CRQ 449 KORNGOLD PLAYS AND CONDUCTS KORNGOLD ON MASTERSEAL VIENNA 1951

by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, composer, pianist, conductor

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1.
My last opera, 'Die Kathrin', was composed between 1932 and 1937 to lyrics by Ernst Decsey. The opening. scheduled by the Vienna State Opera for March, 1938, with Jarmila Novotna and Richard Tauber, was forbidden by Hitler. 'Die Kathrin' appeared first in Stockholm, on October 7, 1939, and on October 19, 1950, at the Vienna State Opera. My improvisation is based on the letter scene of the first act. Kathrin, as Swiss servant girl working n Southern France, writes a tearful farewell letter to her Soldier friend. E.W.K.
2.
It was the atmosphere of Bruges, 'dead city' in G. Rodenbach's novel "Bruges, la morte", which inspired my third opera, 'The Dead City', Op. 12. I worked on it from 1916 until 1920. when it was presented at the Operas of Hamburg, Cologne and Vienna. Maria Jeritza's unforgettable creation of the female lead was enthusiastically applauded at the Vienna Opera and the Metropolitan. Eighty theatres followed. We are in Bruges, at the end of the eighteenth century. Paul's wife. Marie, has died. Since her death, Paul has lived only in the past - he calls his home 'An Altar to the Past'. There are Marie's portrait and long locks of her blond hair. One day Paul meets a young dancer who impresses him as a living image of Marie. He invites her to his house, drapes his wife's scarf about her. Marietta takes Marie's lute and sings her song: 'Glueck, das mir verblieb ....' It was Marie's favourite - in a trance. Paul joins in. To him, for the duration of a short and feverish adventure, Marietta has become Marie....The improvisation is based on the main theme of the dead city, followed by a song in which Pierrot, member of Marietta's dance group, expresses his home-sickness for the Rhine. E. K. W.
3.
Hans Mueller's story for my first opera, 'Violanta' - which Bruno Walter introduced in Munich in 1916, and which was to become one of Maria Jeritza's most admired roles - is set against a background of fifteenth century Venice. Love, hatred and murder weave their threads when beautiful Violanta wants to revenge the suicide of her beloved sister who had been loved and deserted by Alfonso - only to fall himself a victim to the seducer. I have tried to recreate the passionate atmosphere in my improvisation.
4.
In 1910, I composed seven short piano pieces. They were published as Op. 3 under the title of 'Fairy tales' . For 'International Masterworks. Inc.' [i.e. Masterseal], I have recorded two: 'The Princess and the Pea' and 'Fairytale's Epilogue'. E.W.K.
5.
In 1910, I composed seven short piano pieces. They were published as Op. 3 under the title of 'Fairy tales' . For 'International Masterworks. Inc.' [i.e. Masterseal], I have recorded two: 'The Princess and the Pea' and 'Fairytale's Epilogue'. E.W.K.
6.
The Largo is a part of my sonata for Piano Op. 2 in C-minor. It was written in 1910 at the age of thirteen. Artur Schnabel, whose death we mourned in August, 1951, introduced the work to Berlin and Vienna audiences. E.W.K.
7.
I was eleven, when my teacher Alexander von Zemlinsky gave me a test: to compose a passacaglia based on a theme he had sketched. Gustav Mahler suggested that I incorporate it as finale into my first Sonata for Piano, in D-Minor. E.W.K.
8.
I wrote the incidental music to Shakespeare's play in 1919, as Op. 11. It was performed at Schoenbrunn Castle and the Burg Theatre In Vienna, later by more than one hundred symphony orchestras in Europe and in the United States. A special adaptation for violin and piano is in the repertory of Fritz Kreisler, Mischa Elman and Jascha Heifetz. Overture: A whirling comedy rhythm indicates the verbal duel between the hostile lovers, Beaatrice and Benedick. A lyrical second theme reveals their true feelings for each other. And the final percussion crescendo confirms with the twinkle of an eye: Much ado about nothing .... E.W.K.
9.
I wrote the incidental music to Shakespeare's play in 1919, as Op. 11. It was performed at Schoenbrunn Castle and the Burg Theatre In Vienna, later by more than one hundred symphony orchestras in Europe and in the United States. A special adaptation for violin and piano is in the repertory of Fritz Kreisler, Mischa Elman and Jascha Heifetz. Bridal Morning: On the morning of her wedding day, young Hero is torn between her sentiments. While she adorns herself for the wedding, she must endure vulgar jokes. Full of sinister forebodings in her heart .... E.W.K.
10.
I wrote the incidental music to Shakespeare's play in 1919, as Op. 11. It was performed at Schoenbrunn Castle and the Burg Theatre In Vienna, later by more than one hundred symphony orchestras in Europe and in the United States. A special adaptation for violin and piano is in the repertory of Fritz Kreisler, Mischa Elman and Jascha Heifetz. Dogberry and Verges: March of the night guards. A grotesque jagged march rhythm, vacillating in drunkkenness, portrays the two "foolish officers" and their state of mind. E.W.K.
11.
I wrote the incidental music to Shakespeare's play in 1919, as Op. 11. It was performed at Schoenbrunn Castle and the Burg Theatre In Vienna, later by more than one hundred symphony orchestras in Europe and in the United States. A special adaptation for violin and piano is in the repertory of Fritz Kreisler, Mischa Elman and Jascha Heifetz. Intermezzo: A romantic and nostalgic cello melody. Beatrice has become conscious of her love for young lord Benedick .... E..W.K.
12.
I wrote the incidental music to Shakespeare's play in 1919, as Op. 11. It was performed at Schoenbrunn Castle and the Burg Theatre In Vienna, later by more than one hundred symphony orchestras in Europe and in the United States. A special adaptation for violin and piano is in the repertory of Fritz Kreisler, Mischa Elman and Jascha Heifetz. Masquerade (Hornpipe): A gay and boisterous general dance leads to the final curtain. E.W.K.
13.
It was the atmosphere of Bruges, 'dead city' in G. Rodenbach's novel 'Bruges, la morte', which inspired my third opera, 'The Dead City' [Die Tote Stadt] Op. 12. I worked on it from 1916 until 1920. when it was presented at the Operas of Hamburg, Cologne and Vienna. Maria Jeritza's unforgettable creation of the female lead was enthusiastically applauded at the Vienna Opera and the Metropolitan. Eighty theatres followed. We are in Bruges, at the end of the eighteenth century. Paul's wife. Marie, has died. Since her death, Paul has lived only in the past - he calls his home 'An Altar to the Past'. There are Marie's portrait and long locks of her blond hair. One day Paul meets a young dancer who impresses him as a living image of Marie. He invites her to his house, drapes his wife's scarf about her. Marietta takes Marie's lute and sings her song: 'Glueck, das mir verblieb...' It was Marie's favourite - in a trance. Paul joins in. To him, for the duration of a short and feverish adventure, Marietta has become Marie....E.W.K.

about

Korngold plays and conducts Korngold on Masterseal Vienna 1951
Track 1: Improvisations on the opera Die Kathrin - E. W. Korngold, piano
Track 2: Improvisation on the opera Die Tote Stadt - E. W. Korngold, piano
Track 3: Improvisation on the opera Violanta - E. W. Korngold, piano
Track 4: From Fairytales, Op. 3: I; The Princess and the Pea - E. W. Korngold, piano
Track 5: From Fairytales, Op. 3: II: Fairy Tale's Epilogue - E. W. Korngold, piano
Track 6: Largo from the Piano Sonata Op. 2 in C minor - E. W. Korngold, piano
Track 7: Passacaglia from the Piano Sonata Op. 1 in D minor - E. W. Korngold, piano
Track 8: Overture: Much Ado Abut Nothing, Suite - E. W. Korngold, conductor
Track 9: Much Ado About Nothing: Suite: Bridal Morning - E. W. Korngold, conductor
Track 10: Much Ado About Nothing: Suite: Dogberry and Verges - E. W. Korngold, conductor
Track 11: Much Ado About Nothing: Suite: intermezzo - E. W. Korngold, conductor
Track 12: Much Ado About Nothing: Masquerade (Hornpipe) - E. W. Korngold, conductor
Track 13: Die Tote Stadt: Act 1: Duet - Hilde Zadek, soprano, Anton Dermota, tenor, Wilhelm Loibner, conductor

credits

released February 23, 2021

In 1952 the American record label Masterseal, initially a high-end subsidiary of Don Gabor's Remington label, published a long playing record of Erich Wolfgang Korngold playing a selection of his compositions on the piano and conducting the Austria State Symphony Orchestra (possibly either the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra or the Vienna Tonkunstler Orchestra) in the Suite from his incidental music to Shakeseare's play 'Much Ado About Nothing. These recording sessions probably took place in 1951 and were arranged by Dr. Marcel Prawy (1911-2003) who had close links with Gabor, and was a major figure in Austrian musical life throughout his career. The original LP contained notes on each selection by the composer and these are included here on the relevant tracks, which have been rearranged to bring together all the piano pieces and orchestral pieces in consecutive order. The original LP also contained a recording of the duet from Die Tote Stadt sung by Hilde Zadek, soprano, and Anton Dermota, tenor, with the Austria State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Wilhelm Loibner, which is also included here as an appendix. The original Masterseal LP was reissued as a Varese Sarabande LP in the early 1980s. Further information about Marcel Prawy and the Masterseal label may be found at:
www.soundfountain.org/rem/remprawy.html

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