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The Dream Princess

Donald Macleod focuses on Zemlinsky's opera Gorge the Dreamer, into which the devastated composer poured his unrequited love for his beloved Alma.

Donald Macleod explores Zemlinsky's opera "Görge the Dreamer", into which the devastated composer poured his unrequited love for his beloved Alma.

Alexander Zemlinsky may have been famously ugly. But his music is amongst the most beautiful, intense and passionate ever written. Pilloried through his life for his gawky, bespectacled appearance and diminutive stature, he lived a life in the shadow of his friend and brother-in-law Arnold Schoenberg, and his one-time lover, the beautiful socialite Alma Mahler. "My time will come after my death", the composer said - and in the last half century audiences have come to love the shimmering details and epic Romantic sweep of his music. Often compared musically to Mahler, Zemlinsky weathered the build-up to two world wars from his beloved home city of Vienna, only to die prematurely in exile in the USA.

Abandoned by Alma for his musical rival Gustav Mahler, Zemlinsky embarked on an operatic masterpiece, "Görge the Dreamer", in which the dreamy country boy George whiles his time away imagining tales of fairy castles and his "Dream Princess". As Donald Macleod explores, it wouldn't be the first time that Zemlinsky transplanted the psychodrama of his own turbulent life into the world of his operas. We also hear more from Zemlinsky's symphonic masterpiece, the Lyric Symphony.

Zwischenspiel (Kleider Machen Leute)
Gürzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker
James Conlon, conductor

Der Traumgörge, Act II (end)
David Kuebler, tenor (Görge)
Patricia Racette, soprano (Gertraud)
Gürzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker
James Conlon, conductor

Psalm 23
Ernst Senff Chamber Choir
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Riccardo Chailly, conductor

Lyric Symphony (2nd movt. Mutter, der Junge Prinz; 3rd movt. Du bist die Abendwolke; 4th movt. Sprich zu mir, Geliebter)
Christine Schäfer (soprano), Matthias Goerne (baritone)
Orchestre de Paris
Christophe Eschenbach, conductor.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Alessandro Scarlatti

    Concerto Grosso No 3 in F major

    Orchestra: Concerto de' Cavalieri. Conductor: Marcello Di Lisa.
  • Alexander von Zemlinsky

    Kleider Machen Leute - Act 2 (extract)

    Orchestra: COLOGNE Gurzenich Orchestra. Conductor: James Conlon.
    • EMI: CMS5662472.
    • EMI.
    • 12.
  • Alexander von Zemlinsky

    Der Traumgorge - Extract

    Singer: David Kuebler. Singer: Susan Anthony. Singer: Iride Martinez. Singer: Andreas Schmidt. Singer: Julian Rodescu. Choir: Cologne Music School Chorus. Orchestra: COLOGNE Gurzenich Orchestra. Conductor: James Conlon.
    • EMI : cds-557088.
    • EMI.
    • 15.
  • Alexander von Zemlinsky

    Psalm 23 Op14

    Performer: Ernst Senff Chamber Choir. Performer: German S O Berlin. Conductor: Riccardo Chailly.
    • DECCA : 421-644-2.
    • DECCA.
    • 1.
  • Alexander von Zemlinsky

    Lyric Symphony Op 18

    Orchestra: BBC S O.. Conductor: Simone Young. Singer: Siobhan Stagg. Singer: Christopher Maltman.

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