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 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 1:35 AM   
 By:   Michaelware   (Member)

I have the Gerhardt lp and John Scott's Anthony Adverse. Can anyone let me know or recommend what newer recordings are as good- in other words have that surging power and understanding of depth of feeling and ability to keep all this balanced and huge sounding? haha. I have heard a few big name recordings that were like a barrage of notes played too slowly. Any help much appreciated thanks!

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 1:41 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

Actually, the John Scott recording is rather "bumpy".

Get the two albums by the late Varujan Kojian with The Utah Symphony on Varèse, "The Adventures of Robin Hood" and "The Sea Hawk". They are the best of their kind, playing and sound are superb. Unfortunately, they're direct transfers of early-80s recordings, so the running time of both CDs is very short indeed.

The Stromberg versions of both scores on Naxos aren't nearly as good, though they're still nice to have for the extra material.

Also, Rumon Gamba's "The Sea Hawk" and "The Sea Wolf" on Chandos are pretty spectacular. If you don't want more than one version of "The Sea Hawk", I'd go with the Kojian.

Avoid the André Previn album (The Sea Hawk, Captain Blood, Elizabeth and Essex) on DGG with the London Symphony. Considering Previn's credentials as a conductor AND former film composer it was a big disappointment.

There's also a wonderful Decca album with a suite from "Between Two Worlds", which also includes the charming "Symphonic Serenade", underr John Mauceri.

You say you got "the Gerhardt LP". Which one? If it's the one with the Sea Hawk suite, consider getting the wonderful "Kings Row" from the same series of recordings, too.





If you're going to tap into Korngold's concert music as well (which is in the same style, only more evolved), here are some recommendations:

Symphony in F-Sharp - Previn/LSO on DGG are very good, but the cheaply available Welser-Möst with The Philadelphia Orchestra on EMI is just as nice. Downes on Chandos is also good, but a wee bit too slow.

Violin Concerto - which includes some of his film themes. Tons of good recordings available, but I recommend Gil Shaham with André Previn and the LSO on DGG, which is superb and also includes a reference version of Samuel Barber's equally lovely Violin Concerto.

Die tote Stadt - Korngold's masterpiece, an opulent and dramatic two-hour opera. Go with Erich Leinsdorf's version on RCA. It's cheap, and it's still the best.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 6:37 AM   
 By:   Joe Caps   (Member)

I have to disagree with some opinions here.

The Stromberg sea Hawk is much better than the old Varese.

Why aren't we getting more of the actual warner trackis?
What is holding up the release of these things.

BTW the Mauceri recording of between two worlds is NOT just a suite from the film, but practically a rerecording of the entire score. The only faults a find with it is a feeling that Mauceri doesn't emotionally want to let go - particullarly in the final scenes.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 7:04 AM   
 By:   waxmanman35   (Member)

The Stromberg Korngold recordings are very well done. They've also released a complete recording of "Prince and the Pauper." While I feel the score is too repetitious to warrant a complete recording, any Korngold fan will want to have it.

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 7:06 AM   
 By:   Michaelware   (Member)

Thanks! For the Gerhardts
I have the Sea Hawk vinyl LP and the Kings Row Varese album. I also have the Violin Concerto with Heifetz (same disc as the Rozsa Violin Concerto)
I did hear the Kojian Sea Hawk and I liked it but it was missing something, that certain something.

Overall I guess I like the emotionally letting go part lol.
I will check out the stromberg and Gambas next!

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 7:39 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

The Stromberg sea Hawk is much better than the old Varese.

No, please, no. The ensemble playing on the Stromberg leaves a lot to be desired, and the sound is rather cavernous. The Kojian is brilliantly engineered and the playing (almost) immaculate. It was supervised by George Korngold, like the Gerhardt albums. The Naxos recordings were supervised by the lack of funds available. But, as I said, I bought them, too, anyway because of the extra material, which makes them worthwhile.

One should note that because people here are aware that John Morgan and William Stromberg have been visitors to this board, there is, well, an ever so slight tendency by users to gloss over possible flaws in their recordings, which of course is perfectly understandable. No doubt these two gentlemen have been doing a great job recording neglected film scores, and in the past few years (as evident in the "Tribute" releases), the quality has much improved.

Why aren't we getting more of the actual warner trackis?

What? wink

@michaelware: You can listen to excerpts from the two Gamba/Korngold discs here:

http://www.theclassicalshop.net/Details.aspx?CatalogueNumber=CHAN%2010438

http://www.theclassicalshop.net/Details.aspx?CatalogueNumber=CHAN%2010336

And now, let's compare to the Stromberg (The Sea Hawk) wink

http://www.amazon.com/Korngold-Sea-Hawk-The-Deception/dp/B000UKOXZI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372084994&sr=8-1&keywords=sea+hawk+stromberg

Personally, I find the differences in quality VERY obvious. Not to mention the hilarious wobble of the Russian singer in "Maria's Song" which later became part of Korngold's song-cycle Five Lieder, op.38 (a recording of this one is available by Anne Sofie von Otter on DGG, in German!).

But, again, there are no really poor recordings here.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 8:38 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

I'm a late-comer to the music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold but having now bought a few CDs I am enjoying a lot of this material.

Avoid the André Previn album (The Sea Hawk, Captain Blood, Elizabeth and Essex) on DGG with the London Symphony. Considering Previn's credentials as a conductor AND former film composer it was a big disappointment

I can't agree fully with this statement but do find that if I play, e.g. the excepts from The Sea Hawk by Messrs. Gerhardt and Previn, those of the latter are a notch or two down in the grab-hold-of-you-and-make-you-listen field. I think it's down to the CDs' volume levels ... we all know that some CDs do require some extra output.

and one advantage of the Previn recording is the lack of choral work ... this just does not work for me on the otherwise excellent Gerhardt recordings.

I like Richard Kaufman's recording of a suite from Captain Blood (Brandenburg Philharmonic on the Naxos label) but here, the Previn recordings are a clear winner.

My favourites are the two Gerhardt compilations (of themes), with the odd extra theme available on the collections of scores from the films of Errol Flynn and Bette Davis.

For the violin concerto, previously mentioned, I have a recording by Nicola Benedetti (Kirill Karabits and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra) which I can highly recommend. There are two other pieces from Korngold's opera Die tote Stadt (The Dead City) which are equally lovely ... The Silver Violin a 2012 album by Nicola Benedetti ... highly recommended!

Mitch.

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 8:46 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

and one advantage of the Previn recording is the lack of choral work ... this just does not work for me on the otherwise excellent Gerhardt recordings.

Sorry, but how could leaving out the choir (= the original version) and replace it with anonymous brass be considered an ADVANTAGE?

For the violin concerto, previously mentioned, I have a recording by Nicola Benedetti (Kirill Karabits and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra) which I can highly recommend. There are two other pieces from Korngold's opera Die tote Stadt (The Dead City) which are equally lovely ... The Silver Violin a 2012 album by Nicola Benedetti ... highly recommended!

I've got that album, too, (it's called "The Silver Violin") and Benedetti's version is very fine (as I said, there are tons of very good versions), and I've had the opportunity of listening to this young lady's "live" playing twice. BUT, again, replacing a voice, with lyrics, with an instrument in an operatic/vocal setting is a trivialization of the original. It can never be the preferred version.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 9:43 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

and one advantage of the Previn recording is the lack of choral work ... this just does not work for me on the otherwise excellent Gerhardt recordings.

Sorry, but how could leaving out the choir (= the original version) and replace it with anonymous brass be considered an ADVANTAGE?

For the violin concerto, previously mentioned, I have a recording by Nicola Benedetti (Kirill Karabits and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra) which I can highly recommend. There are two other pieces from Korngold's opera Die tote Stadt (The Dead City) which are equally lovely ... The Silver Violin a 2012 album by Nicola Benedetti ... highly recommended!

I've got that album, too, (it's called "The Silver Violin") and Benedetti's version is very fine (as I said, there are tons of very good versions), and I've had the opportunity of listening to this young lady's "live" playing twice. BUT, again, replacing a voice, with lyrics, with an instrument in an operatic/vocal setting is a trivialization of the original. It can never be the preferred version.


Thank you ... I'm so grateful. I'd never have known that I prefer the vocal version to the non-vocal version without your comment. I take it, therefore, that when a composer adapts his/her work for another use it can never create a better listening experience?

Not having heard the original opera, to which I referred, I can make no comment as to whether I prefer Ms. Benedetti's performance of these works (but, clearly, I won't) ... I simply stated that each piece is lovely. But then, it appears you did not read my post before responding (you will see that my text mentioned the name of Ms. Benedetti's album ...)

Mitch.

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 10:34 AM   
 By:   JohnnyG   (Member)






The Holy Trinity of Korngold re-recordings!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 10:40 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

His Sinfonietta is very good

http://www.amazon.com/Korngold-Berlin-Radio-Symphony-Orchestra/dp/B000003TEJ/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1372095565&sr=8-4&keywords=sinfonietta+korngold

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 2:21 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

The Kojian recordings are outstanding. Classics worthy of Gerhardt-level praise. The Sea Hawk is particularly fine.
The Stromberg versions don't compare, even though they include some welcome additional music. And the Stromberg Sea Hawk suffers from laughable Russian-accented vocals and an ugly-sounding solo singer. Better to have left out the vocals altogether than scar the recording with inappropriate voices such as those.
I think the Kojian recordings are two of the finest Korngold recordings available.

The worst performances of Korngold I've heard on CD are the lamentable Scott-conducted Varese "Anthony Adverse", with the bland Naxos "Another Dawn" with its weak brass playing almost as disappointing. A pity that Stromberg/Morgan can't re-record everything they did on Naxos with the magnificent quality they consistently achieve on their own Tribute label. The Naxos efforts are amongst my least played CDs. The superb Tribute's are all up there with the most played.

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 2:53 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Some disagree, but Carl Davis' re-recording of 'The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex' available from Bay Cities and then Varese Sarabande with the Munich SO is quite good.

The Varese Kojian albums already mentioned above are excellent. Before we attack Tribute's 'Sea Hawk' though, it's worth remembering that Korngold was from the concert world, and whatever we may think of the 'appropriateness' of the the Russian chorus and soloist from a cinematic/dramatic point of view, it's acceptable for choirs of all nationalities to routunely take on classical/oratorio material in their own particular ambience, so from the bigger perspective of the concert world, it's not so bad, and it's a great album overall. John Morgan admitted here somewhere himself that he personally spliced the Kojian stuff for Maria's song when he listens alone. There's so much great material missing from the Varese, which is the only drawback.

Just as an aside, the Gerhardt, Kojian, Stromberg and Gamba recordings are all sufficiently acoustically compatible that splicings, crossfades, slow overlaps etc., are easy for all the Robin Hood, Sea Hawk releases etc..

In terms of concert stuff, Deutsche Grammofon have some great albums.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 3:18 PM   
 By:   jonathan_little   (Member)

The worst performances of Korngold I've heard on CD are the lamentable Scott-conducted Varese "Anthony Adverse", with the bland Naxos "Another Dawn" with its weak brass playing almost as disappointing. A pity that Stromberg/Morgan can't re-record everything they did on Naxos with the magnificent quality they consistently achieve on their own Tribute label. The Naxos efforts are amongst my least played CDs. The superb Tribute's are all up there with the most played.

I take it you haven't heard the Carl Davis recording of Elizabeth and Essex? It makes the Anthony Adverse recording sound brilliant.

As for Stromberg/Morgan on Marco Polo or Naxos, I think the difficulty there is that the orchestra didn't start producing really good recordings until towards the end of the collaboration. Objective, Burma! (released in 2000) felt like the turning point. By the time the Stromberg/Morgan collaboration with Naxos ended and they started their own label, the orchestra was quite competent in performing film music and the recording engineers were laying down better tracks as well. Perhaps Tribute also afforded larger budgets for more rehearsal time which raised quality?

Another Dawn comes from a time when the Moscow Symphony Orchestra wasn't yet on the cusp of "getting it." The recording has some crazily wild parts given some of the tempos that Bill Stromberg fearlessly decided to blast ahead with. I find it an entertaining listen in the sense that they do sound like they're giving it their all even if the result is terribly unpolished. Still, it beats a sleepy recording from the London Symphony Orchestra any day of the week. (Looking at you, Previn Korngold album.)

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 4:51 PM   
 By:   Bill Finn   (Member)

I'm going to skip over the more obvious film scores for a moment and recommend a recording that is NOT on CD. It is instead on the DVD titled ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD: The Adventures Of A Wunderkind.

It includes a complete performance of the violin concerto by Leonidas Kavakos (violin) with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, conducted by Hugh Wolff.

You have the sound in Dolby digital and the video to boot. This is the BEST playing in the violin concerto I have ever head by a violinist. And I DO like the Shaham CD. Just not THIS much. When I hare Kavakos play it, I feel as if he owns this piece.

This DVD also includes a performance of the short Cello Concerto by Quirine Viersen (Cello) and the same orchestra and conductor. Although I am not as fond of this as I am of the violin concerto, I still enjoy hearing and watching it from time to time.

Wolff truly shines as conductor I think.

The DVD program itself is of course noteworthy, and any Korngold enthusiast should welcome it to their shelves.

This is an ARTHAUS production and I believe is still available from Amazon.com and other sellers.

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2013 - 10:39 PM   
 By:   Michaelware   (Member)

Cool stuff, very informative. Probably ordering the Gamba Sea Hawk.

I really like the John Scott Adverse. The audio quality doesn't bother me and not even the poor playing by the orchestra- it's the impulses behind the phrases and such, the command of the inner feelings and intentions that come from another artist's comprehension of life and soul. Compared to the originals of course it's not as fierce.

I guess what I keep wishing there to be is someone who can get enough money to make this amazing grand material come alive again with the full torrent of power and delicate sensitivity that weaves in and just blasts out. I always felt Korngold was too far away, based on the ancient tinny mono sound, so I never paid much attention, and then later I felt there was actually so much in there if we could hear it! Not just bits and pieces that are well done, but the whole of it with all the energy it needs. I wish there were still big huge full blown talented people in the world who know what it requires. Maybe there is. Perhaps far away is where I'll stop typing!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2013 - 6:17 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Die tote Stadt - Korngold's masterpiece, an opulent and dramatic two-hour opera. Go with Erich Leinsdorf's version on RCA. It's cheap, and it's still the best.

A case can be made that Korngold's later and more dramatic opera Das Wunder der Heliane (The Miracle of Heliane) is his true masterpiece. Certainly Korngold himself thought so. John Mauceri's recording in Decca's invaluable Entartete Musik series is a triumph. Now you can even see a production of the entire opera on YouTube. There's also a video of Renee Fleming singing its most famous aria.

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2013 - 8:04 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

For the real deal, look no further than the FSM release of "King's Row", backed with "The Sea Wolf". A 2-CD original soundtrack Korngold presentation for $24.95.

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/cds/detail.cfm/CDID/392/Kings-Row-The-Sea-Wolf/

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2013 - 9:26 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

There is always value in hearing an OST version, especially under the composer's own baton. But Korngold's orchestral textures are so far beyond the capacities of 1940s recording technology that I wonder if an archival recording the the best way to appreciate his music.

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2013 - 10:05 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

But Korngold's orchestral textures are so far beyond the capacities of 1940s recording technology that I wonder if an archival recording the the best way to appreciate his music.

Exactly.

 
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