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Korngold 2nd symphony

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Korngold 2nd symphony

Postby fireatheart » Sun Oct 30, 2005 10:59 am

In a documentary on Korngold, it was mentionned that he died in the middle of writing sketches for his 2nd symphony, and the sequence was presumably illustrated with bits of said sketches. It sounded great!

Anybody know anything about those sketches? How many of them were composed and for what total duration? Any chances we'll hear them one day?
fireatheart
 

Postby fireatheart » Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:59 pm

For those interested, the incredible M. Carroll already answered this question in the other group of topics under "Wo ist Heim".
This is it:

"I regret the 2nd Symphony sketch will not be published at this time. It can be viewed in the Library of Congress, Washington."

Wait: how extensive is/are the sketch/es ? Ah! :lol:

M. Carroll? Sir? Master? :wink:
fireatheart
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2nd Symphony

Postby Brendan G Carroll » Mon Nov 07, 2005 1:53 pm

Fireheart,

The answers to most questions regarding Korngold may be found in my book THE LAST PRODIGY which took me 25 years to write. I do suggest you get a copy or borrow one. Your library is bound to have it.

In it you will find, not only a discussion of the unfinished Symphony, but even a reproduction of the 1st page! The sketches run to about 60 pages, for different movements and are very hard to read. It took Alex Frey and I a whole weekend to decipher 16 pages of the 1st mvt for the Barrie Gavin film.

BRENDAN G CARROLL
Brendan G Carroll
 

Postby fireatheart » Mon Nov 07, 2005 6:10 pm

Mr Incredible,


In your reply you are playing on :cry: one of my greatest frustrations: your booooook (bwaaahaaaa!!!)!

1° No, the local library doesn't have it (I mean, I don't think... am pretty sure... will check tomorrow! that they don't). I live in a french speaking town, and the english section to the library is small. Me pretty certain they DON'T have it. Still, will confirm.

2° I once ordered it through Amazon (who confirmed they had it) only to be ultimately replied: "Sorry, we actually don't have it."

3° Guys on Ebay are selling it at 250 $ +, which is, hum, slightly more than I wish to pay. That is another cruel blow on my passion for Korngold. I now know it is worth almost 250 $... but not quite. My guess is... hmmm, 80 $? Got any copies for 80 $? (I feel so cheap)

I would love to hear those sketches.

What's your impression on them: piece of unfinished crap from a washed-out genious, or almost finished masterpiece the world is bound to discover?
fireatheart
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Location: Geneva Switzerland

Postby Brendan G Carroll » Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:49 am

I do regret copies of my book are hard to find and even more that they are priced so high. A recent copy did sell in the USA for about 100 euros. It depends on the dealer.

However, many libraries DO hold this book & it should be possible to borrow it through the inter-library loan scheme. Ask at your library.

Good luck!

As for the 2nd symphony, it is totally fascinating and shows Korngold was moving into new areas. Not a spent force AT ALL!
Brendan G Carroll
 

Korngolg 2nd Symphony

Postby fireatheart » Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:00 pm

I was mostly jesting when I implied the 2nd Symphony might have been "a piece of unfinished crap". I would never dare... :wink:

"Mostly", because I guess I was reminded of Hergé's unfinished comic book of "Tintin": "L'Alph-art". Of the traditional 62 pages for a finished album, only 41 and a half were sketched, most of them very loosely.

These were published as they were years after his death, and I must say: ultimately, they made for a very poor and unexciting read. The album was unfinished in more ways than expected.

Hopefully, Korngold's sketches will be performed and recorded some day, or (perhaps better) some talented composer will finish the Symphony from Korngold's material!

Hey, that worked pretty well for another Wolfgang!
fireatheart
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Korngold's 2nd Symphony

Postby Brendan G Carroll » Sat Nov 12, 2005 12:28 am

Dear Fireheart

I regret that it would not be feasible for someone (no matter how talented) to try & finish Korngold's 2nd symphony, mainly because he left only a 3 stave piano sketch with NO indication of instrumentation. Moreover, often the harmony is not "filled in" because he used a kind of musical shorthand of his own invention to which, sadly, he left no key. It was for this reason that only 16 pages were performable on piano for the documentary (and then, only with considerable difficulty).

To add to the problems, often EWK gave no indication of key signature which wasn't an issue for him as he always remembered what he intended - but for lesser mortals coming to this material 50 years later, ........very tricky!

So, I regret that anyone attempting to finish this could only produce a pastiche at best, not something that would serve Korngold at all. Mozart at least scored most of his Requiem and the completion, poor though it is, adopts the instrumentation already established by the Master. In the case of Mahler's 10th (the most famous & successful completion in music history) Deryck Cooke had a much more completed sketch with indications of instrumentation, plus an almost complete Adagio.

In fact Korngold did not finish any of the movements of his 2nd Symphony, or if he did, he had not written them down at the time of his death.

At best then, we can only hope for a possible piano recording of the 16 completed pages, a project I may bring about in the near future.
Brendan G Carroll
 

Re: Korngold's 2nd Symphony

Postby An Anonymous Musician » Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:52 am

Brendan G Carroll wrote:Dear Fireheart

I regret that it would not be feasible for someone (no matter how talented) to try & finish Korngold's 2nd symphony, mainly because he left only a 3 stave piano sketch with NO indication of instrumentation. Moreover, often the harmony is not "filled in" because he used a kind of musical shorthand of his own invention to which, sadly, he left no key. It was for this reason that only 16 pages were performable on piano for the documentary (and then, only with considerable difficulty).

In as far as Korngold's shorthand is concerned, there certainly must be other sketches of completed works extant that we can compare to their finished products to decipher their code, right? Unless his shorthand was very unmethodical and capricious or was excised from his other sketches as he refined them, I should think that its legend could possibly be found with enough effort using the procedure I described.
An Anonymous Musician
 

sketches

Postby Brendan G CARROLL » Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:12 pm

I regret that this is not the case. The sketches for his other works are quite different to that for his 2nd Symphony in that they are perhaps better described as working drafts. I suspect that EWK destroyed the actual sketches for his pieces because they were of no use to him. Nothing resembling the 2nd symphony sketch exists in his estate. The only exception is what I would describe as his thematic notebooks. These melodic Skizzen are often written as pure single line melodies with the occasional chord indicated.

But who am I to comment on this?

Perhaps there are more knowledgeable individuals [anonymous or otherwise!!] who regularly visit these message boards ~ and who can actually decipher these Mss FAR better than I, and if so, please visit the Library of Congress without delay and enlighten us all. I for one, after 3 decades of studying this fragile material, would be most grateful.
Brendan G CARROLL
 


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