How Korngold got left in the cold

They’s putting on Die tote Stadt in Holland at long last.

A richly documented post by Basia Jaworski traces the rise, fall and return of this major opera composer.

Read here.

 

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    • And the article itself says that the piece was performed in the Netherlands in 1929. Norman, do you read the stuff you post?

  • The blog post notes: “After 1938 ‘Die Tote Stadt’ was no longer played. Only at the end of 1970s it started a cautious comeback.”

    But, it was not for lack of trying. To give a really eye-opening example, a series of eight sold-out performances of Die Tote Stadt in Munich was greeted with unreserved critical derision despite lengthy standing ovations. It was not unlike how the ovations that greeted Heifetz’s premiere of the Violin Concerto only a few years earlier, in 1947, somehow turned into “more corn than gold” in newspaper the next morning.

    The reality was that audiences over the years evidently would have been quite happy to hear Korngold’s music. And, deep down, musicians (at least those who knew of Korngold’s quality) also probably wanted to perform Korngold. But who was strong enough to risk going against the tremendously strong critical and academic reserve which had long since embedded itself on the institutional level? It was a case of critics fighting against the zeitgeist. Inevitably, the zeitgeist won, but it took a while.

  • He was not left out in the cold there was not much to him- that he knew his craft is a given – the Viennese
    loved him as his music did not disturb their comfort zone.
    After hearing his music you are usually done with it .There
    is nothing major about him .He did not fulfill his early
    promise plain and simple.For some who like his work he
    is a cause that comes to the fore every so often .

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