Author Topic: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky  (Read 18859 times)

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Offline Lethevich

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2007, 10:52:19 AM »
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich might take offense at your subject title.  :D

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Offline orbital

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2007, 01:16:46 PM »
I found this a few months ago, but still haven't listened for whatever reason.



This thread has moved it to the top of my "to hear" pile. :)
I listened to this (the Psalm) just now. It is very intense, and though I am not a fan of vocal music, it grew on me immediately.

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2007, 02:00:01 PM »
I listened to this (the Psalm) just now. It is very intense, and though I am not a fan of vocal music, it grew on me immediately.

I've given the disc a few listens since then, really enjoyable music. I was expecting the symphony to sound extremely Brahmsian given the time it was written and his education, but it is actually quite original.

Offline Bonehelm

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2007, 03:37:08 PM »
Some say Zemlinsky is in some ways like Mahler; and I love Gustav to death. Shall I give Alexander a try because of this?

Offline Brewski

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2007, 03:40:51 PM »
Some say Zemlinsky is in some ways like Mahler; and I love Gustav to death. Shall I give Alexander a try because of this?

Absolutely.  But Zemlinsky is still quite different.  I find him actually closer to Richard Strauss than Mahler, but yes, it's similar late-Romantic music.

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Offline Bonehelm

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2007, 03:56:07 PM »
Absolutely.  But Zemlinsky is still quite different.  I find him actually closer to Richard Strauss than Mahler, but yes, it's similar late-Romantic music.

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Thanks Bhodges.  :)

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2007, 09:38:37 PM »
Thread revival!  ;D

I had my first introduction to Zemlinsky recently, and I'm pretty wowed. I heard the Lyric Symphony live with Houston recently, and it is a breathtaking piece, the opening two minutes and closing are incredible. Definitely this is challenging music, extremely sophisticated, dense writing, that casually wanders in and out of tonality, and is also extremely lush and indulgent, fantastical in nature. It's a long piece, but somehow compelling, when it ended I felt as if woken up from a trance, it was like being in a musical daydream.

It was recorded for a release on Naxos soon (coupled with Berg's Lyric Suite), but in the meantime, I was curious about some outstanding recordings of this work. One thing I liked about the performance (with Hans Graf) was that it was rather dark and deep. I have so far only Chailly's, which is fiery and quite good, but I'm interested in other options available.

I know I need to hear The Mermaid, I have also heard the Six Songs before (coupled on some Chailly Mahler) and thought they were just beautiful. Would love to get to know Zemlinsky's work more!

Renfield

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2007, 10:03:23 PM »
Hmm... I've just noticed this thread; and after reading through it, I do wonder if Zemlinsky isn't worth my immediate attention!

Perhaps I'll go on the prowl for some. ;)

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2007, 10:36:33 PM »
Thread revival!  ;D

No better thread to revive!

Quote
Would love to get to know Zemlinsky's work more!

Don't know if this comes as a let down but for any aspiring Zemlinsky fan it's necessary to be receptive to opera. That's because the bulk of his output is for the stage. Apart from the two early symphonies, The Mermaid, The Lyric Symphony, the four string quartets, and other miscellaneous orchestra/chamber pieces that might fill up one more disc, what there is of Zemlinsky is virtually all operatic/vocal, including high quality symphonic transcriptions of his lieder.

But if you're receptive to opera/vocal you're in for an enormous treat! Zemlinsky's operas have a certain self-assurance to them musically which guarantees they'll have a "presence". There's nothing flimsy or cobbled about them which might generate indifference. They're the real deal. I guess you could say: they have flair, which is high praise for opera!

They're finally hitting their stride on disc though the opera houses seem to perform them only intermittently. Though as we all know that's no reflection on any work's true value. If the masses are slow to catch up that's their problem! ;D

Anyway, I'd recommend any recording by Conlon, not only in the operas but the symphonic poems (Lyric Symphony/Mermaid) as well. Try Der Zwerg and Der Traumgörge for a good introduction to his operas. Chailly's Zemlinsky I've yet to hear but given his prowess in 20th century music he's bound to make impeccable work of this music.

Also there's Armin Jordan's recording of the opera, A Florentine Tragedy on Naïve. Very nicely done:





« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 06:50:18 PM by donwyn »
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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2007, 08:14:54 AM »
Hanssler recently released Zemlinsky's long lost Cello Sonata in A minor.  It's on a disc with one of the Brahms cello sonatas and a cello sonata by Fuchs.

Offline The new erato

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #30 on: November 29, 2007, 08:26:10 AM »
Samuel Zyman! (I cheated and consulted the Wikipedia list...)
Magnar Åm (as the Norwegian alphabet concludes with X, Y, Z, Æ, Ø, Å). Now beat that!

Offline Cato

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2007, 10:41:54 AM »
It is a wonder that The Mermaid has not become a warhorse!  Just part of Zemlinsky's bad luck, especially in the post-WWI era.

Again I will recommend the Six Songs for Orchestra with Maeterlinck poems for anybody wondering if Zemlinsky is worth their time.

Be careful about the recordings of the First and Second Symphonies: I had one from the 90's (I think on Marco Polo) with the Slovak Philharmonic performing the Bb Symphony, and the entire last movement was missing, making me think for a while that the work was meant to be a 3-movement work, when it surely did not feel like a 3-movement symphony (a la Rachmaninov's 3rd).  A little research showed me that company had gone awry on this work.

The CD's with James Conlon conducting are highly recommended!
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Offline Brewski

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2007, 11:15:56 AM »
Again I will recommend the Six Songs for Orchestra with Maeterlinck poems for anybody wondering if Zemlinsky is worth their time.

I keep forgetting about these...thanks for mentioning!  I have the recording with Jard van Nes, the coupling on the original release of Chailly's Mahler 6.  (Don't think it's included in the Chailly box, unfortunately.)  And just found one with Anne Sofie von Otter and John Eliot Gardiner that sounds great, too. 

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Offline Pierre

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2008, 10:19:05 AM »
Perhaps time to revive this thread (even at the expense of repeating stuff). I've been listening to Zemlinsky's Psalm 23 (The Lord is my shepherd): its mix of pentatonic sweetness and 'sour' poignant harmonies at the opening I find strangely affecting - hauntingly beautiful stuff. I wish I could find Chailly's recording, an old fave of mine, but I've been making do with Rickenbacher's with the Berlin Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra (Koch 3-1486-2 H1).

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #34 on: November 01, 2008, 11:49:58 AM »
The only Zemlinsky I know is the Lyric Symphony, in two performances - Maazel (Varady/Fischer-Dieskau) and Eschenbach (Schäfer/Goerne). I prefer Maazel. Wonderful work.
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2008, 12:30:51 PM »
That reminds me, I should get tickets for Eine florentinische Tragödie, which will be staged at our National Opera later this month (a double bill with Puccini's Gianni Schicchi).  8)

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #36 on: November 01, 2008, 05:37:52 PM »
I wish I could find Chailly's recording, an old fave of mine

I have it if you would like me to upload it. :)

Offline Pierre

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #37 on: November 01, 2008, 06:42:26 PM »
I have it if you would like me to upload it. :)

Very kind of you to offer - I'm sure I've got the disc somewhere (probably in one of several boxes I still haven't unpacked/sorted). It would give me a lot of pleasure to hear it again, though, if you have a spare moment.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2008, 01:58:35 AM »
Very kind of you to offer - I'm sure I've got the disc somewhere (probably in one of several boxes I still haven't unpacked/sorted). It would give me a lot of pleasure to hear it again, though, if you have a spare moment.

Erm... seconded (and don't worry - Nørgård will be listened to in due course!)
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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #39 on: November 02, 2008, 02:22:35 AM »
Zemlinsky's Lyric Symphony is a great work, I especially love the opening. It is one of those works I've heard on the radio, after it had started, from time to time and not been able to place it, so that I've waited for the announcement at the end to satisfy my curiosity. Respighi is another composer like this. I remember listening to his Concerto Gregoriano on the radio and thinking that it must be by Finzi  ::)
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