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Zemlinsky: The Chalk Circle / Soltesz, Behle, Hermann, Lorenz

Zemlinsky / Behle / Radio-symphonoie-orchester
Release Date: 10/29/2013 
Label:  Capriccio Records   Catalog #: 5190   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Reiner GoldbergRoland HermannRenate BehleSiegfried Lorenz,   ... 
Conductor:  Stefan Soltesz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The old Chinese drama of courtroom and customs was usable only as raw material. In its original version it is a fairly dull, wooden affair, handled extremely clumsily from the dramatic point of view. It is in effect inventing a Chinese fairy-tale. No strict Chinoiserie: it had to be as if in a dream of China. -- Klabund (1925)

Two years after the death of Klabund, Zemlinsky decided to use his Chalk circle as the basis for an opera. He recast the five-act "play after the Chinese" first into a two-act, later into a three-act version, and composed his Chalk circle in 1931/32. This blend of a fairy-tale Utopia, social criticism and inwardness makes itself felt in Zemlinsky's music, which seeks to combine varied stylistic
Read more components: Chinese coloration appears in the orchestral scoring, which is enriched with gongs and other exotic-sounding instruments: the melody often avoids semitonal steps and so takes on a pentatonic character. It was the seventh and also his last completed opera, from which the then 61-year-old Zemlinsky hoped for the definitive breakthrough as an operatic dramatist.
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Works on This Recording

Der Kreidekreis by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Reiner Goldberg (Tenor), Roland Hermann (Baritone), Renate Behle (Soprano),
Siegfried Lorenz (Baritone), Celina Lindsley (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stefan Soltesz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; Berlin, Germany 

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