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Korngold: Symphony, Theme & Variations & Straussiana / Wilson, Sinfonia of London

Release Date: 09/06/2019 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 5220  
Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Conductor:  John Wilson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia of London
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

John Wilson and his Sinfonia of London shine in an all-Korngold programme full of wit, romanticism, sensitivity, and virtuosity – an orchestral tour de force! Conductor John Wilson has earned a reputation for his interpretations of British and American repertoire in particular. He is a favourite of many of the UK’s orchestras and festivals including the BBC Proms and Aldeburgh Festival and is currently Associate Guest Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. John is also in demand across the world at the very highest level, conducting the major orchestras of Sydney, Berlin, Budapest, Amsterdam, Oslo amongst many others, and has a large and growing discography,
Read more covering a wide range of repertoire.



Wilson's performance of the symphony is one of the most athletic on record. Rhythms are springy and purposeful; the great Adagio really strives, as well as sings, and I’ve rarely heard it probe deeper. Every phrase speaks; textures are translucent and detailed (even at the dizzying speed of the Scherzo), and the string sound glows from within, with portamento very much at the service of expression. Wilson clearly sees Korngold’s Symphony (rightly) as part of the Viennese classical tradition. The result is both gripping and sincerely moving.

– Gramophone Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony in F sharp major, Op. 40 by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Conductor:  John Wilson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia of London
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947-1952; USA 
Theme and Variations, Op. 42 by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Conductor:  John Wilson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia of London
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; USA 
Straussiana by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Conductor:  John Wilson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia of London
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; Hollywood, Californi 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Very fine American music played by superb British September 27, 2019 By Dean Frey See All My Reviews ""Out of the stuff of film music," said Alex Ross in a recent New Yorker article about Erich Wolfgang Korngold, "he fashions what may be the last great symphony in the German Romantic tradition." This new disc from John Wilson and the Sinfonia of London provides the most compelling version I've heard of Korngold's Symphony in F Sharp. I learn from the very fine liner notes by Brendan G. Carroll that Korngold worked on the Symphony during a holiday in Canada, but doesn't give any more details. I'll consult Carroll's 1997 biography The Last Prodigy to see if his Canadian itinerary is available, and report back here. In the meantime, I can fill in some plausible Canadian landscapes for a post-war holiday from Hollywood. Perhaps scenes from my neck of the woods: Victoria and Vancouver Island, and a train journey through British Columbia to beautiful Jasper National Park. As it is, Korngold's usual movie-scene milieu is very much in evidence in the entire disc. Besides the usual Warner's back-lot, there are the Californian hills, forests and islands that stand in for Spanish, English and the Mediterranean adventure. One shouldn't have to apologize for film-score sourcing of "serious" classical music in the 21st Century, where very fine symphonic music is heard in every Multiplex, but alas, I've already read a number of reviews of this disc that are excessively patronizing. This is a Good Symphony by any standards (and a Very Good one in my view), and it's a serious error of categories to think it illegitimate because it comes from "the movies." Besides the Symphony, there are two additional works on the disc. Both are appealing and accessible, and though they were written for the American School Orchestras Association, there's no lack of musical interest on the listening end. This new Korngold disc is something we've come to expect from John Wilson on Chandos: very fine American music played by superb British musicians in a completely authentic way." Report Abuse
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