Questions about "THE LAST PRODIGY"

General questions regarding E.W.Korngold

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Questions about "THE LAST PRODIGY"

Post by fireatheart » Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:16 am

On June 10, I posted the text below. On discovering Mr. Carroll’s answer the next morning, I decided to delete the whole thing.
I was subsequently asked to restore it in full.


Joined: 30 Oct 2005
Posts: 17
Location: Geneva Switzerland Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:33 pm Post subject:
Questions about "The Last Prodigy"

Hmmm, I've been holding back for quite a bit!

I've finally managed to get my hands on a copy of "The Last Prodigy" (got
it from a composer, btw! Forgot to ask him for an autograph, damn!), and
I've started reading it, at a very slow pace, even though it's a fascinating
read (I just find it's not a very practical format for me: I move around
quite a bit and I get tired of carrying it around), so anyway, here goes,
in no particular order:

In note 13 of chapter seven, the honorable Brendan Carroll writes: "... copies
of the piano score ((of "Kaiserin Zita-Hymne")) are extremely scarce." Frankly,
I don't get that.
Let's say that, instead of being scarce, there is... only one copy left from
Korngold's era. It's comprised of... say, 50 pages on A3 size sheets (I'm
keeping it simple). You make 10 xerox copies of it, which will cost roughly
500 $, and voilà: no longer scarce! (...and who says you even need 10 copies
and that it's 50 pages long?)
What's the big deal?

And since I'm on the subject: aren't there copies of all Korngold scores
made, if not for commercial reasons, at the very least for security reasons,
because what if the place where unique (or "extremely scarce") copies are
kept burns or gets destroyed? That's it? Korngold music gone?
Come on, humans can't be THAT stupid! It's bad enough that films and original
tapes disappear, but sheet music?

About above mentionned "Kaiserin Zita-Hymne": cd recording of it? Any? Yes?
Yes? Yes? Not to mention a full orchestra version of it (for which " ...
partitur appears to be lost" B.G.C.) ? Previouly lost but now found? Soon
to be reconstructed/reorchestrated?

Also another basic question, not directly related to the book, but: how come
not all existing music is made available? (... or is it in fact ALL available
from Schott on request, as implied in BGC's post "Korngold's PUBLISHERS -
Where to Get His Music?")
I understand that producing a commercial CD costs money and not all music
productions are necessarily viable, but why are old movie soundtracks available
on vintage tapes not being released or sheet music not made available (...
if that is so) ? Is it because of the Korngold heirs or of Warner Bros (for
the soundtracks)?

I've got plenty more questions but will keep to that for now...

+ + + + + +

brendan g carroll
Regular visitor

Joined: 22 Jan 2006
Posts: 14
Location: England Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:53 pm Post subject:

As the author of THE LAST PRODIGY, I feel compelled to reply to your very
odd, pedantic and frankly rather silly question.

To clarify, I referred to copies of the ZITAHYMN being scarce because the
piano score was printed in a limited edition during WW1 (and available only
in Austria actually) for charity and was discontinued once Austria ceased
to be an Imperial power and deposed its monarchy. It was never reprinted
as a result. Of course xerox copies can be made of the piano score (and many
do exist) but that was not my point. I was referring to the original, printed
scores from 1917 with the lovely picture of the Empress on the cover, which
are highly prized (and priced!) collectors' items. The last one I saw for
sale went for about £300.

The orchestral partitur "appears" to be lost because until somebody tells
me for definite that the material was destroyed, I am hopeful it may one
day turn up. It was never printed, because it was only performed twice to
my knowledge, and from handwritten parts. Yes, it is THAT rare! Find the
resting place of the orchestra library of the Wiener Tonkuenstler Orchester
and you will find the material. I'm still looking....

No recording has been made of the piano version, and it is not possible to
reconstruct the orchestral score.

As for making rare film soundtrack recordings available, well that depends
on so many things. In Korngold's case, ask Ted Turner who owns all the rights.
Certainly Korngold's family isn't preventing them being issued. In other
cases, the materials are often no longer extant.

Frankly, I am surprised at how much has survived & is available. And more
appears every passing year.

Now Fireheart, instead of being so picky, why not ask some serious and valid
questions once you have finished my book...and make sure you read it carefully...
because most of the foregoing is obvious from my text.
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