1 800 222 6872

Korngold: Much Ado About Nothing, Op. 11, complete incidental music / Univ. of NC School of the Arts Drama Soloists

Album Summary

>Korngold, Erich Wolfgang : Much Ado About Nothing, incidental music, Op. 11
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Korngold's music for Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado about Nothing, premiered in Vienna in 1920, enjoyed instant success and soon spread around the world. But the music has not been heard as Korngold intended since the 1st production. For this recording, made in conjunction with a staged US premiere, Korngold's complete score was reconstructed from the original Viennese materials and is played here by the chamber-orchestral forces for which it was written.

American Record Guide, September/October 2013
The cast reads its lines competently in a literate American accent. Mauceri's expert hands, balances are fine, with good playing.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Scoring Stage, School of Filmmaking, University of Nort (03/12/2012-03/23/2012).


A pleasant and somewhat obscure discovery
Erich Korngold is well known to many for his sweeping film scores, such as "The Sea Hawk" or "Anthony Adverse" and also for large, boldly written and operas, like "Die Todt Stadt" Korngold also wrote some lesser known, but very fine, concertos and symphonies. This complete incidental music to Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" is - perhaps - truly obscure Korngold, being his "opus 11" and having been written for a performance by the Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna when the composer was but twenty years old. Certainly, this very early masterwork presages the trademark ethereal orchestrations and somewhat exotic harmonic progressions that Korngold (of the Violin Concerto) became known for; especially the Prelude to Act III; the "Garden Music." A similar 'vision' of the Korngold to come is the Prelude to Act V; the "Funeral Music." On the whole, this is very interesting music but sounds like an early work. There are lovely moments and pearls of a sound that echoes Mahler meets Debussy. The composer's approach to orchestration and harmony would culminate in the opera "Das Wunder der Heliane" and the densely compelling "Symphony in F#". As music which accompanies a play, the tone and mood do vary predictably from the capricious to the majestic to the mysterious. I felt the very best music can be found in the moments of mystery. This recording, from a live performance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, under the direction of the great American opera conductor John Mauceri, is quite good; save for a few areas where balance is an issue. The recording includes snippets of dialogue to set up the mood in transition from scene to scene. While listening to the bits of Shakespeare that influenced the composer's score is helpful and interesting, I did actually prefer the five movement suite without dialogue at the end of this disc. I liken it to listening to the Mendelssohn music from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and thoroughly enjoying it without needing to have pieces of the play to 'set the stage' To be sure this is not Erich Korngold at his most powerful and refined and sonically this recording is not fully up to the possibilities. However, this is the first recording of the complete score, including a couple of section that were, apparently, never even published. I do recommend this disc especially if you are a Korngold fan and need something fairly esoteric to add to your collection; also for anyone who likes miscellaneous theatre scores This one is nearly an essential addition in either case.
Submitted on 06/03/13 by Dan Coombs 
Login or Create an Account to write a review

Also Purchased

Works Details

>Korngold, Erich Wolfgang : Much Ado About Nothing, incidental music, Op. 11
  • Conductor: John Mauceri
  • Ensemble: University of North Carolina Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Scoring Stage, School of Filmmaking, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem, (03/12/2012-03/23/2012)
  • Running Time: 54 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1918