Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Biography

Born: 1897   Died: 1957   Period: 20th Century
Erich Wolfgang Korngold's career bridged astonishing gaps in history and music -- from the final years of Imperial Austria, when he was hailed as "a new Mozart," to Hollywood in the heyday of the studio system, to the darkened era of postwar Europe. In Vienna of the 1920s, his name evoked the best that engagingly melodic, tonal music had to offer in the concert hall or the opera house; in Hollywood he was synonymous with the swashbucklers of Read more Errol Flynn. Born in Brünn, in Moravia (now Brno, Czechoslovakia) he was the son of Julius Korngold, one of the most influential music critics in Vienna. Korngold was beating time with a spoon by the age of three, playing basic melodies at age 5, and composing at age 6. He was encouraged by Gustav Mahler to pursue his musical studies, and his teachers included Alexander Von Zemlinsky. He'd written a Piano Sonata in D minor and a ballet entitled The Snowman before he was 10, and at 13, he saw his second piano sonata premiered by Artur Schnabel. He wrote his first two operas, Der Ring des Polykrates and Violanta, in his teens, and in 1920, at 23, Korngold completed his most celebrated operatic work, Die tote Stadt; it was an immediate hit in Austria and Germany, and quickly entered the repertory of opera companies around the world.

The 1920s saw Korngold add theatrical music to his activities -- his adaptation of Johann Strauss' Eine Nacht in Venedig was a worldwide success, as was his Strauss pastiche, Waltzes in Vienna. In 1929, Korngold was commissioned by the producer Max Reinhardt to work on a new stage production of Die Fledermaus. Reinhardt was pleased with the results and impressed with Korngold's work; three years later, when Warner Bros. studios engaged Reinhardt to adapt his stage version of A Midsummer Night's Dream into a film, he engaged Korngold to arrange Felix Mendelssohn's music for the movie. The resulting film was a financial failure, but the studio was impressed with what Korngold had done with the music. He was offered a contract, which he accepted after some slight hesitation.

His first film score, for Captain Blood (1935), delighted both the studio's executives and millions of filmgoers -- Korngold's music added a richness to the sweeping tale of heroism and triumph over injustice that startled viewers with its inventiveness, adding an extra dimension to the drama, and excitement and beauty of the movie. Over the next two years, Korngold turned in dazzling musical scores for Anthony Adverse (1936), Green Pastures (1936), and The Prince and the Pauper (1937).

In late 1937, he returned to Vienna in hope of premiering a new operatic work, but the growing Nazi influence over politics and art made it impossible for Korngold and his family (all of whom were Jewish) to remain. In early 1938, he accepted a new contract offer from Warner Bros. and got himself and his family to America just before Germany annexed Austria. Korngold spent the next nine years in Hollywood among the movie colony's artistic elite, able to pick and choose his films and always doing superb work. Korngold turned in a dozen memorable scores that defined elegance in film music -- from costumed adventures like The Sea Hawk (1940) to serious drama such as Kings Row (1942).

Following the end of World War II, he returned to Austria and got a harsh reception from a populace resentful of his years in Hollywood, and derision from critics over his melodic, tonal music. Korngold lived his final years comfortably in California, in near complete artistic eclipse. Read less
Korngold: The Piano Music / Martin Jones
Release Date: 03/23/2004   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 5705   Number of Discs: 4
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Korngold, Reznicek: String Quartets / Franz Schubert Quartet
Release Date: 11/18/1997   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 5506   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 316 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Phase 4 Stereo: Stereo Concert Series [41-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
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  • 2.
    A  Recital With Renee Fleming  - Vienna At The Turn Of The 20th Century
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102196 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugo Wolf,  Gustav Mahler,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Alexander von Zemlinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Renée Fleming,  Maciej Pikulski
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  • 3.
    A  Recital With Renee Fleming - Vienna At The Turn Of The 20th Century [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108117 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugo Wolf,  Gustav Mahler,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Alexander von Zemlinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Renée Fleming,  Maciej Pikulski
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 4.
    Du Bist Die Welt Fur Mich
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 1190452 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Lehár,  Werner Richard Heymann,  Richard Tauber,  Robert Stolz  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Julia Kleiter
    Conductor:  Jochen Rieder
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  • 5.
    Du Bist Die Welt Fur Mich [deluxe Cd & Dvd]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 1190490 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Lehár,  Werner Richard Heymann,  Richard Tauber,  Robert Stolz  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Julia Kleiter
    Conductor:  Jochen Rieder
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  • 6.
    Du Bist Die Welt Fur Mich [deluxe Edition]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 1191313 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Lehár,  Werner Richard Heymann,  Richard Tauber,  Robert Stolz  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Julia Kleiter
    Conductor:  Jochen Rieder
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  • 7.
    You Mean the World to Me / Jonas Kaufmann
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 308771 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Lehár,  Robert Stolz,  Hans May,  Mischa Spoliansky  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Julia Kleiter
    Conductor:  Jochen Rieder
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  • 8.
    Escape to Paradise - The Hollywood Album / Daniel Hope
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002145302 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Miklós Rózsa,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,  Hanns Eisler  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Hope,  Maria Todtenhaupt,  Sting,  Jacques Ammon  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Shelley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin Quartet,  Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin Quintet
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  • 9.
    Divergence - Music Of Altman, Korngold & Schoenberg / Kobantschenko, Mallinger, Eggner
    Label: Neos   Catalog: 21306 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Laurie Altman,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Flip Philipp,  Aurore Cany,  Kirill Kobantschenko,  Bernie Mallinger  ... 
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  • 10.
    Waldbuhne / Fleming, Bronfman, Chailly, Marin, Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 59988 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Igor Stravinsky,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Yefim Bronfman,  Renée Fleming
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Ion Marin,  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Waldbuhne / Fleming, Bronfman, Chailly, Marin, Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 59984 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Igor Stravinsky,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Yefim Bronfman,  Renée Fleming
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Ion Marin,  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Strauss,   Liszt,   Korngold,   Busoni,   Schreker / Yamada, Suisse Romande Orchestra
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 186518 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Franz Liszt,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Ferruccio Busoni
    Conductor:  Kazuki Yamada
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 13.
    The Glenn Dicterow Collection
    Label: New York Philharmonic   Catalog: 140201 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Béla Bartók,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  John T. Williams
    Performer:  Glenn Dicterow
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Alan Gilbert,  David Robertson,  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 14.
    Play It Again: Classic Sound Of Hollywood
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 303384 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Waxman,  Dimitri Tiomkin,  Daniele Amfitheatrof,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt,  Maurice Jarre,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Elmer Bernstein  ... 
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  • 15.
    Itzhak Perlman - Concertos, Sonatas & More
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5438882 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Erich Leinsdorf,  André Previn,  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    Creating Timeless Classics
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186531 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Helmchen,  Alexei Ogrintchouk,  Vesko Eschkenazy,  Jonathan Gilad  ... 
    Conductor:  Mikhail Pletnev,  Lawrence Foster,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Vladimir Jurowski  ... 
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  • 17.
    Korngold: Piano Trio; Schoenberg: Verklarte Nacht / Fidelio Trio
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572758 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Arnold Schoenberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fidelio Trio
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  • 18.
    Tchaikovsky, Korngold: Concertos; Doubles Jeux / 	Laurent Korcia
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 40040 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Maurice Ravel,  Michel Portal  ... 
    Performer:  Laurent Korcia,  Michael Wendeberg,  Michel Portal,  Nemanja Radulovic  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ličge Philharmonic Orchestra,  Jean-Louis Aubert
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  • 19.
    Kiri Te Kanawa - Opera Arias
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564635295 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Gustave Charpentier,  Claude Debussy,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Roger Vignoles,  Andrew Schulman
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano,  Jeffrey Tate,  Julius Rudel,  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 20.
    La Folie Americaine! - Dvorak, Gershwin, Bernstein, Barber, Copland, Glass, Adams
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 2564634485 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Samuel Barber,  Philip Glass,  Aaron Copland  ... 
    Performer:  André Previn,  Hélčne Grimaud,  Richard Rodney Bennett,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  David Zinman,  John McGlinn,  Simon Rattle  ... 
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  • 21.
    Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Sextet Op. 10; Suite Op. 23
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777600 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Thomas Selditz,  Marius Diaz,  Henri Sigfridsson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aron String Quartet
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  • 22.
    Erich Wolfgang Korngold: String Sextet; Piano Quintet
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: 198 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Freden
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  • 23.
    Korngoldmark
    Label: Solo Musica   Catalog: 202 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Rubin Goldmark,  Karl Goldmark,  Robert Dauber
    Performer:  Emese Mali,  Orsolya Korcsolan
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  • 24.
    Take One  / Vienna Brass Connection
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 91217 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  John T. Williams,  Hans Zimmer / Lisa Gerrar,  Bill Conti  ... 
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  • 25.
    Intermezzo: Works For Violin And Piano
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 13544 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Intermezzo
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