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CD Review

Alexander von Zemlinsky

  • Die Seejingfrau
  • Sinfonietta
  • Cymbeline Suite *
  • Fruhlingsbegrabnis **
  • Ein Tanzpoem
* David Kuebler, tenor
** Deborah Voigt, soprano
** Donnie Ray Albert, baritone
** Chor des Stadtischen Musikvereins zu Düsseldorf
Cologne Gürzenich Philharmonic Orchestra/James Conlon
EMI Double Forte 575184-2 144m DDD
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Zemlinksy's pure music is full of the inherent beauty and wonder that is attributable to composers who worked in Vienna in the Mahler years. This man was one of the major artistic figures of the 20th century and his works are quite astonishingly underrated for their ravishing beauty and construction. This two-disc set which is quite well filled contains some of the more famous works and a few rarities.

Conlon's 'Die Seejungfru' is an unashamedly romantic interpretation, full of colour and astonishing verve and drive with the Cologne orchestra quite up trumps on all counts. I also enjoyed thelovely Sinfonietta which has a suitably energic Finale.

The second disc is full of rarities with the delightful 'Cymbeline Suite' showing the characteristics of Zemlinky's lush, post romantic idiom. The two suites that make up the rest of the disc, 'Fruhlingsbergrabis' and 'Ein Tanzpoem' are also fantastic for their memorable melodies and beautiful conclusions that show a master at work here.

The interpretations are loving and detailed and I have absolutely no qualms in recommending this attractively priced set to any newcomer who wishes to sample the name of Alexander Zemlinsky.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech