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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Erich Wolfgang KorngoldYou really should know who ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD (1897-1957) is! Erich Wolfgang Korngold was one of the greatest composers of the 20th Century. He was known for his concert music and Operas while living in Vienna, Austria. In 1934 his friend theatrical director Max Reinhardt asked him to supervise the scoring of the film version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, expanding Mendelssohn's score for the stage production. He returned to Vienna to complete an opera, then came back to Hollywood in 1935. He became the first composer of international stature to sign a contract with a studio. Over the years he scored only 16 films, but his is among the best music ever written for film. He returned to Vienna after the war, but found himself out of place in the dreary postwar Austria, so he moved back to Hollywood to spend the rest of his years in virtual retirement.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) Poster

A fine place to start is by viewing: The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1938). Korngold was awarded an Oscar for the rousing score to this, the best swashbuckler film ever made. He approached scoring Robin Hood as though he were composing an opera. The results were immediately recognized as a classic.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

Kings Row (1942) Listen to the opening of this score and then listen to the theme to Star Wars. John Williams was inspired by the best.
The Prince And The Pauper (1937) Korngold later reused themes from this film and Another Dawn in his Violin Concerto In D.
Between Two Worlds (1944) This remake of Outward Bound was too glitzy and lost the sense of timelessness of the original, but Korngold's music is among his best. Just close your eyes and listen to the film.
The Sea Hawk (1940) As Flynn and his crew escape the Spanish and start back to England, Korngold provides a rousing chorus celebrating their return to freedom. Outstanding in every respect.

*Contributed by: "Eric Jamborsky" Date: Thurs, Jul 27 2006 / 10:46:44 PST

Academy Awards®
© A.M.P.A.S.®
1936 Won Best Score: ANTHONY ADVERSE — Score
1938 Won Best Achievement in Music - Original Score: THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD
1939 Nominated for Best Achievement in Music - Score: THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX
1940 Nominated for Best Achievement in Music - Score: THE SEA HAWK — Music


  • Hell, yee ha. Korngold rocks big-time - Edna has all his CDs and DVDs and even named her cat after him! Whatever you do, don't miss Die Tode Stadt - one of the top 3 operas of the 20th Century, imho. Rock me, Erich Wolfgang.

    By Blogger Edna Sweetlove, at Mon Aug 14, 10:35:00 AM PDT