One part korn, ten parts gold = fabulous music!
WFCR's classical music for Tuesday will feature birthday tributes to the concoctor of some of the most luscious sounds ever to emerge from stage or screen. Born in 1897 in the city the Austrians called Brünn (better known as the Moravian capitol of Brno), Erich Wolfgang Korngold was a musical prodigy of Mozart & Mendelssohn proportions. Proclaimed a genius at age six by no less than Gustav Mahler, Korngold became the toast of Vienna in the teens for his ballet, chamber and symphonic music, and made his first mark on the world of opera in 1916 with the double bill of Der Ring des Polykrates and the sumptuous Violanta. His greatest operatic triumph occurred four years later with the simultaneous premieres in Hamburg and Cologne of Die tote Stadt (The Dead City), a gorgeously decadent work whose melodramatic atmosphere seems in retrospect a pre-echo of Korngold's later career in Hollywood. For after a brief visit in 1934 to assist director Max Reinhardt in the famous film of A Midsummer Night's Dream , Korngold started to split his time between California and Vienna, until the Anschluss of 1938 made it necessary for a permanent relocation to the U.S. His arrival on the cinema scene helped usher in the "golden age" of movie music, and his scores for Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood and the Sea Hawk in particular, forever set the tone for Hollywood swashbucklers. While the flow of concert works slowed in his later years, it never completely stopped; one particularly ambitious work, the Symphony in F-sharp major, comes up at about 1:00 on Tuesday afternoon. Who was it who said his music was "more korn than gold?" Happy birthday, Erich Wolfgang!