Saturday, July 10, 2010

Erich Wolfgang Korngold... A Gifted Musician

The other day I happened to look in on a movie titled "Devotion," a production centering around the lives of the four Brontes. As expected, the movie was richly fictionalized; you know, such as in "Amadeus," Salieri feverishly writing out the score of Mozart's Requiem before the composer expires etc.
However, I was struck by the music written for "Devotion," and found that Erich  Wolfgang Korngold had written the score.
I have always been impressed by the ways of Korngold's writing for the strings, with its Straussian qymnastics and creaminess, let alone vibrant Wagnerian chromaticism and an occasional loving stab at the monumental treatment of the Brahmsian style - in other words, not a great composer, but a superbly gifted craftsman with a great sense of melodic attachment.
Actually, the young Erich was considered a kind of Mozart in precocity, having had a ballet performed during his thirteenth year - and no less than Gustav Mahler suggested to Erich's father that he study with the fabled Zemlinsky, which the young boy did - yes, Erich  was a sensation during his young years.
Korngold exited Europe because of the coming Hitlerism, along with others such as Peter Lorre, Marlene Dietrich and Billy Wilder, to mention but a few of the considerable talents getting out of Europe before the deluge.
Korngold arrived in Hollywood and was recognized by the movie industry for his gifts. He wrote scores for many movies - personally, I think that his best score is the music for a movie based upon Henry Bellamann's "King's Row," which is wonderfully enriched by Korngold. Incidentally, one of the stars in "King's Row" was a reasonably capable actor by the name of Ronald Reagan, which may well be his best role. Reagan actually emerges as a powerful actor in his role as Drake.
At any rate, you can, if you try, get hold of either a DVD of " King's Row" or a collection of Korngold's music on CD.
In my view, Erich  Wolgang Korngold emerges as one of Hollywood's most gifted composers - let's see if you agree!



Blogger BrendanGCarroll said...

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June 20, 2013 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger BrendanGCarroll said...

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June 20, 2013 at 9:00 AM  

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