'Films are fantasy', said Hollywood mogul Jack Warner, 'and fantasy needs music'. We follow two European emigres, born 10 years and 200 miles apart, on the epic journey to provide the soundtrack to Hollywood's Golden Age.
Donald Macleod hears from Hollywood film music historian Jon Burlingame and conductor John Mauceri, who share some first hand reminiscences of both composers.Both young composers enjoyed considerable acclaim in their own countries and across Europe. Korngold was a respected opera composer, while Rozsa was championed by conductors Karl Bohm and Charles Munch. However, between Schoenberg and Stravinsky, there wasn't much call (and certainly no money) for the lush scores of late Romanticism.
Korngold: Overture (Der Schauspiel)
Matthias Bamert (conductor)
Rozsa: Variations on a Hungarian Peasant Song, Op 4
Isabella Lipp (violin)
John Novacek (piano)
Korngold: Marietta's Lute Song (Die Tote Stadt)
Barbara Hendricks (soprano)
Franz Welser-Most (conductor)
Rozsa: Theme, Variations and Finale, Op 13a
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
James Sedares (conductor)
|02||Hooray For Hollywoodland||20071127|
The financial desolation of the late 1920s and 30s forced Rozsa to keep the wolf from the door by writing fanfares for Pathe newsreels, while Korngold turned to arrangements of Viennese operetta. Fateful diversions both, as they marked the beginning of an unlikely but rewarding journey to the bright lights of Beverly Hills.
|03||The Blockbusters And The Bombs||20071128|
Two Hollywood careers were born. A half-finished film sent Rozsa from London to Los Angeles, while Korngold saved his family from the gas chamber with the help of Robin Hood. Alfred Hitchcock, Errol Flynn and the theremin pop up along the way.
Korngold: No Father, No Mother, No Name; In the Forest (Anthony Adverse)
Charles Gerhardt (conductor)
Korngold: Soundtrack to Robin Hood (excerpts)
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
John Mauceri (conductor)
Korngold: Sursum Corda (excerpt)
Matthias Bamert (conductor)
Korngold: Robin's Escape from Nottingham Castle (Robin Hood)
Moscow Symphony Orchestra
William Stromberg (conductor)
Korngold: Soundtrack to The Sea Hawk (excerpts)
Utah Symphony Orchestra
Varujan Kojian (conductor)
Rozsa: Soundtrack to Spellbound (excerpts)
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Allan Wilson (conductor)
Korngold's Hollywood resume took a downward turn while Rozsa entered the most productive years of his Hollywood career, leading to the era of the epics Quo Vadis and Ben-Hur. And another emigre musician caught the eyes, and ears, of both composers: violinist Jascha Heifetz.
|05 LAST||Cameos And Cutaways||20071130|
On a visit to their homelands, Korngold and Rozsa questioned whether they had betrayed their heritage. This led both men to take stock of their careers and turn to a familiar musical idiom, the symphony.