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Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Hollywood / Mathé, Litton, Et Al


Release Date: 10/24/1995 
Label:  Sono Luminus   Catalog #: 90216   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Ulrike-Anima Mathé
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Here in brand-new, sparkling, all-American Technicolor are two of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s most beautiful concert works. The lyrical and gorgeously melodic Violin Concerto is given a sensitive, deeply felt performance by the young German violinist Ulrike-Anima Mathé, whose interpretation stands comfortably beside formidable competition from Gil Shaham and Itzhak Perlman. The Violin Concerto is based on music from Korngold’s film scores and the shadows of Errol Flynn and Bette Davis are never far away in this recording. Fair enough, perhaps. The Sinfonietta, however, was written when Korngold was still an acclaimed child prodigy, during the years preceding the First World War. It was first performed when he was all of 15 years old, Read more at which time Hollywood was still in its infancy, the ‘talkie’ was not even a glimmer in a director’s eye and the notion of writing film music could never have crossed the boy composer’s mind. Litton and the Dallas SO, however, milk the piece for every last ounce of sentimentality and turn it into as much of a Hollywood piece as the Concerto. Although the orchestral playing is excellent, the movie-music-like interpretation does not suit Korngold’s optimism and symphonic awareness in this piece, which is based around the cyclic development of an upward-swinging theme which he termed the ‘Motive of the Cheerful Heart’. The Sinfonietta is deeply and essentially Viennese in style and I can’t help feeling that this excessively sugary rendering rather taints its youthful and unspoilt freshness (for a subtler version turn to Bamert and the BBC Philharmonic on Chandos). The sound, however, is superb: every component of Korngold’s rich-textured orchestration is crystal clear.

-- Jessica Duchen, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1. Sinfonietta in B major, Op. 5 by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/1994 
Venue:  Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, Texas 
2. Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35 by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Ulrike-Anima Mathé (Violin)
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/1994 
Venue:  Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, Texas 

Sound Samples

Sinfonietta in B major, Op. 5: I. Fliessend, mit heiterem Schwunge
Sinfonietta in B major, Op. 5: II. Scherzo: Molto agitato, rasch und feuerig
Sinfonietta in B major, Op. 5: III. Molto andante (traumerisch)
Sinfonietta in B major, Op. 5: IV. Finale: Patetico - Allegro giocoso
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35: I. Moderato Nobile
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35: II. Romanze: Andante
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35: III. Finale: Allegro assai vivace

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