American and Austrian Ruins in Korngold's Symphony in F-sharp
Korngold and His World
In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, Erich Korngold turned to writing two works that he hoped would serve as a "bridge" back to his former world of concert music. The first was his Violin Concerto, which he had begun in 1937 only to cease composition two years later as a musical protest against the Nazi Anschluss. According to his family, Korngold had "vowed not to compose what he called "his own music" until Hitler was dead or overthrown," and thus the piece lay dormant in the composer's portfolio for nearly eight years as he furthered his career in film. With the collapse of the Third Reich in May 1945, Korngold returned to complete it. The second work was his Cello Concerto (1946), which connected his work as a Hollywood film composer to the realm of his art music. Excerpts were first featured as diegetic music in Deception (1946), a film about a love triangle involving a pianist, a cellist, and a composer. The cellist Eleanor Slatkin, who performed the excerpts for the film, would later present the entire concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on December 29, 1946, two months after the commercial release of the film.
Wlodarski, Amy Lynn. "American and Austrian Ruins in Korngold's Symphony in F-sharp." In Korngold and His World, edited by Daniel Goldmark and Kevin C. Karnes, 167-189. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019.