Monday, 5 April 2010

Korngold improvises Wagner

For a change Erich Korngold didn't write the music for the film Magic Fire, a biopic of Richard Wagner. But he adapted Wagner's music for the film, and played it on piano. Because he really knew how to conduct he could coach the star, and act the part of Hans Richter. The CD is a compilation of different bits of Wagner adapted for the film by Korngold, no dialogue, no actors. Korngold plays five pieces himself, transcribed freely for piano. For example a bit where "Wagner" plays Der fliegende Holländer to Meyerbeer, and then a bit of Tristan und Isolde. It's so lush, I want to see it in full technicolor. Imagine, Peter Cushing as Otto Wesendonck. 

One of the things I like about Erich as opposed to his father, Julius, was that he didn't seem to take himself too seriously. Here he is playing around with his masterpiece
Pierrots Lied from Die tote Stadt

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