Author Topic: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky  (Read 33547 times)

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Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #180 on: May 06, 2022, 11:05:51 AM »
Next stop the Lyric Symphony and the String Quartets.  The late Sinfonietta is a knotty but impressively austere work - quite different from The Mermaid.

I've already listened to the Lyric Symphony and it is a beautiful piece, with a brilliant orchestration and very well combined atmospheres between the passionate intensity and the titanism of Mahler, and tense, haunting dissonances nearer to the expressionist music. I was told that this composition is often considered as the little brother of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, and as a matter of fact they share some similarities like the instrumentation, the vocal structure and the texts based on eastern poems, but apart from that, Zemlinsky developed his work in a very original, expressive way.
I've also listened to the String Quartets recently and I loved them, especially No.2,3 and 4; they were more dissonant than I had expected (since I read Zemlinsky was never very attracted by the use of Schönberg and Second Viennese School's sharp atonality) but certainly thrilling and mesmerizing; String Quartet No.1 is the only one which shows a more brahmsian style.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #181 on: May 06, 2022, 11:10:31 AM »
Ah, my favourite thread title!  :)
The 'Lyric Symphony' and 'Mermaid' are great favourites.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #182 on: May 06, 2022, 11:35:58 AM »
I've already listened to the Lyric Symphony and it is a beautiful piece, with a brilliant orchestration and very well combined atmospheres between the passionate intensity and the titanism of Mahler, and tense, haunting dissonances nearer to the expressionist music. I was told that this composition is often considered as the little brother of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, and as a matter of fact they share some similarities like the instrumentation, the vocal structure and the texts based on eastern poems, but apart from that, Zemlinsky developed his work in a very original, expressive way.
I've also listened to the String Quartets recently and I loved them, especially No.2,3 and 4; they were more dissonant than I had expected (since I read Zemlinsky was never very attracted by the use of Schönberg and Second Viennese School's sharp atonality) but certainly thrilling and mesmerizing; String Quartet No.1 is the only one which shows a more brahmsian style.

Great stuff, Ilaria. I love all of these works you mentioned. I still recommend checking out the operas Der Zwerg and Eine florentinische Tragödie, but also the choral works like the Psalms. Zemlinsky is a fantastic composer!
My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #183 on: May 06, 2022, 12:38:11 PM »
Ah, my favourite thread title!  :)
The 'Lyric Symphony' and 'Mermaid' are great favourites.
Agreed, they are really gorgeous.

Great stuff, Ilaria. I love all of these works you mentioned. I still recommend checking out the operas Der Zwerg and Eine florentinische Tragödie, but also the choral works like the Psalms. Zemlinsky is a fantastic composer!
I've already listened to the Psalms (both on the Chailly & RSO Berlin recording) and I enjoyed those works very much, they're definitely remarkable; No. 23 is very mystical and evocative, while No. 13 has a quite different atmosphere, more tragic, haunting, with more tension and sometimes anxiety (apart from the glorious ending), but absolutely compelling.
I haven't forgotten your suggestion about Zemlinsky's operas, I promise I'll listen to them this weekend; I've just seen they're about 1 hour/1 hour and half long....they'll be a piece of cake for someone trained with Wagner's works.   ;)
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." - Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #184 on: May 06, 2022, 12:53:30 PM »
I've already listened to the Psalms (both on the Chailly & RSO Berlin recording) and I enjoyed those works very much, they're definitely remarkable; No. 23 is very mystical and evocative, while No. 13 has a quite different atmosphere, more tragic, haunting, with more tension and sometimes anxiety (apart from the glorious ending), but absolutely compelling.
I haven't forgotten your suggestion about Zemlinsky's operas, I promise I'll listen to them this weekend; I've just seen they're about 1 hour/1 hour and half long....they'll be a piece of cake for someone trained with Wagner's works.   ;)

Great to read, Ilaria. 8) And, yes, these operas' durations should be quite easy for you. :)
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Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #185 on: May 08, 2022, 04:11:33 AM »
First listening to a Zemlinsky opera, Der Zwerg: such an outstanding work, I absolutely loved it! The music was impressive, very immersive and involving, and although the scene is rather static and without many changes, the orchestral texture and the timbric variations depicted brilliantly the intense, passionate feelings, what could be seen and what was kept hidden, with a powerful chromatism, but also sharper harmonies showing the tension and sufference of the inner essence of the human being; really striking. There was a great juxtaposition of real and illusive, between the colourful, bright, but at the same time cold and cruel, atmospheres of the royal court, and the tragic duality of the dwarf, whose love, unlike Tristan and Isolde, couldn't be realized be realized even in death. The lively, suggestive spanish dances also remembered me Debussy's Iberia and Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio espagnol.

Next stop, Eine florentinische Tragödie......
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." - Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #186 on: May 08, 2022, 05:28:02 AM »
First listening to a Zemlinsky opera, Der Zwerg: such an outstanding work, I absolutely loved it! The music was impressive, very immersive and involving, and although the scene is rather static and without many changes, the orchestral texture and the timbric variations depicted brilliantly the intense, passionate feelings, what could be seen and what was kept hidden, with a powerful chromatism, but also sharper harmonies showing the tension and sufference of the inner essence of the human being; really striking. There was a great juxtaposition of real and illusive, between the colourful, bright, but at the same time cold and cruel, atmospheres of the royal court, and the tragic duality of the dwarf, whose love, unlike Tristan and Isolde, couldn't be realized be realized even in death. The lively, suggestive spanish dances also remembered me Debussy's Iberia and Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio espagnol.

Next stop, Eine florentinische Tragödie......

8) Lovely, Ilaria. Glad you enjoyed Der Zwerg. I'm going to have to revisit this opera as it's been quite some time since I've heard it. Hope you enjoy Eine florentinische Tragödie as well. This opera is much more Expressionistic.
My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #187 on: May 08, 2022, 07:42:01 AM »
8) Lovely, Ilaria. Glad you enjoyed Der Zwerg. I'm going to have to revisit this opera as it's been quite some time since I've heard it. Hope you enjoy Eine florentinische Tragödie as well. This opera is much more Expressionistic.

I have, immensely, "ein prachtvolles Werk" ;D Agreed, Eine florentinische Tragödie swings between a great chromatism, dissonant counterpoint and harmonies taken to extremes that are echoes of Mahler and Strauss, and a more modern style; its anxious and elusive tonal language doesn't appear thorugh either piercing tensions or breaking solutions, but it is suspended, with shading lines. Anyway the result is terribly beautiful.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: At the end of the alphabet: Zemlinsky
« Reply #188 on: May 08, 2022, 07:00:16 PM »
I have, immensely, "ein prachtvolles Werk" ;D Agreed, Eine florentinische Tragödie swings between a great chromatism, dissonant counterpoint and harmonies taken to extremes that are echoes of Mahler and Strauss, and a more modern style; its anxious and elusive tonal language doesn't appear thorugh either piercing tensions or breaking solutions, but it is suspended, with shading lines. Anyway the result is terribly beautiful.

Excellent! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'll probably revisit these works or, at least, Der Zwerg because I remember thoroughly enjoying this one a lot. Perhaps when I'm off the next three days.
My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók