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
The Film Music Of Erich Wolfgang Korngold / Gamba
Release Date: 10/18/2005   Label: Chandos Movies  
Catalog: 10336   Number of Discs: 1
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Zemlinsky, Korngold, Bloch: Psalms / Viotti
Release Date: 07/19/2005   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 4036   Number of Discs: 1
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Korngold: Sursum Corda, Etc / Bamert, Et Al
Release Date: 08/28/2007   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10432   Number of Discs: 1
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Korngold: Cello Concerto, Etc / Dixon, Shelley, Bamert
Release Date: 08/28/2007   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10433   Number of Discs: 1
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Korngold: Piano Quintet & String Sextet / Stumm, LaFollette, Stott, Doric String Quartet
Release Date: 02/28/2012   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10707   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 301-311 of 311 Available Recordings
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  • 301.
    Korngold: Orchestral Works 1 / Albert, Nordwestdeutsche Phil
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 999037 Release Date: 01/14/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Conductor:  Werner Andreas Albert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northwest German Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 302.
    Korngold: Orchestral Works 3 / Albert, Nordwestdeutsche Phil
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 999077 Release Date: 01/14/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Julius Berger
    Conductor:  Werner Andreas Albert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northwest German Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 303.
    Korngold: Orchestral Works 4 / Albert, Nordwestdeutsche Phil
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 999146 Release Date: 01/14/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Conductor:  Werner Andreas Albert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northwest German Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 304.
    Adventures Of Robin Hood
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 8104 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Basil Rathbone
    Conductor:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
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  • 305.
    Korngold, Ives: Piano Trios / Pacific Art Trio
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 1009 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Ives,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Alice Shapiro,  Israel Baker,  Edgar Lustgarten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pacific Art Trio
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  • 306.
    Prima Voce - Tauber In Opera
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7830 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Jacques Offenbach,  Albert Lortzing,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Tauber,  Lotte Lehmann,  Emmy Bettendorf
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Ernst Hauke,  Hermann Weigert,  Carl Besl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Playhouse Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 307.
    Classic Film Scores For Bette Davis
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 183 Release Date: 07/01/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Alfred Newman,  Franz Waxman
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 308.
    Hollywood's Greatest Hits / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80168 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Max Steiner,  Miklós Rózsa  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 309.
    Korngold: Violanta / Janowski, Marton, Jerusalem, Berry
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 35909 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Walter Berry,  Horst Laubenthal,  Gertraut Stoklassa,  Renate Freyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Marek Janowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 310.
    Jasca Heifetz In Performance 1945-1951
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1101 Release Date: 07/30/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Jean Sibelius,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Artur Rodzinski,  George Szell,  Dimitri Mitropoulos,  Serge Koussevitzky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra,  Centennial Symphony Orchestra
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