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KORNGOLD, E.W.: Piano Sonata No. 2 (Downes)

KORNGOLD, E.W.: Piano Sonata No. 2 (Downes)

The Classical Shop
release date: June 2013

Originally recorded in 2013


Lara Downes


Record Label




Total Time - 29:48
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KORNGOLD, E.W.: Piano Sonata No. 2 (Downes)

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Piano Sonata No. 2 in E major, Op. 2

1 I. Moderato 8:48
2 II. Scherzo: Allegro impetuoso - Trio 8:57
3 III. Largo: Con dolore 6:14
4 IV. Finale: Allegro vivace 5:49
 Lara Downes Soloist

This is a companion release to Steinway & Sons 30016, Exiles’ Café, which includes the first movement of Korngold’s second piano sonata. This album includes the complete recording of that Sonata.
This early work by Korngold embodies two worlds now long lost, both the floridly Romantic moment of the Viennese fin de siècle, and the intense Jewish intellectual life of Europe before World War II. Korngold was a boy of 13 when he wrote this Sonata, shocking in light of the emotional scope and power of the piece. He went on to tremendous early success throughout Europe and invitations from Hollywood, just then entering its golden age and in need of grand symphonic scores to its epic films. Korngold became a frequent contributor, winning his first Oscar in 1936, but his idyllic transcontinental lifestyle soon came to an abrupt end. Korngold was in Hollywood, negotiating a new contract with Warner Bros, when, in ’38, the Nazis occupied Austria, and suddenly there was no question of going home. Korngold accepted the studio’s offer, just in time to save himself and his family. Despite great success in Hollywood, Korngold always mourned the loss of his European career as a concert composer, and he died believing himself a forgotten man. Half a century later, he is far from forgotten - his concert works have been revived on concert stages around the world, and his film scores are credited as having created the sound of the modern cinema. Out of Korngold’s lost world came a larger-than-life world of drama and adventure that will endure forever on screen.

 "... Downes’ relaxed approach, in combination with a low price and good Steinway audio, make this one a worthwhile consideration."  

Byzantion - - 21 August 2013

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