on 13 August 2007
This is a rerelease of Chandos's much praised 1994 recording featuring two of Korngold's earliest orchestral works.
The "Sinfonietta" was composed in 1911 when Korngold was just 14 and completed a year later. Lasting 43 minutes, it is a sophisticated and boisterous work with hints of the film music that Korngold would later write. The langorous slow movement is particularly attractive.
The 20 minute "Sursum Corda" was written when Korngold was 21. It is a more complex work than the Sinfonietta but is otherwise in the same enjoyable late romantic vein.
Korngold's music would continue to mature and develop in complexity, culminating in his masterpiece, the opera "Das Wunder der Heliane", in 1927. However, these early works are impressive in their own right and well worth hearing.
I have not heard any of the rival performances, but it difficult to imagine anyone performing these works better than the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under Matthias Bamert. As so often, the Chandos recording is superb.