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Richard Dyer
The Boston Globe, February 2002

"Early in the last century the young Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) was acclaimed in his native Vienna as the greatest musical genius since Mozart. His opera 'Die tote Stadt,' composed when he was 23, went around the world. He fled from Hitler's Europe to America and wound up in Hollywood, where he won acclaim as the greatest of all composers for the movies. His success in Hollywood did not enhance his status as a concert and opera composer, although in recent years there has been a renewal of interest in his 'serious' music. There has probably never been a time when excerpts from Korngold's film scores have not been available, and Naxos has done a wonderful job of recording many of them complete."



bs magazine

Although it may be surprising, there are still enough hidden treasures in the not excesively long catalogue of Korngold's film music; some of them for sheer oblivion, some other for its difficulty to be found. We already mention on our review of the Rhino double CD The Warner Bros Years, the fact of the allegedly disappearance of Another Dawn (1937) original masters, what maked it the only unavailable title of the Korngold/Warner relationship. This gap is now covered thanks to the efforts of arranger and composer John W. Morgan, in a new demonstration of patience and love for a music; submitted to the avatars of fate, this forgotten score for the forgotten William Dieterle film includes, curiously, one of the more well-known themes of his author, the one he used later on the beginning of his famous Violin Concerto, op.35. Korngold's usual symphonic and thematic unfolding, still on his first steps inside the movie business, with some so personal musical gestures which more than mahlerian are unmistakable viennese, finds a nice complement on the programmatic ballet composed for Escape Me Never (1947), the last of his collaborations with the Warners which saw the public light -although, really, it was composed before Deception (1946)-, a colourful work yet to be uncovered on its whole, which after its naive and scarcely original plot includes the only popular song composed by Korngold (Love for Love), as well this terrific musical fantasy, nicely rounded by Morgan because on the film it was abruptly interrupted. As a counterpoint, and without losing value his work, once again there is the lack of a bit of passion on Stromberg's batton, as it happens on The Prince and the Pauper, but this is one of those cases on which the importance of the music is far above the rest.





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