Erich Wolfgang Korngold
|Erich Wolfgang Korngold|
May 29, 1897|
Brünn, Moravia, Austria-Hungary (present-day Brno, Czech Republic)
|Died||November 29, 1957
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Nationality||American (naturalized citizen 1943)|
|Occupation||Composer, conductor, pianist|
|Known for||Operas, symphonies, movie scores|
|Notable work||Robin Hood, Kings Row, Of Human Bondage|
|Spouse(s)||Luise von Sonnenthal (1924–1957; his death)|
Erich Wolfgang Korngold (May 29, 1897 – November 29, 1957) was an Austrian-born composer and conductor. A child prodigy, he became one of the most important and influential composers in the history of Hollywood. He was a noted pianist and composer of classical music, along with music for Hollywood films, and the first composer of international stature to write Hollywood scores.
When he was 11, his ballet Der Schneemann (The Snowman), became a sensation in Vienna, followed by his Piano Sonata which he wrote at age 13, played throughout Europe by Artur Schnabel. His one-act operas Violanta and Der Ring des Polykrates were premiered in Munich in 1916, conducted by Bruno Walter. At 23, his opera Die tote Stadt (The Dead City) premiered in Hamburg and Colgne. In 1921 he conducted the Hamburg Opera. During the 1920s he re-orchestrated, re-arranged and nearly re-composed, for the theater, operettas by Johann Strauss II. By 1931 he was a professor of music at Vienna State Academy.
At the request of director Max Reinhardt, and due to the rise of the Nazi regime, Korngold moved to the U.S. in 1934 to write music scores for films. His first was Reinhardt's A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), which was well received by critics. He subsequently wrote scores for such films as Captain Blood (1935), which helped boost the career its starring newcomer, Errol Flynn. His score for Anthony Adverse (1936) won an Oscar, and was followed two years later with another Oscar for The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).
Overall, he wrote the score for 16 Hollywood films, receiving two more nominations. Along with Max Steiner and Alfred Newman, he is one of the founders of film music. Although his late classical Romantic compositions were no longer as popular when he died in 1957, his music underwent a resurgence of interest in the 1970s with the release of classical recordings and film score compilations.
- 1 Early years as prodigy
- 2 Composing career in Europe
- 3 Composer for Hollywood films
- 4 Composing techniques and style
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Death
- 7 Legacy
- 8 Selected recordings
- 9 Selected list of works
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Early years as prodigy
Korngold was born to a Jewish family in Brünn, Austria-Hungary (present-day Brno, Czech Republic), the second son of eminent music critic Julius Korngold. A child prodigy living in Vienna, he could play four-hand piano arrangements alongside his father at age five. He was also able to reproduce any melody he heard on the piano, along with playing complete and elaborate chords. By the time he was seven he was writing original music.:11
Erich played his cantata Gold to Gustav Mahler in 1909; Mahler called him a "musical genius" and recommended he study with composer Alexander von Zemlinsky. Richard Strauss also spoke highly of the youth, and along with Mahler told Erich's father there was no benefit in having his son enroll in a music conservatory since his abilities were already years ahead of what he could learn there.:11
At the age of 11 he composed his ballet Der Schneemann (The Snowman), which became a sensation when performed at the Vienna Court Opera in 1910, including a command performance for Emperor Franz Josef. He continued composing with great success throughout his teens. He composed a piano trio, then his Piano Sonata No. 2 in E major, which Artur Schnabel played throughout Europe. During these early years he also made live-recording player piano music rolls for the Hupfeld DEA and Phonola system and also the Aeolian Duo-Art system, which survive today and can be heard.
Korngold wrote his first orchestral score, the Schauspiel Ouverture when he was 14. His Sinfonietta appeared the following year, and his first two operas, Der Ring des Polykrates and Violanta, in 1914. In 1916, he wrote incidental music to various chamber works and songs, including Much Ado About Nothing, which ran for some 80 performances in Vienna.
Composing career in Europe
Korngold was active in the theatre throughout Europe while in his 20s. After the success of his opera, Die tote Stadt, which he conducted in many opera houses, he developed a passion for the music of Johann Strauss, Jr., and managed to exhume a number of lost scores.:13 He orchestrated and staged them using new concepts.:13 Both A Night in Venice and Cagliostro in Vienna are Kornfield re-creations,:13 and it these works that first drew the attention of Max Reinhardt to Korngold.:13
By this point Korngold had reached the zenith of his fame as a composer of opera and concert music. Composers such as Richard Strauss and Giacomo Puccini heaped praise on him, and many famous conductors, soloists and singers added his works to their repertoires. He began collaborating with Reinhardt on many productions, including a collection of little-known Strauss pieces that they arranged and titled Waltzes From Vienna.:13 It was retitled The Great Waltz and became the basis for a 1938 British film directed by Alfred Hitchcock:13 and a film by the same name in the U.S, starring Luise Rainer. Korngold conducted staged versions in Los Angeles in 1949 and 1953.:13
He completed a Concerto for Piano Left Hand for pianist Paul Wittgenstein in 1923 and his fourth opera, Das Wunder der Heliane four years later. He started arranging and conducting operettas by Johann Strauss II and others while teaching opera and composition at the Vienna Staatsakademie. Korngold was awarded the title professor honoris causa by the president of Austria.
Composer for Hollywood films
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)
After Max Reinhardt's success in producing Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream for the stage, using incidental music by Felix Mendelssohn, he invited Korngold to Hollywood in 1934 to adapt Mendelssohn's score for his planned film version.:8 Korngold would also enlarge and conduct the score.
The film, which was released in 1935, was a first for Warner Brothers studio, by producing a film based on a 400-year-old work of literary art. The studio assigned almost every star or character actor under contract to take part in the film, with the filming taking over six months.:8 The studio also allowed Korngold to devote more attention to the score than it had to any of its previous films; he could prerecord certain parts of the film for the benefit of actors, whom he then had act to the rhythm and tempo of the music.:8 As a result of the score's elaborate tailoring, the film and Korngold's music left a strong impression on the film industry.:8
Korngold returned to Austria to finish Die Kathrin. He came back to Hollywood to score the film Give Us This Night, with lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, a film which introduced mezzo-soprano Gladys Swarthout and the Polish-born tenor Jan Kiepura, who had starred in several Korngold operas in Europe.:9
Captain Blood (1935)
In 1935 Warners asked Korngold if he was interested in writing an original dramatic score for Captain Blood. He at first declined, feeling that a story about pirates was outside his range of interest. However, after watching the filming, with a dynamic new star, Errol Flynn in a heroic role, alongside Olivia de Havilland, who had her debut in A Midsummer Night's Dream, he changed his mind.
After he accepted, however, he learned that he needed to compose over an hour of symphonic music in only three weeks. The short time frame forced him to include about ten percent of the score using portions of symphonies by Franz Liszt. And not willing to take credit for the entire film score, he insisted that his credit be only for "musical arrangement".:8
Captain Blood became an immediate hit, with an Oscar nomination for the score. As Korngold's first fully symphonic film score, it marked a milestone in his career, as he became the first composer of international stature to sign a contract with a film studio.:10 It also launched the career of Flynn and gave a major boost to de Havilland's, who would do another seven movies with Flynn. Korngold would score six more films starring Flynn.:21 In addition, it opened the way for other costumed, romantic adventures, which hadn't been seen since the silent era.:9
Anthony Adverse (1936)
After scoring Anthony Adverse, another Warners picture, this one starring Fredric March and Olivia de Havilland, Korngold's career in Hollywood took off. He finally became convinced that dramatic scoring went well with certain types of films.:23 The film, which is set in mid-18th century Italy, the Alps, and France, received an expensive treatment from Warners, pleased him greatly.:23
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
In 1938, Korngold was conducting opera in Austria when he was asked by Warner Brothers to return to Hollywood and compose a score for The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. The film, based on a largely fictional English legend, is considered the finest of its kind, with a continuous series of romantic and adventurous sequences propelled by Korngold's dynamic score.:27 Music historian Laurence E. MacDonald notes that there were many factors which made the film a success, including its cast, its Technicolor photography and fast-paced direction by Michael Curtiz, but "most of all, there is Korngold's glorious music.":49 And film historian Rudy Behlmer describes Korngold's contribution to this and his other films:
Korngold's score was a splendid added dimension. His style for the Flynn swashbucklers resembled that of the creators of late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century German symphonic tone poems. It incorporated chromatic harmonies, lush instrumental effects, passionate climaxes—all performed in a generally romantic manner. Korngold's original and distinctive style was influenced by the Wagnerian leitmotif, the orchestral virtuosity of Richard Strauss, the delicacy and broad melodic sweep of Puccini, and the long-line development of Gustav Mahler.:38
Before Korngold began composing the score, Austria was invaded by Germany and annexed by the Nazis. His home in Vienna was confiscated by the Nazis.:35 And because it meant that all Jews in Austria were now at risk, Korngold would eventually stay in America until the end of World War II. He later said, "We thought of ourselves as Viennese; Hitler made us Jewish." Korngold noted that the opportunity to compose the score for Robin Hood saved his life.
It also gave him his second Academy Award for Best Original Score and established the symphonic style that would later be used in action films during Hollywood's Golden Age.:50 Modern day epics such as the Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies similarly included original symphonic scores.:50 Composer John Williams has cited Korngold as his insipiration in scoring the Star Wars series.:717
Korngold was interested in writing a score for Juarez, as it involved historical figures from Mexico and Austria. It dealt with the Mexican politician Benito Juarez, but also involved the story of Archduke Maximilian von Habsburg and his wife, Carlotta. Korngold was moved by the true-life story of how Louis Napoleon, seeing America engulfed by Civil War, took advantage of that fact and attempted, in 1864, to control Mexico. He appointed Maximilian as its emperor.:29
After the United States demanded that France divest themselves of their interests in Mexico, the Austrian aristocrat was left to his fate, and was executed by the Juarez government. The dramatic accent of the film leaned in favor of Maximilian and Carlotta, however, aided greatly by Korngold's poignant themes for them.:29 .
Korngold researched the music popular in Mexico at the time and realized it was not Mexican, but "unmistakenly Viennese." He composed 3,000 bars of music for the score, at times emulating the rhythms of Frédéric Chopin and Franz Schubert, and the second theme of the first movement of his Violin Concerto was drawn from his work for the film. Maximilian and Carlotta loved the Mexican song "La Paloma," and Korngold used it effectively during the score.:29
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)
Korngold was again nominated for his score of The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. The score is essentially operatic, with lush background music throughout, a rousing march theme for Essex (Errol Flynn), and one of his "most noble and heroic melodies" for Elizabeth (Bette Davis).:59 Korngold admitted that he conceived his film scores as "operas without singing.":38 Of the hour and half film, an hour of if is supported by the score, composed of rich dramatic and romantic themes.
He chose not to use an period music or approximate 16th-century musical sounds, explaining:
The loves and hates of the two main characters, the ideas expressed by the playwright generally, while taken from history, are symbolic. It is a play of eternally true principles and motives of love and ambition, as recurrent today as three hundred years ago.:30
The score concentrates on the regal Main Title, the triumphal entry march of Essex into London, the Queen's theme, and the recapitulation of that theme in the End Titles.:30
The Sea Hawk (1940)
The Sea Hawk would be Korngold's last score for swashbuckler films, all of which had starred Errol Flynn. It is widely regarded as one of Korngold's best.:39 The film ran two hours and six minutes and was one of the longest films he ever worked on.:67 It includes symphonic score in all but twenty minutes.:67 It was also his tenth original score in less than six years.:67
In the final duel between Thorpe and Wolfingham, MacDonald states that "Korngold's breathlessly fast-paced music helps to make this one of the most exciting swordfights in cinema history.":68 While Behlmer describes the duel scene as a "tour de force of rhythmic energy and exactitude.":39
The Sea Wolf (1941)
In scoring The Sea Wolf, based on a story by Jack London, Korngold's film career would go in a different direction. In this film, the score reflects an evil atmosphere, dark images, and the tense emotions of its crew during an unfortunate voyage. Edward G. Robinson, as Wolf Larsen, plays a tormented and brutal captain of a sealing schooner, which gets crippled by a rival ship.
To support the complex atmosphere, with its scenes of the fog-shrouded voyage, Korngold created a score that was understated, which was very different from his swashbucklers. He often used sharp brass chords with swirling configurations, along with a love theme voiced by a harmonica. Music historian Thomas S. Hischak notes some aspects of the score:
Korngold's score for The Sea Wolf is not only quieter but actually somber and, at times, dissonant. The opening theme captures the chaos of the wilderness in the North but soon the score seems to be enveloped in a fog (as are the characters) and everything becomes morose and haunting.:410
Kings Row (1942)
The score for Kings Row (1942) has been compared to that of films like Gone with the Wind and Anthony Adverse, which also had a powerful theme motif. Those stories were also based on a recent best-selling novel like Kings Row. In this score, moreover, Korngold moved even further away from his previous romantic and swashbuckler styles. This was Korngold's most Gothic film score, and a film which film historian Tony Thomas has called a "true American classic.":36 He adds that the score that "might well have been the basis for an opera or a grandly scaled symphonic poem.":36
The story is set in a Midwestern U.S. town (Kings Row), while the characters portrayed a wide range of psychological emotions, from loves and hates, bitterness, tenderness and torment. Combined with Korngold's score, which some claim is among his finest, the film drew an unusually high level of public interest and acclaim. Its costar, Ronald Reagan, considered his performance the best of his career.
The score contains a main theme which is varied throughout the film, depending on the how each scene develops. MacDonald states that the main theme is a "majestic and noble melody that immediately grabs the viewer's attention" when the film begins.:80 By using this motif, the theme connects the entire score, which often left a strong impact on viewers.
British composer Harold Truscott, for example, who saw the film when he was 28, wrote to Korngold admiring the score. He also saw the film more than thirty times just to hear the score, sometimes with his eyes completely closed. Like Gone with the Wind, Kings Row concludes with the main theme hymned operatically by an unseen chorus.
Later scores: 1943-1956
Kings Row was followed by The Constant Nymph (1943), Between Two Worlds (1944), Devotion (1946), Of Human Bondage (1946), Deception (1946), Escape Me Never (1947), Adventures of Don Juan (1948) (unused score) and Magic Fire (1956). For Magic Fire, he was asked to adapt the music of Richard Wagner for a film biography of the composer. Korngold wrote some original music for the film and is seen during the final scenes in an unbilled cameo as the conductor Hans Richter.
Since World War II prevented him from returning to Europe, he stayed in the U.S. after retiring from film composing in 1947. He spent the last ten years of his life composing concert pieces, including a Violin Concerto, a Symphonic Serenade for strings, a Cello Concerto and a Symphony. At the time of his death at age 60, he was working on his sixth opera.
Composing techniques and style
Korngold approached his scoring theatrically, and could only write by regarding film scenarios as opera libretti.:13 This made him prefer to write leitmotifs for each of the main characters in a film, and vary them based on the emotional level of a scene. Having "musical identifications for characters, places, and even abstract ideas in a film," helps keep characters straight in the minds of the audience. Music motifs were commonly used by other film composers during that period, including Max Steiner.
During Captain Blood, for instance, motifs were created for phases of Captain Blood's career as a pirate, using different instrumentation. Variations of some type of brass instrument were heard, such as when the ship readies for voyage, or to lend solemnity to someone's death. A full reiteration of the motif is reserved for a climactic battle scene. The impact of the score for Captain Blood led Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, to tell his composer to use that film as an archetypal example of the kind of sound he wanted for his series. According to Karlin and Wright in On the Track:
The development of motifs in as powerful compositional device for the film composer, allowing him to bring an overall sense of unity to his score and still leave room for variety.
Korngold composed in the evenings while at the piano, as he watched scenes from the film that an assigned projectionist would run for him. He would run scenes repeatedly as he improvised the music. He would collect his ideas and concepts and later commit them to paper.:13
During his years scoring films, he still composed some non-film works, such as Passover Psalm, Opus 30, for chorus and orchestra (1941); Tomorrow When You Have Gone, Opus 33, for chorus and orchestra (1942); and Prayer, Opus 32 for chorus and orchestra (1942). In 1946 he composed an opera, Die Stumme Serenade, which he recorded privately hoping to attract interest in making a full production. On the never-released private recording, he can be heard humming as he played the piano.
In the studio during the day, he worked with orchestrators, such as Hugo Friedhofer, with whom he would make elaborate sketches marking out exactly what he wanted. He once told Friedhofer that he felt Tosca was the best film score ever written.:13 With the orchestra in session, Korngold would conduct.
Korngold biographer Brendan G. Carrol describes Korngold's style and methods:
Treating each film as an 'opera without singing' (each character has his or her own leitmotif) [Korngold] created intensely romantic, richly melodic and contrapuntally intricate scores, the best of which are a cinematic paradigm for the tone poems of Richard Strauss and Franz Liszt. He intended that, when divorced from the moving image, these scores could stand alone in the concert hall. His style exerted a profound influence on modern film music.
In 1924, Korngold married Luzi von Sonnenthal (1900–1962), granddaughter of actor Adolf von Sonnenthal, an actress, writer, singer and pianist, with whom he had fallen in love at age 19. They had two children, Ern[e]st Werner and Georg[e] Wolfgang. Her biography of her husband was published in 1967.
In 1943, Korngold became a naturalized citizen of the United States. The year 1945 became an important turning point in his life. His father, who had never been entirely comfortable in Los Angeles, and who had never approved of Erich's decision to work exclusively on film composition, died after a lengthy illness.
Around the same time, World War II in Europe drew to an end. At this stage in his career Korngold had grown increasingly disillusioned with Hollywood and with the kinds of pictures he was being given, and he was eager to return to writing music for the concert hall and the stage.
Korngold died at his home in Toluca Lake, California, aged 60, on November 29, 1957. He lived a few blocks from Warner Brothers Studio, where he worked. He was survived by his wife, Louise, two sons, George Korngold and Ernst Korngold; his mother, Mrs. Josephine Korngold; a brother, Hans Korngold, and three grandchildren. He was interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Despite his achievements, Korngold for years attracted almost no positive critical attention, but considerable critical disdain. Then, in 1972, RCA Victor released an LP titled The Sea Hawk, featuring excerpts from Korngold's film scores performed by the National Philharmonic Orchestra. This was followed by recordings of Korngold's operas and concert works, which led to performances of his symphony and concertos, as well as other compositions.
The American Film Institute ranked Korngold's score for The Adventures of Robin Hood as number 11 on their list of the greatest film scores. His scores for the following films were also nominated for the list:
- Deception (1946)
- Kings Row (1942)
- The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)
- The Sea Hawk (1940)
Further recognition came in the 1990s; two full-scale biographies of him appeared almost simultaneously. One is Jessica Duchen, Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The other is Brendan G. Carroll, Erich Korngold: The Last Prodigy Carroll is President of the International Korngold Society. Carroll released excerpts of acetates with Korngold conducting the Warner Bros. studio orchestra in music from his film scores, some possibly taken from KFWB radio broadcasts.
- In 1973, Warner Brothers released special LPs featuring excerpts from the original soundtracks of films scored by Korngold, as well as a rare recording of Korngold playing the main theme from Kings Row on the piano.
- "Korngold: The Sea Hawk / The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex / Captain Blood / The Prince and the Pauper", conductor André Previn, Deutsche Grammophon
- KFWB radio broadcast from 1938 with Korngold conducting the studio orchestra in excerpts from The Adventures of Robin Hood, narrated by actor Basil Rathbone, was released on LP.
- In 1975 Die tote Stadt was revived to capacity houses in New York.
There have also been a number of new digital recordings of Korngold's film scores, as well as some of his concert works:
- Violin concerto and his symphony in 2013, which  was given its first Proms performance, at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
- RCA Victor was the first to record a complete Korngold opera (in stereo), in 1975: Die tote Stadt, conducted by Erich Leinsdorf in Germany.
- In 1980, CBS Masterworks recorded the opera Violanta under the baton of Marek Janowski; this recording has been re-released by Sony Classical in 2009.
- In 1993, Decca released a recording of Das Wunder der Heliane.
- Korngold's two remaining operas, Der Ring des Polykrates and Die Kathrin have both been recorded (in 1996 and 1998 respectively) by the German record label CPO.
- American conductor-pianist Alexander Frey is recorded Korngold's complete original piano works.
- In 2001, ArtHaus Musik released on DVD (UPC 807280036398) a documentary titled Erich Wolfgang Korngold – The Adventures of a Wunderkind (also Between Two Worlds), directed by Barrie Gavin, in the Composers of Our Time series.
- Double bass soloist Joel Quarrington recorded a transcription of the "Garden Scene" from Korngold's incidental music to Much Ado About Nothing, Op. 11 on his 2008 CD, also entitled "Garden Scene." Quarrington won a Juno Award for the album.
- In 2009, Korngold's Violin Concerto was released on the Naxos Records label, along with Overture to a Drama, Op. 4, and the concert suite from Much Ado About Nothing, performed by the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria and violinist Philippe Quint.
- In 2013, the Adamas Quartett recorded String Quartet No. 2, op. 26 (Gramola 2013), awarded among others "Diapason découverte" and "Pasticcio Prize".
Selected list of works
- Piano Sonata No. 1 in D minor with concluding passacaglia, (composed 1908; first performed 1908–09)
- Piano Trio in D major, Op. 1 (composed and first performed 1910)
- Piano Sonata No. 2 in E major, Op. 2, in four movements (composed 1910; first performed 1911)
- Schauspiel-Ouvertüre (Overture to a Play), Op. 4 (Composed and first performed 1911)
- Sinfonietta, Op. 5 (Composed 1912, orchestrated and first performed 1913)
- Violin Sonata in G major, Op. 6 (composed 1912; first performed 1916)
- Der Ring des Polykrates, Op. 7 (opera) (1916)
- Violanta, Op. 8 (opera) (1916)
- String Sextet in D major, Op. 10 (first performed 1917)
- Much Ado About Nothing, Op. 11 (Incidental music to the play by Shakespeare) (Composed 1918–1919, first performed 1920)
- Die tote Stadt, Op. 12 (opera) (1920)
- Sursum Corda, Op. 13 (symphonic overture) (Composed 1919, first performed 1920)
- Quintet for two violins, viola, cello and piano in E major, Op. 15 (composed 1920–21; first performed 1923)
- String Quartet No. 1 in A major, Op. 16 (composed 1923; first performed 1924)
- Piano Concerto in C♯ for the left hand alone, Op. 17, (Composed 1923, first performed 1924)
- Das Wunder der Heliane, Op. 20 (opera) (1927)
- Suite for 2 violins, cello and piano left hand, Op. 23, composed 1930; first performed 1930
- Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 25 (composed 1931; first performed 1932) 
- String Quartet No. 2 in E♭ major, Op. 26 (composed 1933; first performed 1934)
- Die Kathrin, Op. 28 (opera) (1939)
- Tomorrow, Op. 33, tone poem for mezzo-soprano, women's choir and orchestra, for the movie The Constant Nymph. (First performed in concert 1944)
- String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 34 (composed 1945; first performed 1946)
- Violin Concerto, Op. 35 (Composed 1945, first performed 1947)
- Die stumme Serenade, Op. 36 (musical comedy) (1954)
- Cello Concerto in C major, Op. 37 (Composed 1950, expanded from a work written for the 1946 film Deception)
- Symphonic Serenade in B♭ major for string orchestra, Op. 39 (Composed 1947–48, first performed 1950)
- Symphony in F♯ major, Op. 40 (Composed 1947–52, first performed 1954)
- Theme and Variations, Op. 42 (composed and first performed 1953)
- The Last Prodigy. A Biography of Erich Wolfgang Korngold by Brendan G. Carroll; ISBN 978-1-57467-029-5 (Hardcover, October 1997)
- Das Letzte Wunderkind by Brendan G Carroll. Boehlau-Verlag, Vienna; ISBN 978-3-20577-716-8 (Hardcover, June 2008); revised edition of 1997 biography in German translation
- Erich Wolfgang Korngold (20th-Century Composers) by Jessica Duchen. Phaidon Publication; ISBN 0-7148-3155-7 (Paperback, July 1996)
- Erich Wolfgang Korngold by Luzi Korngold (wife). Verlag Elisabeth Lafite, Vienna, 1967 (German)
- "Erich Wolfgang Korngold: early life and works". Doctoral thesis by David Ian Kram. Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
- Stanley Sadie, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition (London: Macmilian, 2001), 29 vols; ISBN 0-333-60800-3.
- Burlingame, Jon. "Erich Wolfgang Korngold: A Retrospective", video, 9 min.
- Jeromski, Grace. Ed. International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers-4: Writers and Production Artists, 3rd Ed. St. James Press (1997) p.453
- Kennedy, Michael. The Oxford Dictionary of Music, Oxford Univ. Press (2013) p. 464
- Thomas, Tony. Korngold: Vienna to Hollywood, Turner Entertainment (1996)
- Sadie, Stanley, editor, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, vol 2, Macmillan Press (1992) pp. 1029-1031
- Carroll, New Grove (2001), 13:823.
- Erich Wolfgang Korngold Biography, Classical Connect
- Biography of Erich Korngold, Korngold Society
- Much ado about Nothing, Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen
- Die tote Stadt, opera finale
- "Night in Venice" by Johann Strauss/Erich Korngold, Donald George, tenor
- "Cagliostro in Wien", Overture
- The Great Waltz (1938) Official Trailer
- Renee Fleming sings Das Wunder der Heliane
- Fairies and forest scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream
- A Midsummer Night's Dream, "Titania, Queen of the Fairies."
- Gladys Swarthout and Jan Kiepura duets in a "Romeo and Juliet" scene from Give Us This Night (1936)
- Captain Blood trailer segment
- Oscar nominees for 1936
- Woodstra, Chris, Brennan, Gerald, Schrott, Allen, editors. All Music Guide to Classical Music: The Definitive Guide to Classical Music, Hal Leonard Corp. (2005) p. 701
- Trailer to Anthony Adverse (1936)
- Opera scene in Anthony Adverse (1936)
- MacDonald, Laurence E. The Invisible Art of Film Music: A Comprehensive History, Scarecrow Press (1998)
- Behlmer, Rudy. The Adventures of Robin Hood, Univ. of Wisconsin Press (1979)
- Bernardi, Daniel. Hollywood's Chosen People: The Jewish Experience in American Cinema, Wayne State University Press (2013) p. 48
- The Adventures of Robin Hood, Official Trailer
- The Adventures Of Robin Hood soundtrack suite
- "The Adventures of Robin Hood" score performed live by the John Wilson Orchestra - BBC Proms 2013
- Hischak, Thomas S. The Encyclopedia of Film Composers, Rowman & Littlefield (2015)
- Juarez(1939) trailer
- "Korngold Makes Interesting Music Discovery," Los Angeles Times, June 22, 1939 p. 10
- " Violin Concerto in D major", Stefan Jackiw
- Stine, Whitney, and Davis, Bette, Mother Goddam: The Story of the Career of Bette Davis. New York: Hawthorn Books 1974. ISBN 0-8015-5184-6, pp.101-104
- "La Paloma" sung in Juarez
- Scene from The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
- The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) Official Trailer
- The Private Lives Of Elizabeth And Essex Soundtrack Suite
- The Sea Hawk trailer
- The Australian International Symphony Orchestra, Jeffrey Schindler conducting, performs music from The Sea Hawk
- The Sea Hawk Soundtrack Suite
- The Sea Wolf trailer
- Reid, John Howard. Hollywood Gold: Films of the Forties and Fifties, LuLu (2005) p. 120
- The Sea Wolf soundtrack suite
- Franklin, Peter. Seeing Through Music: Gender and Modernism in Classic Hollywood Film Scores, Oxford Univ. Press (2011) pp. 108-109
- Kings Row trailer
- Dick, Bernard F. The President’s Ladies: Jane Wyman and Nancy Davis, Univ. Press of Mississippi (2014) p. 109
- Kings Row soundtrack suite
- Kings Row final scene
- The Constant Nymph overture
- Between Two Worlds - scoring sessions
- Devotion, trailer
- Korngold: Of Human Bondage - Suite
- Korngold plays Escape Me Never (Love Theme)
- Escape Me Never (1947) "Primavera" ballet scene
- Erich Wolfgang Korngold's appearance in Magic Fire (1955), 5 min.
- Kalinak, Kathryn. Settling the Score: Music and the Classical Hollywood Film, Univ. of Wisconsin Press (1992) pp. 109-110
- Neale, Steve. The Classical Hollywood Reader, Routledge (2012) p. 276
- Passover Psalm Opus 30
- Butterworth, Neil. Dictionary of American Classical Composers, Routledge (2005) p. 251
- Prayer, Opus 32
- "Die schönste Nacht", from Die Stumme Serenade (1946)
- Carroll, Brendan G. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
- Korngold, Erich Wolfgang in: Austria-Forum, the Austrian knowledge network online (biography)
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- "Korngold: The Sea Hawk"
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- Erich Wolfgang Korngold: "Das Wunder Der Heliane", 53 min.
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... a splendid record of the life and music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold.
- Korngold's "Much Ado About Nothing" Suite
- Steinberg, Michael, The Concerto, a listener's guide (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1998). ISBN 0-19-510330-0.
- "Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957): The Piano Music: Film Music on the Web CD Reviews November 2003". www.musicweb-international.com. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
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