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The composers Franz Schreker (1878–1934) and Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897–1957) were prominent figures during their lifetime, at the pinnacle of their powers in the early 20th century, who were then largely forgotten after their deaths.

Naxos is pleased to contribute to the restoration of the profiles of these significant composers with two new releases, respectively of Schreker's engaging orchestral music, and Korngold's intensely dramatic opera Das Wunder der Heliane.

KORNGOLD, E.W.: Wunder der Heliane (Das) [Opera]
Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897–1957)
Das Wunder der Heliane
Libretto by Hans Müller

Annemarie Kremer, Soprano • Katerina Hebelková, Alto
Ian Storey, Nutthaporn Thammathi and György Hanczár, Tenors
Aris Argiris, Baritone • Frank van Hove, Bass
Choirs of the Theater Freiburg
Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg
Fabrice Bollon

Erich Wolfgang Korngold was at the height of his fame and technical mastery by the time he began work on his fourth opera in 1923. Prominent opera houses clamoured to stage his works, and the Viennese premiere of Das Wunder der Heliane (‘The Miracle of Heliane’) featured Lotte Lehmann among its star cast. Its story is one of the redemptive power of love over injustice and adversity, expressed in music that is richly impressionistic and intensely dramatic. Korngold was criticised for resisting the tide of modernist atonality in this opulent score, but its symbolism and compelling romantic atmosphere can be appreciated today more than ever.

Franz SCHREKER (1878–1934)
The Birthday of the Infanta – Suite
Prelude to a Drama • Romantic Suite

Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
JoAnn Falletta

Franz Schreker was a prominent figure in early 20th-century Austro-German music, his reputation as an opera composer rivalling that of Richard Strauss. The Prelude to a Drama is the concert overture of Schreker’s acclaimed opera Die Gezeichneten, a lurid drama involving murder and madness. Conceived as a theatrical pantomime, The Birthday of the Infanta adapts Oscar Wilde’s tragic tale of an ugly dwarf who dies of a broken heart, while the Romantic Suite fully explores the composer’s colourfully detailed and translucent orchestration and lyrical expressiveness.

About the Artists - Korngold's Das Wunder der Heliane
About the Artists - Schreker's orchestral works
JoAnn Falletta | © Cheryl Gorski
JoAnn Falletta serves as music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and Virginia Symphony and is the principal guest conductor of the Brevard Music Center of North Carolina. She has guest conducted over a hundred orchestras in North America, and many of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. She became the first female conductor to lead a major American ensemble upon her appointment as music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in 1999.
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra | © Molina Visuals
The Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (RundfunkSinfonieorchester Berlin) dates back to the beginnings of music broadcasting in 1923, since when it has developed into one of Berlin’s top orchestras. Previous chief conductors include Sergiu Celibidache, Rolf Kleinert, Heinz Rögner, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and Marek Janowski. Since its foundation, renowned composers such as Sergey Prokofiev, Richard Strauss and Igor Stravinsky have conducted the orchestra.
More recordings of works by Korngold and Schreker
Die Tote Stadt

Sunnegårdh • Dalayman • Bergström
Tobiasson • Wahlgren • Tomtberga School Children’s Choir • Royal Swedish Opera Chorus and Orchestra
“Full marks to Naxos for bringing out only the second recording of Korngold's best and best-known opera. Leif Segerstam has a fine feeling for the breadth and depth of Korngold's intricate orchestrations and the nervous, erotic tension of his personal form of expressionism.”
BBC Music Magazine
  Listen to an extract from
Act I:
Rosen - so ists recht!
Complete Songs
Sämtliche Lieder

Jarnot • Pieczonka • Mees
“This is a recording I don’t want to stop listening to.”
American Record Guide
  Listen to
“Quint’s fine series of recordings for Naxos continues with a glowing account of Korngold's glorious Violin Concerto. He negotiates the finale’s acrobatic hurdles with virtuoso aplomb and shapes the slow movement main melody with a loving sensitivity. Prieto and the Mineria Symphony provide sterling support.”
Classic FM
  Listen to an extract from
the Violin Concerto:
III. Finale: Allegro assai vivace

Theisen • Procter • Bollinger • Kruzel • Fues • Instrumental Ensemble and Chorus of the PPP Music Theatre (Munich) • Strobel
“This is a most worthwhile production. Besides being an enjoyable hour and a quarter of opera, it provides a clear insight into Viennese opera at the turn of the century...I have enjoyed this disc through half-a-dozen hearings.”
  Listen to an extract from
Scene 8
Der Ferne Klang

Moser • Schnaut • von Halem • Nimsgern
Helm • Hermann • Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra • Albrecht
  Listen to an extract from
Act III:
Scene 6: Mein Herr, Sie irren sich woh
Die Gezeichneten

Cochran • Schmiege • Cowen
Oosterkamp • van Tassel
Dutch Radio Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra • de Waart
“The Dutch Radio Philharmonic plays well, and the warm, sweet acoustics of the Concertgebouw support every voice and every instrument in a lovely recording.”
  Listen to an extract from
Act I:
Ist das nicht - Tamare?
Follow these links for the full catalogue entries of Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Franz Schreker

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