Strictly for the Korngold curious

Strictly for the Korngold curious


norman lebrecht

May 16, 2011

How often do you hear a Korngold piece that is not the violin concerto?

Well, here’s a chance. You’ll have to fly to Glasgow for it but, hey – it’s Korngold, it’s Shakespeare, when will you get another chance?

Photo: The Adventures of Robin Hood” (a broadcast of Erich Korngold’s music for the film, with Basil Rathbone narrating the story)

Much Ado About Music

A night of theatrically inspired words and music featuring the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

and a semi-staged version of Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare’s irresistible comedy Much Ado About Nothing forms the centrepiece of an evening of theatre and music at Glasgow City Halls on Saturday 28 May. The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBC SSO) is joined a trio of leading actors [to be announced] and students from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in an abridged performance of Shakespeare’s play featuring incidental music by one of Hollywood’s most celebrated composers, Erich Korngold.

A story about reluctant lovers Benedick and Beatrice who are deceived by the malicious hands of Don John, Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comic plays and is directed for this performance by Jonathan Best. A pioneer in film composing, Erich Korngold is most famous as the composer of rapturously romantic film scores to swashbucklers Robin Hood, The Sea Hawk, and The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, and his scores have been recognized ever since as classics of their kind.

Berlioz’s operatic version of the play, Béatrice et Bénédict, famous for its rousing overture, opens the show and there’s a chance to hear orchestral extracts from Humperdinck’s rarely performed Königskinder (The King’s Children), a fairy-tale opera from the composer of Hansel and Gretel.

Box Office: 0141-353 8000


For further information, please contact:

Stephen Duffy, Marketing Communications Executive, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra


  • Laurence Glavin says:

    I almost always get any question about classical music or opera that comes up on the American TV quiz show “Jeopardy” right. But a few weeks ago, the “clue” was Korngold’s middle name (Answer in the form of a question…what is Wolfgang?) Had no idea. Now I know more about him.

  • Amy Asch says:

    Korngold (with Oscar Hammerstein II) also wrote portions of an opera based on Romeo and Juliet, which were rehearsed and performed by the characters in the 1936 film “Give Us This Night.” Romeo was played by Jan Kiepura and Juliet was Gladys Swarthout. The manuscripts are in the music division of the Library of Congress.