Alexander Zemlinsky (1871-1942)


COTW101Early Life20070423

After a promising start, Alexander Zemlinsky's life turned into an uphill struggle. Despite being respected by colleagues such as Schoenberg and Berg, like many other artists, Zemlinsky's career was overshadowed by the cataclysmic events in Europe in the 1930s, and he died in exile largely forgotten. But in the years since his death, his reputation as a composer, teacher and conductor has slowly been restored. Donald Macleod begins his survey with Zemlinsky's formative experiences in Vienna.

Mit Warme (Landliche Tanze, Op 1)

Silke Avenhaus (piano)

Waldegesprach, Ballade for soprano, string orchestra, harp and two horns

Soile Isokoski (soprano)

Gurzenich Orchestra of Cologne

James Conlon (conductor)

Trio for violin, cello and piano, Op 3

Vienna Piano Trio

Symphony in B flat (1st movement)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

Antony Beaumont (conductor).

COTW102Alma Schindler20070424

As a young man, Zemlinsky had a brief but intense affair with Alma Schindler, but she broke off their relationship abruptly in favour of Gustav Mahler, whom she married soon after.

Zemlinsky expunged many of his feelings about Alma through his music.

Es war ein alter Konig (3 Lieder)

Iris Vermillion (mezzo-soprano)

Cord Garben (piano)

Fruhlingsbegrabnis (excerpt)

Donnie Ray Albert (baritone)

Chorus of the Dusseldorf Musikverein

Gurzenich Orchestra of Cologne

James Conlon (conductor)

Die Seejungfrau

Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra

Thomas Dausgaard (conductor).

COTW103The Vienna Crisis20070425

Donald Macleod looks at the events that forced Zemlinsky to leave Vienna and seek employment abroad.

Reigen (Drei Ballettstucke)

Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra

Gerd Albrecht (conductor)

Der Traumgorge (excerpt from Act I)

David Kuebler (tenor)

Susan Anthony, Iride Martinez (sopranos)

Andreas Schmidt (baritone)

Julian Rodescu (bass)

Opera Chorus of the Cologne Music School

Gurzenich Orchestra of Cologne

James Conlon (conductor)

String Quartet No 2, Op 15 (excerpt)

Artiss Quartett

Kleider machen Leute (excerpt from Act I)

Edith Mathis (soprano)

Wicus Slabbert (baritone)

Hermann Winkler (tenor)

Rainer Scholze, Claudio Otelli (basses)

Renate Lenhart, Sarianna Salminen, Kimberly Justus (singers)

Zurich Opera Orchestra and Chorus

Ralf Weikert (conductor).

COTW104The Prague Years20070426

In September 1911, Zemlinsky took up the post of music director at the Prague Landestheater. During the 16 years he spent there, he established an international reputation as a conductor and made a significant contribution to keeping many of his contemporaries' music in performance.

Prelude to Shakespeare's Cymbeline

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

Antony Beaumont (conductor)

Six songs to poems by Maurice Maeterlinck

Violeta Urmana (mezzo-soprano)

Gurzenich Orchestra of Cologne

James Conlon (conductor)

Psalm 23

Berlin Radio Choir

Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra

Karl Anton Rickenbacher (conductor)

Lyric Symphony, Op 18 (excerpt)

Hakan Hagegard (baritone)

Alessandra Marc (soprano)

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Riccardo Chailly (conductor).

COTW105 LASTExile20070427

Donald Macleod considers Zemlinsky's prediction that his music would only be truly understood after his death.

Ubler Bursche (Symphonische Gesange, Op 20)

Willard White (bass-baritone)

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Riccardo Chailly (conductor)

Der Zwerg (excerpt)

David Kuebler (tenor)

Soile Isokoski, Iride Martinez (sopranos)

Gurzenich Orchestra of Cologne

James Conlon (conductor)


Und einmal gehst du

Andreas Schmidt (baritone)

Cord Garben (piano).