one of their finest recent recordings; a perfect balance of detail, warmth and dynamic range. 

The least successful movement is definitely the slow/3rd movement.  This is where weariness and sorrow must surely triumph and although beautifully played here I think Wilson misses that quality.  Another bonus are the two fillers - easily the best/most brilliant/joyful versions of the "little" Theme & Variations and Straussiana.  Both benefit from the sheer virtuosity of the orchestra and the joie de vivre of the interpretations.

Sorry to bring added pain to your pockets..... but admirers of this composer/these works will need to hear this disc.........
Interesting review. The CD doesn't come out until September so I might put it down for Christmas. However, your comment about the slow movement slightly puts me off.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 02, 2019, 02:34:29 PM
(https://img.discogs.com/m-mJPlR-7uguGE2LQ04HPEPU2LQ=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-7509922-1442953605-7436.jpeg.jpg)

Yesterday I discovered the magnificent score for Kings Row, especifically the Part 1 from the CD above. Holy God! How beautiful this is! The incredibly and memorably epic theme (some have said that John Williams reworked that melody into the Main Title music from Star Wars) from the beginning and how it is taken throughout the music is just gorgeous, struck me powerfully. The gift of melody and orchestration Korngold had is palpably perceived. It's a wallow, so much so it sounds kitsch at times, but frankly I don't care for it.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 03, 2019, 12:01:12 PM
(https://img.discogs.com/m-mJPlR-7uguGE2LQ04HPEPU2LQ=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-7509922-1442953605-7436.jpeg.jpg)

Yesterday I discovered the magnificent score for Kings Row, especifically the Part 1 from the CD above. Holy God! How beautiful this is! The incredibly and memorably epic theme (some have said that John Williams reworked that melody into the Main Title music from Star Wars) from the beginning and how it is taken throughout the music is just gorgeous, struck me powerfully. The gift of melody and orchestration Korngold had is palpably perceived. It's a wallow, so much so it sounds kitsch at times, but frankly I don't care for it.

I'm confused. Your review was mostly positive up until the "I don't care for it." So, do you like it or not?

Sarge
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 03, 2019, 02:06:34 PM
I'm confused. Your review was mostly positive up until the "I don't care for it." So, do you like it or not?

Sarge

Oh, sorry about the confusions. Yes, I DO like it. What I meant is that I don't care if it sounds kitsch or a bit overblown at times. The music is so colourful and inspiring.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Roasted Swan on September 04, 2019, 09:40:54 AM
Oh, sorry about the confusions. Yes, I DO like it. What I meant is that I don't care if it sounds kitsch or a bit overblown at times. The music is so colourful and inspiring.

I agree its a wonderful soundtrack - never seen the film but always wanted to see Ronald Regan waking up - quite literally - legless
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 04, 2019, 02:34:22 PM
Oh, sorry about the confusions. Yes, I DO like it. What I meant is that I don't care if it sounds kitsch or a bit overblown at times. The music is so colourful and inspiring.

Excellent. I'm listening to it now on YouTube.

Sarge
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on December 03, 2019, 03:26:19 AM
This Tuesday at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich:


Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Die tote Stadt

Paul: Jonas Kaufmann
Marietta/Die Erscheinung Mariens: Marlis Petersen
Frank/Fritz: Andrzej Filonczyk
Brigitta: Jennifer Johnston
Juliette: Mirjam Mesak
Lucienne: Corinna Scheurle
Gaston/Victorin: Manuel Günther
Graf Albert: Dean Power

Kinderchor der Bayerischen Staatsoper
Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper
Bayerisches Staatsorchester
Kirill Petrenko

Kaufmann and Petersen were both in superlative form, incandescent from start to finish, both vocally and theatrically. Second roles were very nicely-sung, with several moments of excellent singing (with the exception of Pierrot’s Lied, which was sung – and conducted – rather matter-of-factly, a missed opportunity).

The night was marred, unfortunately, by Petrenko’s willfully interventionist, prosaic conducting, which denied Korngold’s multi-layered, prismatic orchestral score its full impact – or, at times, any impact at all. It was also, in its misguided willfulness, quite inconsistent; while the first and parts of the third act were conducted with inexcusable disregard for the score and consequently ruined, the second act was conducted without shenanigans, with panache, imagination and gusto (following Korngold’s instructions and dynamics) to brilliant effect, and about 1/3 of the third act as well – thankfully the most poignant parts. The remaining 1/3 of the third act was an uncomfortable mixture of Korngold and Petrenko trying to re-orchestrate on the spot, with Korngold mostly winning. Petrenko’s gestures, most of the evening, consisted in silencing rather that coaxing colours, rhythms and melody from his orchestra, which played brilliantly, as much as their conductor allowed. At one point, his extreme and inconsistent silencing of the orchestra (distorting not only orchestral colour, but also harmonic contour; Korngold spreads chords throughout the orchestra and ruining the quite superlatively thought-out intraorchestral dynamics made for some cringing moments) made both Kaufmann and Petersen to start their singing on the wrong note – the only wrong notes of the evening.

Petrenko’s misunderstanding of the score was further painfully apparent as the undercurrent rhythmic arc of the work was either ignored or not perceived at all, the overarching ebb and flow of the music was mostly absent and the surface jagged rhythms were left hanging and at times unsupported, grossly accentuated, forlorn, denied their connection to the work’s rhythmic and melodic flow. In short, the conductor appeared, apart from arrogantly interventionist, rather unprepared to tackle the score’s complexities and it seemed like certain parts were rehearsed much more than others to painfully obvious effect to those familiar with the music.

However, this was not the most obvious debacle of the evening’s conducting. The most disturbing and inexcusable trait of Petrenko was, as mentioned, his decision to mostly efface the orchestra for significant amounts of time, to reduce it to a whisper, to treat it like a disposable continuo in a recitative, to deny it its role in the score and to rob Korngold’s soundscape of colour and nuance; in such times, the magisterial interconnection between orchestra and voices was simply lost. Whenever that happened, the effect was jarring – considering that the singers did not have any need for reduced orchestral volume in order to be heard. In fact, the singing was at least two degrees of magnitude louder than the orchestra whenever this happened, to an incongruous effect.

The production was very insightful and poignant, without needless mannerisms and with some acute psychological insights. In this production, Paul’s wife Marie is not just dead, but dead of cancer; his visions of her are flashbacks of their last moments together when she dies in his arms – these are all actually acted by Kaufmann and Petersen to powerful effect (instead of being projected on a screen like some older productions did, a rather underwhelming solution). The set consists of several rooms on a revolving base, which come in and out of center stage as needed.

All in all, a rewarding, but mixed evening. Magnificent singing, a splendid production, but very inconsistent conducting by Petrenko, half brilliant, half atrocious. This is the second time I left unimpressed by Petrenko’s work on the pit (first one was Fidelio in January where, to a much lesser degree, he managed to make Beethoven’s last paean sound rather rushed and tedious, a feat in itself). He seemed embarrassed by Korngold’s score and tried very hard to manipulate it to something unrecognizable – a cardinal sin that cannot be excused under any circumstances. He is clever enough to perceive that when there are keyboard instruments (which cannot be ppppp’ed to oblivion)  in the soundscape (Korngold calls for three, piano, harmonium and celesta, all judiciously used to brilliant effect), such an approach would be exposed for the fraud it is even to an untrained ear and so those sections of the music were mostly spared any manipulation and shined; however, his approach to much of the rest of the score was disgraceful. The orchestral interludes, second act and most of the third act were conducted with panache, acute dramatic understanding and brilliant colours, but, elsewhere in the score, whenever someone was singing he reverted to a timid accompanist’s mode. As far as I’m concerned, he can’t leave for Berlin fast enough (I’d love to see him try to impose such misguided ideas to the Berliners) and for the love of Bach, if he intends to keep this up, someone keep him away from the opera house.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on December 03, 2019, 03:37:42 AM
As far as I’m concerned, he can’t leave for Berlin fast enough (I’d love to see him try to impose such misguided ideas to the Berliners) and for the love of Bach, if he intends to keep this up, someone keep him away from the opera house.

I wasn't at that performance, which might well have been a horror. But I was at plenty KP-led performances in Munich (including his revelatory first: Jenufa) and Bayreuth + concert performances ins Vienna (and I know enough musicians in the orchestra and how they play for him) to know that that's a very lonely opinion, indeed.

One ruined Tote Stadt should not have you close your door on a conductor who can make any orchestra play more willing and more detailed and more nuanced than any other conductor I know of. Not all that he touches is gold and sometimes he gets praised over the moon for performances that were "only" very good, at best (the Castorf Ring, for example), but he's better than anyone before or after him at the bavarian state opera.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on December 03, 2019, 04:06:00 AM
I wasn't at that performance, which might well have been a horror. But I was at plenty KP-led performances in Munich (including his revelatory first: Jenufa) and Bayreuth + concert performances ins Vienna (and I know enough musicians in the orchestra and how they play for him) to know that that's a very lonely opinion, indeed.

One ruined Tote Stadt should not have you close your door on a conductor who can make any orchestra play more willing and more detailed and more nuanced than any other conductor I know of. Not all that he touches is gold and sometimes he gets praised over the moon for performances that were "only" very good, at best (the Castorf Ring, for example), but he's better than anyone before or after him at the bavarian state opera.

Note the qualifier: "if he intends to keep this up".  ;)
I, as well, think that he has extraordinary qualities, which were present during the evening in intermittent fashion, but also in copious amounts whenever he chose to reveal them (for instance, his way with the orchestral interludes was breathtaking). This made the soulless mess he tried to turn Korngold's score into during other parts of the evening even more aggravating. It seems to me that in opera he's entering a dangerous phase in which all those lauds of him being a "singer's conductor" result in him turning more and more into grotesque mannerisms regarding orchestral balance in order to "facilitate" singers and justify the credential. I hope he has more sense than making it a habit resorting to this kind of tasteless hyperbole and that it's simply Korngold he was unable to connect with. However, given the tendencies, it might be a good idea for him to stick to orchestral music for a while. I expect great things in Berlin, unless he has any similar misguided ideas for them, too.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on December 03, 2019, 04:39:29 AM
Note the qualifier: "if he intends to keep this up".  ;)
I, as well, think that he has extraordinary qualities, which were present during the evening in intermittent fashion, but also in copious amounts whenever he chose to reveal them (for instance, his way with the orchestral interludes was breathtaking). This made the soulless mess he tried to turn Korngold's score into during other parts of the evening even more aggravating. It seems to me that in opera he's entering a dangerous phase in which all those lauds of him being a "singer's conductor" result in him turning more and more into grotesque mannerisms regarding orchestral balance in order to "facilitate" singers and justify the credential. I hope he has more sense than making it a habit resorting to this kind of tasteless hyperbole and that it's simply Korngold he was unable to connect with. However, given the tendencies, it might be a good idea for him to stick to orchestral music for a while. I expect great things in Berlin, unless he has any similar misguided ideas for them, too.

I've found him to be a specifically great opera conductor (Jenufa, Frau Ohne Schatten, Lady Macbeth, Rheingold) and I also find that a great opera conductor is rarer than a great orchestral conductor! [I'm thinking of K.Petrenko & C.Thielemann, mostly.] (Whereas a fine opera conductor is probably more easy to have than a fine orchestral conductor... P.Jordan, F.Luisi, C.Meister, who are all better in the pit than on the podium.) To get a repertoire opera orchestra to perform as the Staatsorchester has performed in those years under Petrenko is simply more of an achievement than to get the Berlin Philharmonic to perform great. So I think we're in for a gain in Berlin but a net-loss. Also, he's so introverted, I genuinely and seriously doubt Petrenko does anything in order to live up to some perceived notion of him as a conductor known for this or that.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on December 03, 2019, 05:43:28 AM
I've found him to be a specifically great opera conductor (Jenufa, Frau Ohne Schatten, Lady Macbeth, Rheingold)

Based on my experience, I think he’s a very good (with glimpses of greatness) rather than a superlative opera conductor. There is greatness/genius in there, but not in a consistent manner. I'm glad your experiences have all been positive (I’d have liked to have been there for Jenůfa and indeed for any of those - with the possible exception of R. Strauss, after what I've heard him doing to Korngold).

To get a repertoire opera orchestra to perform as the Staatsorchester has performed in those years under Petrenko...

I do agree and appreciate the fact that he managed to elevate the Bavarian orchestra to a different level and to admirable degrees of refinement, but that rather adds to the disappointment if it ultimately results in botched interpretations.

[I'm thinking of K.Petrenko & C.Thielemann, mostly.]

Speaking of Thielemann, I caught parts of his Frau ohne Schatten in Vienna last time I was there in June, at the screen outside; we went for dinner and came back for the finale. Such a fine evening. I agree he’s better in opera than in orchestral music, but, because of the tendencies I mentioned, I think the opposite of Petrenko.

To get a repertoire opera orchestra to perform as the Staatsorchester has performed...

Speaking of repertoire opera houses, it did cross my mind that the night’s  - I don’t want to say fiasco because it wasn’t all bad, let’s say gross tonal inconsistencies – might have been aggravated by the fact that they were performing Wozzeck the previous night and God knows what else between the performance I saw (the second one) and the premiere, almost half a month ago.

Also, he's so introverted, I genuinely and seriously doubt Petrenko does anything in order to live up to some perceived notion of him as a conductor known for this or that.

You’d be surprised how insidiously these things can be internalized by any disposition.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on December 03, 2019, 06:05:05 AM

Speaking of Thielemann, I caught parts of his Frau ohne Schatten in Vienna last time I was there in June, at the screen outside; we went for dinner and came back for the finale. Such a fine evening. I agree he’s better in opera than in orchestral music, but, because of the tendencies I mentioned, I think the opposite of Petrenko.

I missed the CT FrOSch this time, but I saw it in Salzburg... and then a year later in Munich with KP. The two performances (I believe I wrote about both) could not have been any different. But both were superlative. Although I'm a sucker for the lusher approach of CT's than the diaphanous ways of KP in that particular Strauss opera. (Then again, I've also heard Kent Nagano conduct an absolutely splendid Schweigsame Frau -- so you never know. And with the latter you could never know whether he was inspired or whether the musicians were winging it, because he'd lost them totally.)

Quote
Speaking of repertoire opera houses, it did cross my mind that the night’s  - I don’t want to say fiasco because it wasn’t all bad, let’s say gross tonal inconsistencies – might have been aggravated by the fact that they were performing Wozzeck the previous night and God knows what else between the performance I saw (the second one) and the premiere, almost half a month ago.

You should hear the dreck that the Vienna State Opera Orchestra puts out, except on the rarest of occasions. Come to think of it, you probably do. Compared to that, the Bavarian StOp is an isle of bliss.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: Wanderer on December 03, 2019, 06:28:30 AM
You should hear the dreck that the Vienna State Opera Orchestra puts out, except on the rarest of occasions. Come to think of it, you probably do. Compared to that, the Bavarian StOp is an isle of bliss.

They seem to be under the same predicament - I do remember, for instance, it took them several minutes to settle to Janáček's idiom at the beginning of Jenůfa (but what a splendour the rest of that evening was). So far I've been lucky with them.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: AlberichUndHagen on December 03, 2019, 07:06:39 AM
I saw Die Tote Stadt in Finnish National Opera last October (if I remember correctly)! I enjoyed it greatly, The singer of Marietta was absolutely phenomenal, I have almost never heard as inspired female singing as that night. She also received also most of the applause, deservedly.
Title: Re: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Post by: vandermolen on December 14, 2019, 05:19:50 AM
Been enjoying this for the first time today. An excellent version although I take Roasted Swan's points above. It was, however, interesting to hear the slow movement taken faster than usual. Overall a fine version and super recording:
(http://)