Here's the cover.
Tempos and Variations
Conducting Korngoldâ€™s music is just plain fun. Not only did he write some of the most gorgeous and joyously rambunctious music ever created for the cinema, he also wrote some of the most demanding for orchestra and conductor. You simply cannot be a â€œtime-beaterâ€ when conducting his musicâ€”it is written in such a way that it must feel like one man performing at a piano with a natural musical ebb and flow . . . only it actually involves seventy to eighty orchestra players all playing together! It seems, at times, that every measure has a different tempo, and I believe this is what helps give Korngoldâ€™s music its distinctive sound, which is very tricky and requires plenty of rehearsal time. Luckily, Iâ€™ve had the opportunity to conduct a lot of Korngoldâ€™s music over the last twelve years, including a thirty-eight-minute suite from Pauper back in the mid-nineties for BMG, to allow me to become very familiar with his style and perfect some of his original idiosyncratic performance qualities.
As I began preparing my conductor scores for this new recording, I knew that I would try with all of my might to keep all the tempos up to those in the original film. I feel weâ€™ve come very close. Itâ€™s not often you get a second chance at a recording, so Iâ€™m pleased to be able to revisit this score and give it another shot.
One of my personal favorite cues is Riot, which is performed at almost inhuman, breakneck speed. The orchestra had a ball playing it even though we felt as though it could derail at any moment. Also, I just love the cue Flirt with its slight Viennese lilt featuring two solo violins and tenor saxophone.
Throughout this entire score Korngold utilizes his main themes to great effect, putting them through many variations. I hope one day to perform this music again, as well as other Korngold scores, live in concert to picture.
William Stromberg, March 2009