Symphony in F-sharp major (1952)
Erich Korngold’s (1897-1957) Symphony in F-sharp minor was his attempt to reinvent himself as a serious composer after WWII. The attempt failed: Dimitri Mitropoulos was to conduct the premiere, but died, and the work waited until 1972, long after Korngold’s own death, for its premiere. Korngold had certainly found a new voice. The work is of epic proportions and completely tonal, with a wonderfully muscular first movement of jagged syncopations. Only in the Scherzo do we hear an echo of the Warner Bros “swashbuckling” idiom. The Adagio is very dark – in the Bruckner/Mahler tradition. The final movement is the only slightly weak link, with rather playful references to the popular US WWI song Over There. Still, this symphony is infinitely superior to s ome of Shostakovich’s rambling efforts. GK Essential recording
Symphony; Much Ado About Nothing Suite
London Symphony/André Previn
Deutsche Grammophon 453436
All the available recordings of this symphony have their merits, but this lush 1997 disc wins first prize.
What are your thoughts on this article? Have your say and leave your comments below.
Please read our guidelines on commenting
. Offending posts will
be removed and your access may be suspended. Abusive or obscene language will not be tolerated. The comments below do not necessarily
reflect the views or opinions of Limelight or its employees.