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Zemlinsky: Complete Orchestral Songs / Conlon, Schmidt

Release Date: 09/12/2000 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 57024   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Soile IsokoskiTorsten JanickeMile KosiRose Kaufmann,   ... 
Conductor:  James Conlon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This collection of Zemlinsky orchestral songs covers the composer's entire creative life. The early Waldgespräch, Maiblumen blühten überall (lovingly sung by Soile Isokoski), and the Two Songs for Baritone and Orchestra, an especially arresting piece penetratingly performed by Andreas Schmidt, show Zemlinsky crafting his own style away from the pervasive, opposite influences of Wagner and Brahms (though Waldgespräch contains passages clearly influenced by Die Walküre). With the Maeterlinck songs of 1910-13, the composer's mature and harmonically lush technique is fully assured, making this one of his masterpieces. Violeta Urmana's singing is not so regally expressive as Eva
Read more Marton's on Hungaroton, but her clarity of diction is particularly welcome, as is her purity of tone in Als ihr Geliebter schied.

Finally, we encounter late Zemlinsky in the Symphonic Songs of 1929. Fascinated by a German-translated book of poetry from the Harlem Renaissance entitled Afrika Singt, Zemlinsky created a cycle of seven songs based on texts by Langston Hughes and other prominent African-American writers. It's a little odd to hear an operatic baritone singing in German about Dixieland and picking cotton, and although Zemlinsky does incorporate some jazz elements, he doesn't catch anywhere near the flavor of the U.S. south that Kurt Weill does in his Seven Deadly Sins. However, the music's extreme chromaticism, ever-fascinating orchestration, and beautifully weaving vocal lines make these songs endlessly alluring, as does Michael Volle's imaginative and vocally splendid performance. James Conlon and the Cologne Philharmonic make perfect partners for the singers in these truly collaborative orchestral songs, and EMI's clear and richly resonant recording creates the ideal atmosphere in which to experience them. Fans of Zemlinsky and lovers of lieder will find this disc a treasure.
--Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Waldgespräch by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  James Conlon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895-1896; Vienna, Austria 
Maiblumen by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Torsten Janicke (Violin), Mile Kosi (Viola), Rose Kaufmann (Violin),
Urara Seo (Viola), Daniel Cahen (Cello), Sylvia Borg (Cello),
Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1903; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Version: Original 
Songs (2) for Baritone and Orchestra by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Andreas Schmidt (Baritone)
Conductor:  James Conlon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900-1901; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranged: Antony Beaumont 
Gesänge (6), Op. 13 by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Violeta Urmana (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  James Conlon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910-1913; Vienna, Austria 
Sinfonische Gesänge, Op. 20 by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Michael Volle (Baritone)
Conductor:  James Conlon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; Vienna, Austria 

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