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Erich Wolfgang Korngold Werkausgabe (EWK-WA)

Links to the project

The project „Erich Wolfgang Korngold Werkausgabe (EWK-WA)” jointly supported by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz, is the third musicological edition project on a 20th century composer within the academy programme.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) represents the musical history of modernism in all its diversity, but also in its breaks and upheavals. Celebrated as a composing prodigy for his advanced tonal language and in the 1920s - at the latest after the premiere of the opera „Die tote Stadt” (1920) - he rose to become one of the most frequently performed composers, Korngold soon found himself forced into the role of a counter-figure to the musical avant-garde by his adherence to tonality. The aesthetic controversy was followed by a biographical break: because of his Jewish origins, Korngold, who was Viennese, was forced into emigration in 1938. Since 1934, he had already worked for a time in Hollywood for the film industry and played a decisive role in shaping the idiom of what is still considered the classic „Hollywood sound” today. Paradoxically, this pioneering work was to his detriment after the Second World War: Korngold's attempt to re-establish himself in Europe with works for the opera stage and the concert hall failed precisely because of his stigmatisation as a film music composer.

Portrait Mann Komponist KorngoldSchott Music

Erich Wolfgang Korngold Werkausgabe (EWK-WA)

Host Academy
Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz

Location and federal state
Berlin, Berlin; Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern; Frankfurt am Main, Hesse

Music editions

Project number

In recent years, however, a real turnaround has taken place in the history of reception: What began as a "Korngold renaissance" has now brought the composer's works firmly back into the repertoire. The editions of Korngold's oeuvre, however, have yet to be studied philologically. In the EWK-WA, all of Korngold's musical works - with the exception of the operetta arrangements - are now being edited. The edition of the film music in particular aims to create a methodological basis for an innovative multimedia presentation of compositions in this genre.

Korngold's works will be made accessible in cooperation with the publisher Schott Music in a critical edition with printed volumes and digital, internet-based components. The hybrid editions are intended to serve as a basis for further research, including questions of exile history and cultural transfer between Europe and the United States of America.

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