Korngold and His World

Korngold and His World

Daniel Goldmark and Kevin C. Karnes

Print publication date: 2020

ISBN: 9780691198293

Publisher: Princeton University Press


Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897–1957) was the last compositional prodigy to emerge from the Austro-German tradition of Mozart and Mendelssohn. He was lauded in his youth by everyone from Mahler to Puccini and his auspicious career in the early 1900s spanned chamber music, opera, and musical theater. Today, he is best known for his Hollywood film scores, composed between 1935 and 1947. From his prewar operas in Vienna to his pathbreaking contributions to American film, this book provides a substantial reassessment of Korngold's life and accomplishments. Korngold struggled to reconcile the musical language of his Viennese upbringing with American popular song and cinema, and was forced to adapt to a new life after wartime emigration to Hollywood. The book examines Korngold's operas and film scores, the critical reception of his music, and his place in the milieus of both the Old and New Worlds. It also features numerous historical documents—many previously unpublished and in first-ever English translations—including essays by the composer as well as memoirs by his wife, Luzi Korngold, and his father, the renowned music critic Julius Korngold.

Table of Contents



Recollections of Zemlinsky from My Years of Study

Erich Wolfgang Korngold, translated by Elisabeth Staak and David Brodbeck, introduced and Annotated by David Brodbeck

Notes for an Interview

Erich Wolfgang Korngold, translated by Elisabeth Staak, edited and Introduced by Kevin C. Karnes

A Farewell to Vienna

Luzi Korngold, translated by Elisabeth Staak, introduced by Kevin C. Karnes

Composing for the Pictures: An Interview

Introduced by Daniel Goldmark

“Give up your plans of coming home”: Letters of a Viennese Father to His Son

Julius Korngold, translated by Elisabeth Staak, introduced by Bryan Gilliam, edited and Annotated by Kevin C. Karnes

Some Experiences in Film Music

Erich Wolfgang Korngold, edited and Introduced by Daniel Goldmark

Faith in Music!

Erich Wolfgang Korngold, introduced by Kevin C. Karnes