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CHAN 9631
    2 Ratings
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CHAN 9631

Korngold: Märchenbilder,

The Classical Shop
release date: May 1998

Originally recorded in 1997


BBC Philharmonic

Matthias Bamert


New Broadcasting House, Manchester


Ralph Couzens

Brian Pidgeon


Stephen Rinker

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 65:23
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Korngold: Schauspiel Ouverture/ Märchenbilder

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Schauspiel Overtüre, Op. 4

  (Overture to a Drama)  

Märchenbilder, Op. 3

  (Fairy Tale Princess)  
2 I Die verzauberte Prinzessin - 2:40
  (The Enchanted Princess)  
3 III Rübezahl - 2:28
  (The Ruler of the Spirits)  
4 IV Wichtelmännchen - 2:44
  (The Gnomes)  
5 V Ball beim Märchenkönig - 3:13
  (The Fairy King's Ball)  
6 VI Das tapfere Schneiderlein - 4:15
  9The Brave Little Tailor)  
7 VII Das Märchen spricht den Epilog 3:34
  (The Fairy Tale's Epilogue)  

from Der Schneemann (The Snowman)

8 Moderato - 4:02
9 Act I 19:19
  Peter Manning violin solo  

from Violanta, Op. 8

10 Prelude - 5:08
11 Carnival Music 4:22

This album features the premiere recording of the orchestral version of the Fairy Tale Pictures.

Korngold is famous, of course, for a string of brilliantly sucessful Hollywood fil scores whcih he wrote in the 1930s and 1940s, though he retired from motion pictures in 1947 and devoted himself to the compostion of concert music. He was already an accomplished composer before he left Vienna for Hollywood. He was a child prdigy, composing some brilliantly assured orchestral works whilst barely a teenager, such as the Sinfonietta, composed at the age of just fourteen. Perhaps that is not so surprising for this composer, for the ballet-pantomime Der Schneemann (The Snowman), of which the first act recorded here, was composed at the age of eleven! The Emperor Franz Josef got to hear of a charity  peformance of the work, and as a result, it was fully stage at the Vienna Court Opera House in October 1910. It was revised in 1913, caused a sensation, and led to Korngold’s international career. it is a charming work, full of the characteristics which marked composer’s later scores, a trait which sets him apart from many other child prodigies.

The Märchenbilder (Fairy Tale Pictures) also date from 1910. Originally composed as piano pieces they were orchestrated three years later. As the title suggests, these are highly attractive pieces which whcih received their first performance - amazingly - on 11 June 1997 with the BBC Philharmonic, before an invited audience. The Schauspiel Ouvertüre (Overture to a Drama) was Korngold’s first published orchestral work. Composed at the age of fourteen, this ambitiously dramatic work is full of imaginative touches, and shows that the composer’s dramatic flair was already fully developed. The two excerpts from Volanta, Korngold’s second opera, include the richly orchestrated and atmospheric Prelude, and the vibrant Carnival scene, both of which enjoyed popularity in the concert hall. The opera was first performed in Munich in March 1916.

"...Excellent sound and anotes complete a package that offers an invaluable overview of an extraordinary prodigy."

Koldys - American Record Guide - November/December 1998

"The works on this Chandos CD are endlessly inventive and fresh - astonishingly so when you consider Korngold’s age at the time!... matthias Bamert and the BBC Philharmonic clearly love this music, and Peter Manning’s violin solo in The Snowman music enhances the disc. Chandos’s sound is fully commensurate with their previous Korngold releases."

Bill Newman - Hi-Fi News - October 1998

"...The BBC Philharmonic under matthias Bamert give an altogether excellent account of these scores and are recorded with remarkable realism. This is music of some quality ..."

Classic FM - September 1998

                  Performance ****          Recording *****

"...the BBC Phil provide stunning performances of two orchestral excerpts from the opera, The Snowman ... is a sheer delight, while the Overture to a Drama is the ultimate in sumptuous orchestration. The Phil are on good form, with a recording from the premiere division."

Yorkshire Post - August 1998

"...Exemplary performances from Matthias Bamert and the BBC Philharmonic." ***

Barry Millington - The Times - 18 June 1998

J Monpays

M Batty