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A New Life Cut Short

Donald Macleod tells the tragic tale of Zemlinsky's last years spent in exile in America. Music includes Jagdstuck, Symphony Songs (excerpts), Psalm 13 and String Quartet No 4.

As the Nazis rise and war looms, Zemlinsky emigrates to the USA - only for his life to be cut cruelly short. Donald Macleod tells the tragic tale of the composer's last years in exile.

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.

As the 1930s drew on and the spectre of Nazism drew across Europe, Zemlinsky's multicultural background put him at risk, despite returning to his home city of Vienna. As war loomed, he followed he brother-in-law Arnold Schoenberg across the Atlantic to the USA - only to be cut down by illness just as he was establishing a new life. Donald Macleod explores his final months in exile.

Bernd Künkele, Torsten Schwesig, horns
Jürgen Lamke, piano

Lieder aus Dixieland; Totes braunes Mädel; Übler bursche (Symphonic Songs)
Willard White (bass-baritone)
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Riccardo Chailly, conductor

Psalm 13
Ernst Senff Chamber Choir
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Riccardo Chailly, conductor

String Quartet No 4 'Suite' (2nd movt. Burleske )
Brodsky Quartet

Lyric Symphony (5th movt. Befrei mich von den banden; 6th movt. Vollende denn das letzte Lied; 7th movt. Friede, mein Herz)
Christine Schäfer, soprano
Matthias Goerne, baritone
Orchestre de Paris
Christophe Eschenbach, conductor.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 24 Mar 2017 18:30

Music Played

  • Bernd Kunkele, Torsten Schwesig & Jürgen Lamke


    • THOROFON:2376.
    • 12.
  • Johann Schein


    Ensemble: His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts.
  • Alexander von Zemlinsky

    Symphonische Gesange Op 20 ( extracts)

    Singer: Willard White. Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductor: Riccardo Chailly.
    • DECCA:4435692.
    • DECCA.
    • 8.
  • Alexander von Zemlinsky

    Psalm 13 Op 24

    Orchestra: Berlin R S O.. Conductor: Riccardo Chailly. Choir: Ernst Senff Chamber Choir.
    • DECCA: 4449692.
    • DECCA.
    • 4.
  • Alexander von Zemlinsky

    String Quartet No 4 Op 25 - Burleske

    Ensemble: Brodsky String Quartet.
    • CHANDOS:CHAN108452.
    • CHANDOS.
    • 6.
  • Alexander von Zemlinsky

    Lyric Symphony Op 18 - last 3 movements

    Singer: Matthias Goerne. Orchestra: Orchestre de Paris. Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach.
    • CAPRICCIO : 71.-081.
    • 1.


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