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Maestro for the Movies:

Erich Wolfgang


(1897 - 1957)

Korngold conducting the Warner Brothers orchestra at a soundtrack recording session

Like Frederick Delius, Erich Wolfgang Korngold was an "apostle of romance, emotion, and beauty in music."  But add to this a hearty dose of heroics!  He wrote exquisite scores for such classic films as THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, THE SEA HAWK, and KINGS ROW, and also left a sizeable body of works for the concert hall and stage. Korngold's influence can be heard in the music of today's film composers such as John Williams and Alexander Courage.
Charles Gerhardt's recordings of Korngold for RCA in the 1970's (produced by George Korngold, the composer's son) began a Korngold renaissance that continues today.  Varese Sarabande has released a number of new digital recordings, and Marco Polo has included him in its recent soundtrack series.  Now available - digitally restored - are original soundtrack recordings conducted by the composer himself. Rhino has released a 2 CD collection of "Korngold Conducts Korngold", and the German TSUNAMI label has released several complete original soundtrack CD's. The four-volume CD series of Korngold's orchestral works (conducted by Werner Andreas Albert on the CPO label) has been re-released as a combined set at a discount price.  More Korngold product is sure to follow - more to look forward to!
Thanks to Korngold biographer and scholar BRENDAN G. CARROLL for sharing so much information with me for this website!

Naxos CD release in February 2022 includes the WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING of Korngold's DER VAMPIR!
Plus: complete incidental music for MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Details and CD ordering information from Presto Music
MP3 download available from Amazon.com

Korngold's Academy Award Plaquette for his original score for THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938)
was offered for auction in 2020, but was withdrawn before the auction date.
Auction Listing
Photos of plaque:  Photo 1  
Photo 2   Photo 3   Photo 4   Photo 5   Photo 6   Photo 7   Photo 8   Photo 9   Photo 10

Per Brendan G. Carroll:  "It is of particular interest because this is the original award, not the replacement statuette requested by George Korngold in 1967, which is now owned by his sons. In 1938, Oscars for music, cinematography, art direction and costume design were considered 2nd tier and the recipients were given this 'plaquette' form rather than the familiar male figure statuette.   In the 1960s, following requests from various heirs, the Academy agreed to replace these plaquettes with full size statuettes.  The Academy claimed that the old original plaquette awards that were exchanged, were not kept by the Academy but destroyed at the time of exchange ....but thanks to this auction,this clearly was not the case."

An autographed copy of Korngold's score for THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD was offered for auction on ebay in 2020.
Photo 1    Photo 2     Photo 3    Photo 4    Photo 5    Photo 6    Photo 7

The annual Bard Music Festival at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York features a different composer each year.
Korngold was featured in the 2019 Festival,
which took place during July and August.  

Press Release
Bard Music Festival website
"Das Wunder Der Heliane"     Video of the Bard production of "Heliane"
Concert and Lecture Series
Film Series
Order the official festival book "KORNGOLD AND HIS WORLD" from Amazon


Brendan G. Carroll's history of Korngold's incidental music for
on the 100th anniversary of its composition


Brendan G. Carroll's Centenary History of Korngold's opera "DIE TOTE STADT"


Complete telecast of Korngold's one act opera "VIOLANTA" from Turin
(thanks to Brendan G. Carroll for the link)


Link to full video of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts' production of Shakespeare's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
with Korngold's incidental music, conducted by John Mauceri.  

All Korngold enthusiasts should read these  books about Korngold:
"THE LAST PRODIGY: A Biography of Erich Wolfgang Korngold" by Brendan Carroll (ISBN 1574670298)

The definitive biography, published in Korngold's centenary year of 1997.

"ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD" by Jessica Duchen (ISBN 714831557)
A beautifully produced book with many unusual pictures, printed on deluxe stock.

"THE COMPOSER IN HOLLYWOOD" by Christopher Palmer (ISBN 714529508 (paper) / 714528854 (cloth))

One of the nine chapters is devoted to Korngold and his film music.  Palmer also wrote "Delius: Portrait of a Cosmopolitan".

(A Scarecrow Press Film Score Guide by Ben Winters) (ISBN 0810858886)

Luzi Korngold's book:      Front      Inscription

"DOUBLE LIVES: FILM COMPOSERS IN THE CONCERT HALL" - Includes an essay on Korngold by Korngold biographer Brendan G. Carroll

"KORNGOLD AND HIS WORLD" - the official book of the 2019 Bard Festival includes a number of interesting essays about Korngold and his music.


"Erich Wolfgang Korngold: The Adventures of a Wunderkind"
(A Portrait and Concert)
Arthaus 100-363  (Released April 2003)

This is an INDISPENSIBLE purchase for all Korngold fans!    The "Portrait" is a fine documentary about Korngold, with interviews, film, archival recordings and several performances by Korngold himself.   A special word of thanks to the Korngold family for making available the home movies, photographs, and audio tapes in their archives.    The "Concert" includes complete performances of the Cello Concerto and Violin Concerto, along with excerpts from other works.    Since DVD's often go out of print rather quickly, act soon to acquire this essential DVD.

YouTube Video Link (58:50)

This is a BBC TV program which focuses on Korngold's score for the film "DECEPTION" and the Cello Concerto that figures in the film.    Rare film clips and home movies of Korngold are included.    There is also substantial material on Felix Slatkin, Eleanor Slatkin and the Hollywood String Quartet.   The Cello Concerto is performed by Frederick Zlotkin with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin.


Features of interest relating to Korngold:

More information and reviews of this DVD (Amazon)

Review of the new Marco Polo CD release from "Music From the Movies" site


"Classic Korngold" on Compact Discoveries (written and narrated by Fred Flaxman)

"The Best of Erich Wolfgang Korngold"
on Reel Music (WDAV)


"Between Two Worlds" - 100 minute documentary about Korngold for German TV (thanks to Brendan G. Carroll)

"Erich Wolfgang Korngold: A Retrospective" - 10 minute video overview of Korngold's life and work

Brendan Carroll's YouTube Channel has a lot of rare Korngold music!   Check it out - AND SUBSCRIBE!

Other Korngold videos:

Suite from "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (BBC Proms 2013)

Suite from "The Sea Hawk"

"Tomorrow" (Op. 33) (Bonnie Snell Schindler, mezzo-soprano)

"The Sea Hawk" (RCA LP of excerpts from Korngold film scores, conducted by Charles Gerhardt)

Symphonic Serenade:    Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4

"Much Ado About Nothing" Suite

Sinfonietta, Op. 5

"De Ring des Polycrates"


"Das Wunder Der Heliane":

"Die Kathrin":
"Die Todt Stadt":

Cello Concerto:

Violin Concerto in D major:

Symphony in F-sharp Major:

Die Stumme Serenade (1951 radio broadcast, conducted by Korngold)

Sinfonietta in B major (audio only)

"The Sea Hawk" - film score (Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Stromberg)

"Deception" - film score (Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Stromberg)

"The Adventures of Robin Hood" - complete digital recording of the 1938 film score

"Kings Row" - selections from the film score     Part One     Part Two

RODDERS YouTube channel includes many other Korngold concert wroks and film scores!

Renee Fleming sings Korngold on YouTube

"In Search of Korngold" - Presentation on Korngold by Paul Sommerfeld at the Library of Congress

From "Give Us This Night" (1935) (featuring Jan Kiepura and Gladys Swarthout):

From "Escape Me Never" (1946): Ballet Sequence

Korngold Song Album - YouTube Playlist


Korngold: A Selective Discography

Biography and Works List

An Early Interview with E. W. Korngold (from ETUDE Magazine, January 1937)

Quotations BY Korngold

Quotations ABOUT Korngold

The Korngold Collection at the Library of Congress         Finding Aid

"The False Myths and True Genius of Erich Wolfgang Korngold" - Virtual Exhibition by Dr. Michael Haas with audio files, photographs and fascinating information!

"Das Wunder Der Heliane" - information from Dr. Michael Haas about Korngold's opera and the productions over the years

International E.W. Korngold site

Erich W. Korngold Site - Fan site including reviews, interviews, discography, articles and much more. (BROKEN LINK)

bs magazine- Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Outstanding! Biography, works list, bibliography, links, and discography, including reviews of the outstanding Tsunami CD releases of the original soundtrack recordings conducted by Korngold

Claude Torres' Korngold site - Discography with many images: covers of videos, LPs and CDs, plus movie posters (BROKEN LINK)

Horacio's Korngold Blog

"FILM MUSIC ON THE WEB" SITE - Excellent British site with extensive information on film music

RADIO INTERVIEW WITH KORNGOLD (Oct. 1, 1954) - Korngold discusses his involvement in the film "MAGIC FIRE" (IN GERMAN)
    (Thanks to JIRI ORT for providing this recording)

       Part 1 of interview        Part 2 of interview       Transcript of the interview (in German)
Elizabeth's Erich Wolfgang Korngold Page - Great site featuring lots of sound clips!  (not updated since 2005)

1999 Stamp Program - Hollywood Composers (9/15/99) - U.S. Postal Service site

Radio podcasts featuring Korngold's music from "Composers Datebook" and other programs

Varese Sarabande Records - Issuer of many Korngold soundtrack CD's

Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Excellent 2 CD set of original soundtrack excerpts on Rhino

Screen Archives Entertainment - Good source for Korngold soundtrack CDs

TSUNAMI film soundtrack releases (Germany):

Farewell, Vienna!
- Ralph Wells' live theatrical production about Korngold

Great Performances: The Hollywood Sound - PBS television program about Hollywood composers

YOUTUBE LINKS FOR THIS FILM (currently offline):   Part 1      Part 2      Part 3     Part 4      Part 5
                                                                      Part 6      Part 7       Part 8      Part 9      Part 10






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Early magazine article about musical prodigies (including Korngold)


In the 1980's, Warner Brothers Music published several volumes of Korngold soundtrack music arranged for piano in their "Classic Film Scores" series. You may be able to find these in a sheet music store or through your local library's interlibrary loan program.
KORNGOLD: The Adventures of Robin Hood - Suite for Piano (PF0411)
KORNGOLD: The Sea Hawk/ Captain Blood - Suites for Piano (PF0415)
KORNGOLD: Kings Row - Suite for Piano  (PF0535)

"Deluxe Classic Film Scores for Piano" (PF0623) - This 120 page collection includes the following piano arrangements:
    Steiner: Gone With The Wind - Suite
    Tiomkin: Giant
    Korngold: The Adventures of Robin Hood - Suite
    Korngold: Captain Blood - Suite
    Korngold: Kings Row - Suite
    J. Williams: Superman - Suite

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