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Past Images of the Month - April 2010

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Cover of the revised piano score, published at the time of the ballet’s stage première in October 1910.

Cover of the revised piano score, published at the time of the ballet’s stage première in October 1910.

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KORNGOLD, Erich Wolfgang: The Snowman

2010 marks the centenary of the first performances in Vienna of the ballet Der Schneemann, composed by Erich Wolfgang Korngold at the age of only 11.The work was completed in 1909 and its first performance was in a version for two pianos, presented on April 14 1910 at a charity soirée in the Ministerial Palace held by the Baroness von Bierneth before the cream of Viennese society. Young Korngold played at one piano, with the noted accompanist Richard Pahlen at the other. The dancers of the Imperial Ballet Wopalenska, von Hamme and Godlewsky performed the main roles and Fritz Brunner played the violin solos.

(Please click the thumbnails below to view larger image)

First published in a limited, small-format, edition early in 1910, this reappeared in 4to size (as shown here) at the time of the stage première. Erich Wolfgang Korngold, photographed in Hamburg, March 1910. The Brendan G Carroll Collection One of two extracts from the ballet published in full score in 1911.  The orchestration, by Korngold's teacher Alexander Zemlinsky, was later revised by the composer himself.

Poster for the stage première of Der Schneemann, Oct 4 1910. The Brendan G Carroll Collection Dancers Karl Godlewsky and Louise Wopalenska, in costume for Der Schneemann, Wiener Hofoperntheater, Oct 4 1910. The Brendan G Carroll Collection The composer caricatured as a huge snowman outside the Vienna Opera House.  This appeared in the Neues Wiener Tagblatt during the week of the stage première. The Brendan G Carroll Collection

Korngold playing the Entr'acte on a Duo-Art Piano Roll made in London in 1922. The Brendan G Carroll Collection.
 
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