Two CDs published by Naxos and produced by Deutschlandfunk Kultur convince in every tone of the quality of the highly virtuoso works, which in the period from 1909 to 1931 hardly show any developments, but always show new facets of a highly personal tonal language. Because the young Korngold was a thoroughbred musician from the start. The melodies flowed to him improvisationally, and the joy of harmonic experiment unfolded. One would hardly want to speak of a youthful work in the piano trio op. 1 of the twelve-year-old when it approaches its own tone so masterfully.
The string sextet, created five years later, enchants with its filigree mobility supported by contrapuntal refinement.
This music is full life
The orchestral work – a commission for the one-armed pianist Paul Wittgenstein – is a disguised piano concerto, horribly difficult and full of highly dramatic climaxes. Like the suite, the piano quintet op. 15 was created in the aftermath of the operas “Das Wunder der Heliane” and “Die tote Stadt”. It is just as captivating with its cheerful gesture as the formal dodges of an owl mirror-like humor.
The project is a sign of the perseverance of the founder Frank Dodge and also stands for the solidarity of the Spectrum members. Continuing in lockdown is indispensable, especially for the Spectrum Concerts, which have had to struggle from concert to concert for over 30 years with minimal public funding.
The challenges are extreme, financial as well as psychological. “You always have to be prepared for everything, practice the pieces as if the concert were taking place, but also be ready to accept the cancellation 36 hours in advance,” says Dodge. Four out of five concerts last season did not take place, three were Internet replacements, with astonishing artistic gain. “It’s like missing the right path, but where you got there it’s nice too.”