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ZEMLINSKY, A.: Lyric Symphony / BERG, A.: 3 Pieces from the Lyric Suite (Robinson, Trekel, Houston Symphony, Graf)

Composer(s):Berg, AlbanZemlinsky, Alexander
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.572048
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps

Alexander von Zemlinsky’s best known work, the seductive Lyric Symphony, inspired Alban Berg, who quoted its third movement in his own Lyric Suite, three movements of which Berg himself arranged for string orchestra. Described by Theodor Adorno as “a latent opera”, Berg’s masterpiece was publicly dedicated to Zemlinsky but carried a secret programme: his illicit love for Hanna Fuchs-Robettin. Zemlinsky’s richly scored symphony, a late-Romantic song cycle by any other name, recalls both Mahler’s Song of the Earth (8.550933) and Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder (8.557518-19).



Review By Kai Schabram,,September 2009


Lyrische Weltanschauungsmusik


Review By Lawson Taitte,The Dallas Morning News,July 2009

The Houston Symphony Orchestra joins the Naxos label roster under its (relatively) new maestro in one of the most formidable Viennese late romantic works. Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony owes much of its inspiration to Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, another collection of orchestral songs considered a symphony by the composer. Instead of Chinese poets, this time the words come from India—love lyrics by Bengali Rabindranath Tagore.

The orchestra sounds wonderfully lush under Hans Graf, though maybe not as lush as it sometimes did under his predecessor, Christoph Eschenbach. Ironically, Eschenbach released a prize-winning version of this score last year himself, with two of the best-known current German singers.


Review By Patricia Kelly,Courier Mail,June 2009

Naxos often makes brave recording decisions…Zemlinsky’s symphonic setting of poems by Rabindranath Tagore, an Indian poet ten years his senior, also rekindles a discussion on choral symphonies. Are they real symphonies, or just orchestrated song cycles? In this performance Twyla Robinson (who sang at the 70th birthday gala at Carnegie Hall for no less a light than the stellar mezzo soprano Marilyn Horne), baritone Roman Trekel (whose gritty German style is so right for the textures) and Hans Graf with his Houston Symphony weave an intelligent path through the demanding material.  They balance the rise and fall, the soaring and settling of its complex structure with a well measured sensitivity. Houston Symphony also combines nuance and definition in the


Review By David Denton, Naxos,May 2009

Zemlinsky took over where Mahler left off, his Lyric Symphony being a real-life doomed love story told in a score full of sensual, erotic and dramatic colours. Using a large orchestra with soprano and baritone soloist, it reflects the fact that he was one of the great opera composer’s of the 20th century, snatches of Der Zwerg and Eine florentinische Tragodie appearing. It has received many outstanding recordings in recent years, and this one can be added among the finest. Of course the human voice is a very personal thing, the highly experienced German baritone, Roman Trekel, having a noticeable vibrato and a tight sound that has been much admired in the world’s major opera houses. His partner is very different, Twyla



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