Birmingham, AL

Thursday, February 22, 7:30 PM at Brock Recital Hall, Samford University

Vienna to Hollywood

Vienna, Europe’s preeminent musical capital throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, has likely produced more music beloved by more people than any other city in the world. Rather surprisingly, however, the great Franz Schubert was the only major composer to actually be born in this great city. Known for the grace, lyricism, and suppleness of his melodic writing, his sense of color, and the emotional immediacy of his works, this program showcases two of Schubert’s greatest chamber music compositions: the Fantasie in F minor for Piano, Four Hands, and the Fantasy in C major for Violin and Piano.

Hollywood has long been synonymous with motion pictures, and over the years it lured many of Europe's leading composers, including Nino Rota, Miklós Rózsa, Ennio Morricone, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold, to provide music, equally as visceral as the moving images on the silver screen, to some of the greatest films of the twentieth century. Korngold grew up in Vienna, and as a boy was proclaimed a genius by none other than Gustav Mahler. His career eventually brought him to Hollywood where he achieved tremendous success as a composer for films by Warner Bros. and Paramount Studios. But it wasn’t only in the cinema that Korngold’s genius shone through. In works such as the lush Suite Op. 23, he proved that he was the true heir to the grand line of Austro-Germanic musical legacy that ran from Mozart through Schubert, to Wagner, Mahler, and Strauss. Written for the pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who tragically lost his right arm in World War I, the Suite is an extraordinary and epic chamber work that stands alongside the great piano quartets and quintets in the repertory.


  • Schubert Fantasie in F minor for Piano, Four Hands, D. 940, Op. 103
  • Schubert Fantasy in C major for Violin and Piano, D. 934, Op. 159
  • Korngold Suite for Piano Left Hand, Two Violins, and Cello, Op. 23