Daniel Gaede / Xuesu Liu / Philharmonisches Streichsextett

Korngold: Werke für Violine & Klavier; Streichsextett

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Since the 1980s, the revival of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's music has put his major works on the map: the opera, Die tote Stadt, the Violin Concerto, the Sinfonietta, and the Symphony in F sharp major have all achieved classic status, along with the film scores for The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Sea Hawk, King's Row, and Captain Blood. But there are numerous other delightful minor pieces that vie for attention, and the miniatures performed here by violinist Daniel Gaede and pianist Xuesu Liu are typical of the sweet and opulent parlor style that Korngold cultivated in his teens. The String Sextet in D major is another youthful effort, filled with memorable themes and masterful repartée, and the performance by the Philharmonic String Sextet Berlin gives this charming work an appealing presentation. While this album shines a light on less famous pieces that deserve a place in any Korngold collection, the program seems slightly unbalanced. Because the String Sextet is a substantial composition of considerable skill and imagination, it makes the first half of the disc seem trivial in comparison, so any who wish to do justice to both halves of the album should divide their listening into two sittings.

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