Music: Erich the Wunderkind

"I am and I always will be an opera composer." When Erich Wolfgang Korngold said that in 1942, the folks in Hollywood nodded sympathetically and went on enjoying his film music. After all, Korngold was a celebrated composer of movie scores who had won Academy Awards for Anthony Adverse (1936) and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).

Actually, by the time the Vienna-bred Korngold landed in Hollywood in 1934, he had behind him an astounding career as a musical Wunderkind in Europe. When he was a teenager, his works were performed by Pianist...

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