ZEMLINSKY: Lyrische Symphonie
Katherine Weber: Soprano
Rolfe Dauz: Baritone
Fergus McAlpine: Conductor
Zemlinsky Chamber Orchestra
This concert celebrates the 150th Birthday season of Alexander von Zemlinsky, the extraordinary yet rarely performed composer who shaped and inspired much of how we see musical culture in the 21st century. As well as being a composer himself, Zemlinsky’s students included Schoenberg and Korngold: anything from atonality and musical modernism, to music in Hollywood can be traced back directly to Zemlinsky.
Seen as his answer to Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Zemlinsky’s Lyrische Symphonie uses a collection of love poems by Punjab poet, Rabindranath Tagore. The work doesn’t only describe love in the romantic sense, but how it ties into our human nature and affects our personalities and decision making. Schubert’s Viola, D786 also ties into the same theme, where a love story is told through the eyes of a single flower: here the blooming of spring is compared to a celebratory morning of a wedding.
Among Zemlinsky’s closest friends and colleagues was composer Alban Berg. His Sonate is a prime example of Zemlinsky’s musical influence: where classical forms and traditions are preserved, a romantic version of modern harmony shines brightly.
The three versions of these works performed by the ZCO bridge the gap between symphonic forces and chamber music, creating a powerful, yet intimate experience of some of the greatest masterpieces of the 19th and 20th centuries.