Thursday, November 01, 2007

Going all Austro-Hungarian

Brendan Carroll gave a fascinating evening at the Austrian Cultural Forum last night devoted to Korngold's film music. With meaty extracts from Max Reinhardt's A Midsummer Night's Dream (1934) as well as Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk et al, and some rare interview recordings from those who were there at the time, the packed audience was transported to another world. Here's one of the stories:

Max Steiner, composer of King Kong and Gone with the Wind, among others, was a friend of Korngold's in Hollywood. One day he remarked to Korngold, "You know, Erich, since you've been in Hollywood, your music has got worse and my music has got better. Why do you suppose that is?" Without missing a beat, Korngold replied: "That's easy, Max, it's because you've been stealing from me and I've been stealing from you!"

I reckon it's time for a palette-cleanser before the LPO Korngold events kick in with tomorrow's film music bonanza at the RFH. I'm currently proof-reading novel number next, Hungarian Dances. So here, with an appropriately Danubian breath of fresh air, is Andras Schiff (evidently filmed some years ago and relayed somewhere interesting in the Far East) playing Schubert's Hungarian Melody. Just listen to that tone...