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: Violanta / Janowski, Marton, Jerusalem, Berry
Release Date: 10/25/1990   Label: Cbs Masterworks  
Catalog: 35909   Number of Discs: 1
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Korngold: Sextet Op. 10; Suite Op. 23
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Cpo  
Catalog: 777600   Number of Discs: 1
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Korngold: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Gerd Albrecht, Et Al
Release Date: 06/22/1999   Label: Cpo  
Catalog: 999449   Number of Discs: 1
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Korngold: Die Kathrin / Brabbins, Bbc Concert Orchestra
Release Date: 10/27/1998   Label: Cpo  
Catalog: 999602   Number of Discs: 3
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Korngold: Orchestral Works Vol 1-4 / Werner A. Albert, Et Al
Release Date: 06/02/1998   Label: Cpo  
Catalog: 999150   Number of Discs: 4
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Browse 1-25 of 284 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Shakespeare Songs / Bostridge, Pappano
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 557549 Release Date: 09/23/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gerald Finzi,  William Byrd,  Thomas Morley,  John Wilson  ... 
    Performer:  Antonio Pappano,  Ian [Tenor Vocals] Bostridge,  Elizabeth Kenny,  Lawrence Power  ... 
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  • 2.
    Korngold & Conus: Violin Concertos / Irnberger, Moser, Israel Symphony
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 99108 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Julius Conus
    Performer:  Thomas Albertus Irnberger,  Barbara Moser
    Conductor:  Doron Salomon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Symphony Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Korngold & Copland: Twentieth Century Duos / Bekker, Armstrong
    Label: Navona   Catalog: 6046 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Aaron Copland
    Performer:  Yuriy Bekker,  Andrew Armstrong
    CD: $14.99
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  • 4.
    Korngold: Unverganglichkeit - Goldmark: Songs, Opp. 18, 21 & 34 / Hubsch, Spencer
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 3004 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Karl Goldmark
    Performer:  Cornelia Hübsch,  Charles Spencer
    CD: $17.99
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  • 5.
    Schone Welt / Schwanewilms, Spencer
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5233 Release Date: 05/13/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Franz Schreker,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Anne Schwanewilms,  Charles Spencer
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6.
    Yes, Yes, Yes! / Mnozil Brass
    Label: Suedpol   Catalog: 196 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Isaac Albeniz,  Aram Khachaturian,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 7.
    Francesca Depasquale
    Label: Francesca Depasquale   Catalog: 5638655359 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Olivier Messiaen,  Paola Prestini,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Francesca dePasquale,  Meng-Chieh Liu
    CD: $24.99
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  • 8.
    Britten & Korngold: Violin Concertos / Frang
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 554297 Release Date: 02/26/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Vilde Frang
    Conductor:  James Gaffigan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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  • 9.
    Berliner Philharmoniker - Waldbuhne 2015
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26097 Release Date: 12/18/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Scott Bradley,  Bronislaw Kaper,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Jerome Moross  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 10.
    Berliner Philharmoniker - Waldbuhne 2015 [Blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26097 Release Date: 12/18/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Scott Bradley,  Bronislaw Kaper,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Jerome Moross  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Korngold: Complete Songs /Jarnot, Pieczonka, Mees
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5252 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Reinild Mees,  Konrad Jarnot,  Adrianne Pieczonka
    CD: $17.99
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  • 12.
    Korngold: Concerto In D; Conus: Concerto In E Minor
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552402 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Julius Conus
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  André Previn
    CD: $9.99
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  • 13.
    Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552439 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 77
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Ray Still,  Samuel Sanders  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster,  Daniel Barenboim,  Itzhak Perlman,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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    CD: $274.99
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  • 14.
    The Perlman Sound
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 551699 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Samuel Sanders,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Daniel Barenboim,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.49
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  • 15.
    The Korngold Project - Part One
    Label: Twopianists (Label)   Catalog: 1039282 Release Date: 08/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Luis Magalhaes,  Priya Mitchell,  Daniel Rowland,  Julian Arp
    CD: $17.99
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  • 16.
    Beaux Arts Trio - Complete Philips Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002341702 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Isidore Cohen,  Bernard Greenhouse,  Menahem Pressler,  Stephen Kovacevich  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Beaux Arts Trio,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio members  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $218.99
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  • 17.
    Jascha Heifetz: Favorite Recital Pieces & Encores
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88875051042 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Howard Ferguson,  Karen Khachaturian,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Brooks Smith
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 18.
    Martin Jones - 75th Birthday Tribute
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1718 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Czerny,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Anatole Liadov  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Jones,  Richard McMahon,  Adrian Farmer
    Conductor:  William Boughton
    CD: $29.99
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  • 19.
    Tony Palmer -  The Adventures Of Benjamin Schmid
    Label: United States Dist (Dvd)   Catalog: 149 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Benjamin Schmid
    DVD: $17.99
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  • 20.
    Yarlung Records: 10th Anniversary
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: 42482 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Diego Ortiz,  Diego Schissi,  Jerome Kern,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Nigel Armstrong,  Petteri Iivonen,  Frederic Rosselet,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Margaret Batjer,  Gerard Schwarz,  Jeffrey Kahane  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ciaramella,  Sophisticated Lady,  Capitol Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 21.
    Korngold: The Adventures of Robin Hood / Stromberg
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573369 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Conductor:  William T. Stromberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 22.
    Anne Sofie Von Otter - 10 Classic Albums
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002281102 Release Date: 04/07/2015   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Antonio Bertali,  Giovanni Legrenzi,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Dane Roberts,  Florian Deuter,  Reinhard Goebel,  Anne Sofie von Otter  ... 
    Conductor:  Reinhard Goebel,  Marc Minkowski,  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Antiqua Cologne,  Les Musiciens du Louvre,  Choeur des Musiciens du Louvre  ... 
    CD: $75.49
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  • 23.
    Korngold: Violin Concerto, Violin Sonata / Barati
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95006 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Kristóf Baráti,  Gabor Farkas
    Conductor:  Otto Tausk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonie Zuidnederland
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  • 24.
    Battles In Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 578293 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Leonardo Balada,  Roy Harris  ... 
    Conductor:  Ondrej Lenárd,  Salvador Mas Conde,  Marin Alsop,  Dmitry Yablonsky  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 25.
    Zemlinsky, Bloch, Korngold: Piano Trios / Pacific Trio
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5221 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander von Zemlinsky,  Ernest Bloch,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pacific Trio
    CD: $17.99
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