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Zemlinsky: Posthumous Songs / Ziesak, Blochwitz, Vermillion, Schmidt


Release Date: 02/27/1998 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 57960   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Ruth ZiesakAndreas SchmidtIris VermillionCord Garben,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Echoing Schumann, Schoenberg and Mahler, these songs have a concentrated, poignant intensity that is impressive.

A few years ago Blochwitz, Schmidt and Garben, together with Barbara Bonney as soprano and Anne Sofie von Otter as mezzo, recorded all of Zemlinsky's published songs (DG, 10/89). These are the ones he didn't publish; why not? When sung as they are here in chronological order the reason for a while seems obvious: a good many of the earlier ones are competent but rather ordinary. Apart from a charming hint of Schumann in the very first of them (and an almost literal quotation from him in the second) they have little individuality until about a third of the way through the collection. Then, in
Read more "Orientalisches Sonett" (Vier Lieder), there is an appropriately languishing touch of fin de siecle exoticism, as well as a deft reflection of the form of a sonnet, and, on "Süsse, süsse Sommernacht" (from the same set) a long and beautiful lullaby melody, finely poised over an arpeggiated accompaniment. From then on things get much more interesting.

In his notes, Anthony Beaumont suggests that in some cases it wasn't dissatisfaction that deterred Zemlinsky from publication; the austere, searching "Es war ein alter König (Drei Lieder), for example, may have been a private reflection on Mahler's marriage to Alma Schindler, with whom Zemlinsky himself was in love. Similarly three settings of Richard Dehmel, obviously designed as a set, are perhaps about the love affair Zemlinsky's sister (Schoenberg's first wife) was having with the painter Richard Gerstl. The relationship and Schoenberg's reaction to it led to a cooling of Zemlinsky's close friendship with his brother-in-law; Gerstl later killed himself. The songs have a concentrated, poignant intensity so impressive that one is tempted to speculate about other hidden reasons for Zemlinsky's reticence. "Jane Grey" (from Zwei Balladen), for example, was entered for a competition to which Schoenberg submitted a setting of exactly the same text. Is that why it almost out-Schoenbergs Schoenberg in its tenuous hold on tonality, its curiously gripping bare angularity? But in "Der verlorene Haufen" (Zwei Balladen), also set by Schoenberg for the same competition, Zemlinsky seems to be outMahlering Mahler in the fearsome march-toccata that accompanies this grim tale of a front-line regiment contemplating death each morning.

The manner of the Dehmel songs is recaptured in a haunting group of settings of Hofmannsthal (Vier Lieder); there are also two curious comic ballads (the Brettl-Lieder, one quite funny, the other—about a man who eats so much that he bursts-rather disgusting), a most beautiful cradle song over a dead child ("Uber eine Wiege", Drei Lieder) and a much later, nobly stoic contemplation of old age (Und einmal gehst du) that are in no way inferior to the best of Zemlinsky's published songs. Blochwitz, Schmidt and Garben are as reliable as they were in the earlier set, Vermillion matches them admirably and Ziesak, if a little hard and bright at times, can fine her voice down to an effective intimacy. The recordings are excellent.

-- Gramophone [6/1995]

Includes notes in English, German, and French. Song texts in German and English.
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Works on This Recording

1. Lieder (6) by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Andreas Schmidt (Baritone), Iris Vermillion (Mezzo Soprano),
Cord Garben (Piano), Hans-Peter Blochwitz (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Language: German 
2. Und einmal gehst du by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Andreas Schmidt (Baritone), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
3. Preislieder (2) by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
Language: German 
4. Lieder (2) by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Iris Vermillion (Mezzo Soprano), Cord Garben (Piano), Hans-Peter Blochwitz (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
Language: German 
5. Wandl' ich im Wald des Abends by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Andreas Schmidt (Baritone), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
6. Lieder (4) by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), Ruth Ziesak (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Language: German 
7. Brettl-Lieder (2) by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Iris Vermillion (Mezzo Soprano), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
8. Ballads (2) by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Andreas Schmidt (Baritone), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
9. Lieder (5) on poems of Richard Dehmel: no 2, Ansturm by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Hans-Peter Blochwitz (Tenor), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
10. Lieder (5) on poems of Richard Dehmel: no 3, Vorspiel by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), Hans-Peter Blochwitz (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
11. Lieder (5) on poems of Richard Dehmel: no 5, Auf See by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), Hans-Peter Blochwitz (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
12. Lieder (3) by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Performer:  Hans-Peter Blochwitz (Tenor), Iris Vermillion (Mezzo Soprano), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Austria 
Language: German 

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