Korngold / Schmidt: Music for Strings and Piano Left Hand
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Top Customer Reviews
Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) wrote three works for Wittgenstein: the present Suite, Op. 23, the youthful Piano Quintet, Op. 15 and the uncanny Piano Concerto, Op. 17. They are all quite good.
The Suite, Op. 23 is a brilliantly-conceived "amalgam" of five movements, held together by the centrally-located "Groteske," aptly-named. Not one movement flags, or fails to hold our interest. Korngold consistently touches or amuses or bedazzles. He has a naturally tuneful bent and a mischievous quirkiness that are memorable, indeed. His penchant for invention, as well, is truly admirable.
Franz Schmidt (1874-1939), in his Piano Quintet, is equally intriguing and melodious. Most noteworthy is the particularly gorgeous Adagio. Schmidt, on the surface, may appear to be the more "conventional" composer (afterall, he is Korngold's senior by twenty years), but appearances are deceiving; his music is just as forward-looking and memorably-cast as his youthful contemporary.
Kudos to the stellar ensemble involved--- and especially to pianist Fleisher, whose playing is exceptional. The sound picture is warm and intimate; every trill, every low cello note, every piano cascade is captured realistically intact.
These may be arcane compositions for most, but they are most certainly attractive and accessible.
[Running time: 75:10]
Greetings from Switzerland, David.
The great legend of the piano, Leon Fleisher recorded an absorbing and unusual recording with these admirable but still forgotten chamber works.
The greatness of Korngold as composer has been eclipsed by his contributions as composer of soundtracks. As you and me are well aware, this is a simple label, a mischievous prejudice that pretends minimize the merits of this talented composer.
Fortunately, Fleisher decided to undertake the risk and challenge critics and audience with this notable program.
Acquire as soon as possible this emblematic and original issue. You will be more than rewarded.
There must be a story to the present recordings as well, and I'd love to know it: both compositions were recorded in 1991 and 1993, but released by Sony only in 1998. Why? Anyway, let's welcome what we do get, rather than lament what we don't and might have.
Korngold's Suite op 23 is a superb composition, one of the best I've heard of this composer whose music I often find too late-romantically over-bloated and sentimentally lyrical.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Korngold was a significant composer whose music I do like.Published 4 months ago by Samuel D. Thomas
Both of these charming works were commissioned by and for Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm during World War I. Read morePublished on February 24, 2009 by Robert S. Costic
I bought this and another Korngold chamber music disc (at full price) when in New York recently. Needless to say this bargain priced disc is the clear winner! Why? Read morePublished on October 11, 2007 by Mr. DAVID Geer
A good registration for good music...If you like classical music, but not so classical and also not so modern, this is good for youPublished on March 22, 2007 by Angelo Coluccia