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Zemlinsky: Lyrische Symphonie / Lorin Maazel, Berlin Po

Release Date: 10/13/2009 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 9120   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Julia VarádyDietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The 1924 premiere of the Lyric Symphony was conducted by Zemlinsky in Prague a year after its completion and is now generally accepted to be one of his most successful and satisfying works. Modelled on the structure of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Zemlinsky turned to the ‘Bengali Maeterlinck’ Rabindranath Tagore for inspiration. He had recently read Tagore’s The Gardener, and the poems contained in this collection brought forth from Zemlinsky a passionate and intimate outburst, dealing with human emotionssuch as love, loss and longing, as well as death and dreams of the afterlife. The work takes the form of a dialogue between a man and a woman, and the prelude and first song set the tone for all that follows. The central fourth movement Read more is a wonderfully delicate nocturne of great tenderness: ‘The wind is sighing through the trees’ sings the woman. The man responds in the fifth movement, ‘I am lost in you, wrapped in the folds of your caresses’. The woman in the sixth movement is distraught at the sense of loss: ‘My eager hand presses emptiness to my heart and it bruises my breast’. Quotations from Mahler’s Sixth Symphony and Schoenberg’s String Quartet No.2 can be heard, as well as from Zemlinsky’s opera Der Zwerg, a tragic tale of an ugly man destroyed by a love that proved to be a self-induced delusion. Further information• Recording from 1981• ‘The recording is even more sumptuous than in its LP format – satisfyingly rich and complex in thebig climaxes, wonderfully delicate in the frequent passages of chamber-music filigree. This is, inshort, a very fine performance and recording of a work that is looking more and more like a crucialdocument of what one might term ‘pre-modernism’. Gramophone, June 1987 Read less

Works on This Recording

Lyric Symphony, Op. 18 by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Julia Varády (Soprano), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone)
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; Austria 

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