Work by Korngold performed by Alexi Kenney, violin and Dina Vainshtein, piano on March 6, 2016.
Korngold, Erich: Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major, Op. 6
The piece we’ll hear on the podcast today was written when Erich Korngold was in his teens: his Violin Sonata in G Major, Op. 6. Why is this fascinating work, by such a promising composer, so little known today?
In the 1930s, Korngold’s life took a dramatic turn, as the Nazi regime began to rise to power in his native Austria. Korngold was Jewish, and he accepted an invitation to come the United States—a move that would dramatically alter the course of his career. Once here, he quickly achieved success writing scores for Hollywood. Then, as the 20th century moved on musically, his early concert works fell out of favor, seen as too melodic and Romantic.
But it is high time they got another hearing. Today, we’ll hear a recording from the Gardner Museum recital by young violinist Alexi Kenney and pianist Dina Vainshtein, recorded in March 2016—almost 100 years after the piece was written. Take a listen and see what you think: how does it stand the test of time?