Erich Korngold Revisited

My previous post speaks about a new CD of Erich Korngold's Violin Concerto. But in the last month I have also seen the following Korngold activity:

  • Jun Iwasaki will perform the Violin Concerto with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra last weekend
  • Glenn Dicterow will perform the Violin Concerto with Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s upcoming classics concert
  • Lara St. John performed the Violin Concerto with the Waukesha Symphony in January
  • Covent Garden revived Korngold's opera Die tote Stadt in January
  • Philippe Quint released a recording of the Violin Concerto on Naxos Records.

Erich Korngold was born in Austria-Hungary and is typically remembered for his film scores, Captian Blood (1935), The Prince And The Pauper (1937), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and The Sea Wolf (1941), to name a few. However, prior to moving to Hollywood, Korngold had success in Europe with his opera Die tote Stadt (1920).

His Violin Concerto (1945) is considered by many to be one of the best examples of a 20th century violin concerto. The music is lush and romantic and yet, challenging and thoughtful. While the reviews of the premiere in 1947 by Jascha Heifetz label Korngold "a Hollywood composer" in an attempt to be derogatory, he was not only integral in creating the sweeping Hollywood sound of the 30's & 40's, but wrote a vast number of classical works as well.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold died in 1957 thinking himself a forgotten composer. It's nice to see his music is once again getting performed, recorded and enjoyed.


Anonymous said…
I just wanted to make a correction. The Violin Concerto was performed by Lara St. John at the Waukesha Symphony Orchestra January performance. Jascha Heifetz is a virtuoso from the mid 1900s.
Chip Michael said…
thanks for that... sorry for the mistake.

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