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
Browse 26-50 of 310 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Korngold: Sextet; Schoenberg: Verklarte Nacht / Raphael Ensemble
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55466 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Arnold Schoenberg
    Performer:  Elizabeth Wexler,  Sally Beamish,  Anthony Marwood,  Roger Tapping  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raphael Ensemble
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  • 27.
    Korngold: Lieder / Henschel, Deutsch
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 1951780 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Helmut Deutsch,  Dietrich Henschel
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  • 28.
    Leon Fleisher - The Complete Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 545997 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  César Franck,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Performer:  Leon Fleisher,  Jules Eskin,  Benita Valente,  Harold Wright  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Seiji Ozawa,  Leon Fleisher,  Szymon Goldberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 29.
    Manhattan Playboys: American Light Classics
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1206 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Robert Farnon,  Leroy Anderson,  Cy Coleman  ... 
    Conductor:  Iain Sutherland
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  • 30.
    100 Years Deutsche Oper Berlin - Centennial Edition
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107528 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Boris Blacher,  Carl Heinrich Graun,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Aribert Reimann  ... 
    Performer:  Helmut Krebs,  Carol Malone,  Victor von Halem,  Gerti Zeumer  ... 
    Conductor:  Caspar Richter,  Hans Hilsdorf,  Heinrich Hollreiser,  Friedemann Layer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Berlin Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 31.
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 7705395 Release Date: 05/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Alexander Borodin,  Bedrich Smetana,  Giovanni Bononcini  ... 
    Performer:  Esther Réthy,  Adele Kern,  Anton Dermota,  Elena Nikolaidi  ... 
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss,  Leopold Ludwig,  Rudolf Moralt,  Max Schönherr  ... 
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  • 32.
    Le Violon Roi / Renaud Capucon [3-CD Set]
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 584402 Release Date: 05/21/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Renaud Capuçon,  Gautier Capuçon,  Martha Argerich,  Mischa Maisky  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexandre Rabinovitch,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Daniel Harding,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra,  Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra  ... 
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  • 33.
    40 Tracks for 40 Years - Delos Anniversary Set
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3440 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Antonín Dvorák,  Aram Khachaturian,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold  ... 
    Performer:  James Earl Jones,  Charles Butler,  Marina Domashenko,  Dmitri Hvorostovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton,  Zdenek Macal,  Constantine Orbelian,  James DePreist  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  New Jersey Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 34.
    Erich Korngold: Much Ado About Nothing, Op. 11 (Complete Incidental Music)
    Label: Toccata Classics   Catalog: 160 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Conductor:  John Mauceri
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  • 35.
    Korngold: Piano Sonata No 2 / Lara Downes
    Label: Steinway & Sons   Catalog: 90016 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Lara Downes
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  • 36.
    Bruch, Chausson, Korngold: Violin Concertos / Steinbacher
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186503 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Ernest Chausson,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Arabella Steinbacher
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gulbenkian Foundation Symphony Orchestra Lisbon
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  • 37.
    50 Best Sensual Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 333022 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  James Horner,  Pietro Mascagni,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nino Rota  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Bernard Pommier,  Cécile Ousset,  Mikhail Rudy,  Natasha Marsh  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons,  Lawrence Foster,  Simon Rattle,  François-Xavier Roth  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Cellists,  Ahn Trio,  Virtuosi
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  • 38.
    Exiles' Cafe / Lara Downes
    Label: Steinway & Sons   Catalog: 30016 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Bohuslav Martinu  ... 
    Performer:  Lara Downes
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  • 39.
    The Silver Violin / Nicola Benedetti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001760902 Release Date: 02/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Gustav Mahler,  John T. Williams,  Howard Shore  ... 
    Performer:  Nicola Benedetti,  Alexei Grynyuk,  Leonard Elschenbroich,  Tom Dunn  ... 
    Conductor:  Kirill Karabits
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Joseph Marx: Rhapsodie; Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Suite
    Label: Urlicht   Catalog: 5996 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Marx,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Piano Quartet
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  • 41.
    Korngold: Werke Fur Violine & Klavier; Streichsextett
    Label: Phil.harmonie   Catalog: 6013 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Xuesu Liu,  Daniel Gaede
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonisches Streichsextett
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  • 42.
    Singers Of The Century - 40 Greats Of  The 20th Century
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 2078 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Ettore Bastianini,  Giuseppe Taddei,  Richard Tucker,  Mario Del Monaco  ... 
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  • 43.
    Violin Encores / Jascha Heifetz
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1296 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Edouard Lalo,  George Gershwin,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Emanuel Bay,  Milton Kaye
    Conductor:  Alfred Wallenstein,  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
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  • 44.
    Essential Opera Divas
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 234522 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Arleen Augér,  Patrizia Ciofi,  Véronique Gens,  Jessye Norman  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox,  Fabio Biondi,  Christophe Rousset,  Klaus Tennstedt  ... 
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  • 45.
    Label: Somerset Entertainment   Catalog: 51767 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  George Frideric Handel,  Erik Satie  ... 
    CD: $23.99
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  • 46.
    A Time For Us / Dubeau, La Pieta
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 28736 Release Date: 11/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nino Rota,  John T. Williams,  Ennio Morricone,  John Barry  ... 
    Performer:  Angèle Dubeau
    Conductor:  Angèle Dubeau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
    CD: $18.49
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  • 47.
    Anniversary Series - Art Song Collection
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 303 Release Date: 11/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Francis Poulenc,  Alec Roth  ... 
    Performer:  Simon Crawford-Phillips,  Andrew Kennedy,  Roderick Williams,  Iain Burnside  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dante Quartet
    CD: $9.99
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  • 48.
    Souvenir D'amerique / Friedemann Eichhorn, Andreas Frolich
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 861 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  William Kroll,  Stephen Foster,  Henri Vieuxtemps  ... 
    Performer:  Friedemann Eichhorn,  Andreas Frolich
    CD: $19.99
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  • 49.
    Korngold: Die Tote Stadt / Hollreiser, King, Armstrong
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101656 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Conductor:  Heinrich Hollreiser
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Opera Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 50.
    Erich Wolfgang Korngold: String Sextet; Piano Quintet
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: 198 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Thomas Hell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Freden
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