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Korngold, Erich Wolfgang
korngold

Korngold, Erich Wolfgang (1897-1957)

Most are unaware that the Austrian turned American citizen Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) is in fact the creator of what is known today as Hollywood film music. A close examination of scores written before and after his passage at Warner Brothers is very revealing. His quick departure from Austria at the time of the Anschluss (1938) brought him to California where he had already worked for the film studios. His great successes led him to settle there but did not stop him from writting so-called serious music. The film music experience actually helped Korngold to better structure his works, to define more clearly his musical ideas and to develop them more concisely.

Quartet n° 3 (1945)

Written in 1945, his third quartet borrows from some of his most beautiful film music melodies. Dedicated to the great conductor Bruno Walter, the work is at times very tonal and at times very chromatic, especially in the first movement. The Scherzo is a chase between the two violins leading to the very suave and beautiful melody of the Trio taken from the score of "Between Two Worlds". The more complex third movement, begins with a folk tune and develops chromatically in the middle section. The very Beethoven-like final Allegro brings this rarely played quartet to a brilliant close. -

Olga Ranzenhofer and Jean Portugais

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