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Topic: A "new" Composer Discovery

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  1. #1

    A "new" Composer Discovery

    Yesterday, NPR played some film music by a composer whose name I had admittedly and somewhat embarrassingly never heard (but whose music I DEFINITELY had heard before): Erich Wolfgang Korngold, a "Golden Era" (1930's-40's) composer whose screen work (The Sea Hawk, The Adventures of Robin Hood among many others) has inspired many of our top current film composers (John Williams in particular, according to NPR).

    I've heard some simply outstanding offerings in the Listening Forum by some of you aspiring film composers -- be sure to give a listen to some of Korngold's work (just one of several websites: http://www.korngold-society.org). It's awesome stuff!

  2. #2

    Re: A "new" Composer Discovery

    My favorite Korngold score has got to be Captain Blood. Although, I'm always amazed that at the climax of the big fight scene towards the end, the score switches from his original composition to Liszt's tone poem, Mazzepa.

    He probably fell victim to the vicious time restraints that the studios used to (and still do, to some extent) box the composers into. That's why many studios went to the "factory" idea of music composition. Many composers working under one Main composer, who got the credit. There we only a handful of film composers who refused to work under such condidtion. Korngold and Bernard Herrmann were among them.

    Oh well, fun with music history!! :-)

    Jonny
    For more information, check out www.jonathoncox.com/intro.html

    "The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music they should be taught to love it instead." - Igor Stravinsky

  3. #3

    Re: A "new" Composer Discovery

    and he is just famous. The outstanding music writer for movies..... oh boy, a bit late but that's better than.........

    Korngold.. write it down 1,000 times and you will never forget.

    Raymond

  4. #4

    Re: A "new" Composer Discovery

    Thanks for this, Danny

    My lady Kate and I very recently were ooohing and aaahing over Korngold's fantastic work in "The Sea Hawk," which is an outstanding adventure movie in Every way. It's one of those films which has you thinking of that cliche, "They don't make 'em like that anymore."

    The Golden Age of Hollywood was a haven for so many incredibly creative people. Bent through the lens of commercial demands, it's wonderful to see and hear that the best contributions from screenwriters, composers and scenic designers still shines through the glossy Hollywood products they cranked out.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  5. #5

    Re: A "new" Composer Discovery

    Korngold - stellar! The best. I vote for "The Sea Hawk."

    Also a little known opera by him, "Die tote Stadt (The Dead City)" an aria from which is featured in the movie "Aria." I think it's "Spirits of the Dead City." I never "got" opera until seeing this movie which features 10 arias interpreted by 10 directors from Roeg to Altman etc. Some good some bad, some funny, some transcendent.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

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  6. #6

    Re: A "new" Composer Discovery

    I've always had a special attachment to the Robin Hood music.

    Also, check out some of his non-Hollywood work. Korngold's Violin Concerto in D is really excellent.

  7. #7

    Re: A "new" Composer Discovery

    If I remember correctly, Korngold was, at 19, the youngest composer to have an opera premiered by the Vienna Opera.

    His film scores are great, but he wrote a lot of concert music as well. Wikipedia has a list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korngold
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  8. #8

    Re: A "new" Composer Discovery

    Quote Originally Posted by reberclark
    Korngold - stellar! The best. I vote for "The Sea Hawk."
    Robin Hood was great, but I would have to personally agree with reberclark on this one.
    What a score! "Row for the shores of Dover..."
    Unfortunately, no one writes heroic fanfares like that anymore.

  9. #9

    Re: A "new" Composer Discovery

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonny Lost
    My favorite Korngold score has got to be Captain Blood. Although, I'm always amazed that at the climax of the big fight scene towards the end, the score switches from his original composition to Liszt's tone poem, Mazzepa.

    He probably fell victim to the vicious time restraints that the studios used to (and still do, to some extent) box the composers into. That's why many studios went to the "factory" idea of music composition. Many composers working under one Main composer, who got the credit. There we only a handful of film composers who refused to work under such condidtion. Korngold and Bernard Herrmann were among them.
    Yep. In fact, Korngold asked that he not be credited as composer because of his use of Lizst's tone poem but as musical adapter, despite the fact that 95% of the score was his.

  10. #10

    Re: A "new" Composer Discovery

    Another Korngold fan here!

    I loved Sea Hawk and Captain Blood too, as well as his non-film work, but... the scene in Robin Hood, building up to the "coronation procession" of Prince John, that was some very skillfully constructed music. I loved that. Bringing in all sorts of themes used previously but totally adding to the suspense of the scene by framing them in a way that makes you feel you are hearing them for the first time. I loved that.

    Jerry
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