Violin concertos

From bad joke to 21st-century classic: the best recordings of Korngold’s Violin Concerto

Erich Korngold was what you might call an early adopter. As a child prodigy in Habsburg Vienna, he’d astonished the world: a schoolboy composing orchestral scores that made Elektra sound tame. Jump ahead three decades, and Korngold, in his fashion, was still ahead of the curve. He was one of the first residents of Toluca Lake, North Hollywood, to buy a television. There wasn’t much to watch in 1947, but (according to Korngold’s biographer Brendan Carroll) Jascha Heifetz would drive over anyway from Beverly Hills, and the two exiles — the former protégé of Gustav Mahler, and the greatest violinist on earth — would sit there glued to the live