Date of Degree

9-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

D.M.A.

Program

Music

Advisor

David Schober

Committee Members

Karen Henson

Daniel Phillips

Douglas Geers

Subject Categories

Music Performance

Keywords

korngold, korngold film music, korngold violin concerto, korngold's compositional styles, hollywood film music, hollywood film music style

Abstract

This dissertation explores the origins of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Violin Concerto (1945) and the derivation of much of the principal thematic material from three related film scores: Another Dawn, Anthony Adverse, and The Prince and the Pauper. (Unfortunately, the film score of Juarez, which is also related to the concerto, was not publicly available, so it is not mentioned in this dissertation.) Korngold was a child prodigy trained in Vienna from an early age, and he had a very successful career in Europe. He then accepted an offer from Warner Brothers around 1934 to work in the Hollywood film industry, an important decision that later saved him and his loved ones from World War II. After making a significant impact in the film industry, he longed to go back to writing concert-stage works. The Violin Concerto is his first abstract work after his Hollywood years.

This dissertation does not provide a full analysis of the scores, nor will it discuss every moment the shared material appears in the film scores. It instead focuses on comparing significant passages where the shared themes occur. It will discuss when, and for which characters, Korngold used the shared themes; why he used them differently each time they appear; and how he modified them to fit the medium.

This study will help readers to understand how Korngold adapted his film music for use in the Violin Concerto in his post-Hollywood years; it seeks to illustrate his ingenuity in reshaping the shared material to make it effective in two different genres.

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