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Four Shakespeare Songs, Op 31

First line:
The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree
author of text

Even in his childhood, Korngold adored Shakespeare. He enjoyed considerable acclaim for his Incidental Music to Much Ado About Nothing (1918-19); given his natural gift for correlating music and drama, as well as his famous quick wit, there could have been no finer topic for him. His first effort for Hollywood was the arrangement of Mendelssohn’s incidental music for Max Reinhardt’s ambitious film of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1934-5); this was the project that first took him to America and brought him to Warner Brothers, which good fortune ultimately saved the Jewish composer and his family from death in post- Anschluss Vienna. And it was no coincidence that some of his best film scores were for movies set in Olde Englande, which he naively expected - knowing nothing of the English language or of American culture - would be redolent of the Immortal Bard.

His Shakespeare Songs Op 31 are settings of poems from Othello, As You Like It and King Lear.

from notes by Jessica Duchen © 2008


Korngold: Sonnett für Wien & other songs
SIGCD160Download only


No 1: Desdemona's song  The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree
Track 12 on SIGCD160 [3'02] Download only
No 2: Under the Greenwood tree
Track 13 on SIGCD160 [2'15] Download only
No 3: Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Track 14 on SIGCD160 [2'07] Download only
No 4: When birds do sing  It was a lover and his lass
Track 15 on SIGCD160 [2'44] Download only

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