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Korngold and His World$
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Daniel Goldmark and Kevin C. Karnes

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691198293

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691198293.001.0001

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Before and After Auschwitz: Korngold and the Art and Politics of the Twentieth Century

Before and After Auschwitz: Korngold and the Art and Politics of the Twentieth Century

(p.263) Before and After Auschwitz: Korngold and the Art and Politics of the Twentieth Century
Korngold and His World

Leon Botstein

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses Erich Korngold's changing status as a composer in the twentieth century. Since the early 1970s, spurred by popular modern recordings of Korngold's film music and the embrace of the Violin Concerto as a favored vehicle by a new generation of aspiring violinists, both Korngold's career as a composer and his output have gained in currency and respectability. Korngold's posthumous good fortune is the unanticipated consequence of the return to legitimacy, at the end of the twentieth century, of an aesthetic eclecticism regarding contemporary music. The belief in the exclusive legitimacy of an aesthetics of a radical modernism—justified by history, for the postwar world—has vanished. Minimalism, a new Romanticism, the integration with forms of popular music, and the blurring of genre distinctions all can be found in the music composed during the last forty years. These have turned Korngold from marginal figure into a prominent representative of the twentieth century, alongside other unjustly forgotten composers of a more “conservative” character.

Keywords:   twentieth century, modern recordings, contemporary music, modernity, radical modernism, composer, Erich Korngold

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