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date: 12 April 2021

Korngold, Erich Wolfganglocked

  • Brendan G. Carroll

Extract

(b Brno, May 29, 1897; d Hollywood, CA, Nov 29, 1957). Austrian composer active in the USA. The second son of the eminent music critic Julius Korngold (1860–1945), he was a remarkable child prodigy composer. In 1906 he played his cantata Gold to Gustav Mahler, who pronounced him a genius and recommended that he be sent to Zemlinsky for tuition. At the age of 11 he composed the ballet Der Schneemann, a sensation when it was first performed at the Vienna Court Opera (1910); he followed this with a Piano Trio and a remarkable Piano Sonata in E that so impressed Artur Schnabel that he championed the work all over Europe. Richard Strauss remarked: ‘One’s first reaction that these compositions are by a child are those of awe and concern that so precocious a genius should follow its normal development …. This assurance of style, this mastery of form, this characteristic expressiveness, this bold harmony, are truly astonishing!’. Giacomo Puccini, Jean Sibelius, Bruno Walter, Arthur Nikisch, Engelbert Humperdinck, Karl Goldmark and many others were similarly impressed....

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Acta musicologica
Washington, DC, Library of Congress, Music Division
Komponisten der Gegenwart, ed. H.-W. Heister and W.-W. Sparrer