Erich Wolfgang Korngold: The Piano Music
Piano Sonata No. 1 in D minor
Don Quixote - six character pieces after Cervantes
Piano Sonata No. 2 in E major, Op. 2
Märchenbilder (Fairytale Pictures), Op. 3
Four Waltzes For Piano (1911)
4 Little Caricatures for Children and Op. 19
Was Der Wald Erzählt (What The Woods Tell Me)
Das Wunder der Heliane, Op. 20: Intermezzo
Piano Trio in D major, Op. 1
Ring of Polykrates (selection)
arr. L. Ruffin
Much Ado About Nothing, Op. 11: suite for piano
Die Tote Stadt, Op. 12 - 'Schach Brugge!'
Tales of Strauss, Op. 21
Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 25
Schauspiel Overture, Op. 4
Die Tote Stadt, Op. 12 - Große Fantasie
From precocious child through to acclaimed Hollywood film composer, Korngold's career never ran quite true to form. Although hailed as a true child prodigy by Strauss and Mahler, his true promise as a composer of varied and substantial works was never quite fulfilled. However, from his earliest works, Korngold wrote highly personal and astoundingly virtuosic music for the piano. Here the piano works are collected together for the first time, including a number of world premiere recordings.
“A hearty three cheers to this complete Korngold cycle from the indefatigable and inexplicably underrated Martin Jones. The first two discs have those extraordinary works composed between 1908 and 1910 that put the infant Korngold into the Mozart-Mendelssohn prodigy class – the first two piano sonatas, DonQuixote, the ballet-pantomime Der Schneemann, Was der Wald erzählt, and seven Märchenbilder.
The final 'Epilog' contains one of his most beautiful melodies, and here Jones captures the Weltschmerz of the composer's own treasurable 1951 recording.
The Piano Trio in D major, completed just before Korngold's 13th birthday, is played in the previously unrecorded four-hand version. In this and the 1911 Schauspiel Overture (arranged by Korngold's friend Ferdinand Rebay), Jones is joined by Richard McMahon. Written in language of pre-nascent maturity that was to develop little over the composer's lifetime, these pieces constitute one of Western music's more noteworthy miracles.
These four well-filled discs are completed by Rebay's substantial (18'31") Grand Fantasy on themes from Die tote Stadt, and Korngold's fantasy on Johann Strauss themes. Stylish, lovingly prepared, classily played and with an excellent 10- page booklet from Korngold's biographer Brendan G Carroll, this valuable addition to the catalogue cannot be praised too highly.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
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