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Erich Korngold (1897 - 1957)

4. The Road to Hollywood

Thursday 2 September 2004 12:00-13:00 (Radio 3)

Repeated: Thursday 9 September 2004 0:00-1:00 (Radio 3)

The aftermath of the first world war was a period of upheaval for Erich Korngold. Galloping inflation had resulted in his financial position becoming uncertain enough to result in being unable to afford to marry his sweetheart Luzi von Sonnenthal. Happily a solution to this unhappy situation came in the form of a lucrative contract to make arrangements of Johann Strauss's operettas. Further unhappiness loomed ahead. Korngold produced an opera Das Wunder der Heliane but the outspoken views of his father, a leading music critic in Vienna, created a poisonous climate in Vienna for the first performances of the work. Korngold was deeply demoralised by the experience and it had a profound effect on his composing. In 1937 Vienna was occupied by Hitler and Korngold and his family moved hastily to Hollywood where he worked as a film music composer.

With Donald Macleod.


1 hour


In meine innige nacht, op.18
Steven Kimbrough (baritone), Dalton Baldwin (piano)
Acanto 43 539  T11

Das wunder der Heliane (excerpt from Act 2)
Anna Tomowa Sintov (soprano), Hartmut Welker (bass), Nicolai Gedda (tenor), Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, John Mauceri (conductor)
Decca 436 636-2 CD2 Tracks 4, 5 and 6

Die Kathrin (excerpt from Act 2)
Lillian Watson (soprano), David Rendall (tenor), BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins (conductor)
CPO 999 602-2 CD2 Track 4

Captain Blood (excerpt from the film)
London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn (conductor)
DG 471 347-2 T18-22

Between Two Worlds (excerpt from the film)
National Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Gerhardt (conductor)
RCA GD 87890 T3

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