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Zemlinsky - A Florentine Tragedy

Stephen Johnson surveys Zemlinsky's opera A Florentine Tragedy. Based on a play by Oscar Wilde, the work is a tragic tale of jealousy and revenge, and premiered in 1917.

Stephen Johnson surveys the compelling opera, A Florentine Tragedy by Alexander Zemlinsky. Based on a play by Oscar Wilde, this one act opera was premiered in 1917, and is a tragic tale of jealousy and revenge, masked behind the fa├žade of good living. It is a disturbing work in which a husband and wife realise their feelings for one another and their relationship is rejuvenated through a catastrophic event, the merciless act of murder.

By the time this opera was premiered, Zemlinsky was famed as an opera conductor in Prague. Out of the five operas he composed, A Florentine Tragedy has received the most performances and was described as 'a splendid work' by Zemlinsky's pupil and brother-in-law, the composer Arnold Schoenberg.

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20 minutes

Music Played

  • Richard Strauss


  • Richard Strauss

    Der Rosenkavalier - Prelude

  • Alexander von Zemlinsky

    A Florentine Tragedy


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