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Erich Wolfgang Korngold

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Musikalische Leitung: Petr Popelka
Alt: Gerhild Romberger 
Prager Symphoniker

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Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Lieder des Abschieds op. 14

Termine

vorherig nächster
So 29/05/2022
20.00
Gemeindehaus
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Programm

Rafael Kubelík
Sequences

Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Lieder des Abschieds op. 14

— Pause —

Vítězslav Novák
Pan op. 43

Erich Wolfgang Korngold was born in Brno in 1897 into a German-speaking Jewish family. As a child prodigy he was able to further his musical education in Vienna under the patronage of influential figures of the day – Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss and Alexander Zemlinsky. He gained recognition aged only eleven when a ballet he wrote was staged by the Vienna Court Opera. In the 1930s he began writing film music and became one of the most important composers in this field. He laid the foundations for the classic symphonic “Hollywood sound” and he was also the first composer to receive an Academy Award for his music. Korngold was in the United States working on the score for the film The Adventures of Robin Hood when the annexation of Austria began. His house in Vienna was confiscated by the Gestapo and the composer decided to remain in America. He, himself, apparently observed later on that the opportunity to write the music for Robin Hood had saved his life. In parallel with his film music he also wrote for the concert hall. His most noteworthy compositions include his Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto and his Symphony in F sharp. He died in Los Angeles in 1957.

Lieder des Abschieds Op. 14 (Four Songs of Farewell) takes us back to the time when the composer was twenty-three years old. He was enjoying great success in concert halls and opera houses. Nevertheless, the First World War had a profound impact on his sensitive psyche. The tenderness and sorrow of these songs also mirrored the composer’s private life and his love for Luzi von Sonnenthal, a young actress from a distinguished Viennese family of actors; while both sets of parents disapproved of their relationship, Luzi and Korngold were eventually married. In the 1920s new trends were prevailing in musical composition: Schönberg’s rationalism, New Objectivity, Futurism – in short, anti-Romanticism. Korngold’s songs, however, with their Mahleresque tone colour, melancholy and sweeping melodic arcs, still evoked the old, lost, pre-war realm of late Romanticism. In the first song, Sterbelied (Song of death), the composer creates a sense of nostalgia and isolation through his dissonant harmonies and anguished melodic lines. The text is the German translation of a poem by 19th century English poet Christina Rossetti. The second song Dies eine kann mein Sehnen nimmer fassen (The one thing my desire can never comprehend), written to a poem by Edith Ronsperger, is dark in texture and requires an operatic style from the singer. The two subsequent poems were commissioned by Korngold from the poet Ernst Lothar. Mond so gehst du wieder auf (Moon, once again you rise) is a richly textured prayer to the Moon, in which the composer creates a mood both mystical and profoundly sad. The final song Gefasster Abschied (Calm farewell) is based on an earlier composition by Korngold, Österreischischer Soldatenabschied (An Austrian soldier’s farewell). The cycle from 1921 was originally written for voice with piano accompaniment, but in 1924 he published an orchestrated version as well.


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