Zemlinsky A Florentine Tragedy & Six Maeterlinck Songs
Petra Lang

Zemlinsky A Florentine Tragedy & Six Maeterlinck Songs

CD | Lpo | 0854990001789 | LPO 0078 | 07-14

€ 17.95 Add to cart
About the album

Zemlinsky’s one-act opera A Florentine Tragedy is based on an unfinished play by Oscar Wilde. Set in 16th-century Florence, the opera tells of jealousy, betrayal and ultimately murder, and was described as ‘a splendid work’ by Zemlinsky’s pupil and brother-in-law, Arnold Schoenberg.
Review of the Florentine Tragedy performance:

‘The orchestral playing was faultless, the singing superb. By the end, there was a sense of audience complicity in something monstrous. A very fine achievement.’ (
The Guardian)

Like Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, the opera opens with an orchestral depiction of the passion between Bianca and her lover Guido. Their dreamy afterglow glitters like a painting by Zemlinsky’s Viennese contemporary Gustav Klimt – a richly erotic dreamscape, which also suggests the wonderful fabrics, silks and tapestries traded by Bianca’s husband Simone.
Mezzo-soprano Petra Lang is the soloist in the rarely performed Six Maeterlinck Songs. One of the most sought-after performers in the Austro-German song repertoire, Lang captures perfectly the dark foreboding and eerie, dreamlike quality of the songs.

Both works reference Zemlinsky’s unrequited love for Alma Schindler, who eventually chose the international star conductor Mahler as her husband. Zemlinsky never got over this, and when Alma saw A Florentine Tragedy she was furious at what she saw as the depiction of herself, Mahler and her affair with Walter Gropius.

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Zemlinskys einaktige Oper Eine florentinische Tragödie basiert auf einem unvollendeten Stück von Oskar Wilde. Florenz im 16. Jahrhundert, die Oper erzählt von Neid, Verrat und Mord. Arnold Schönberg, Zemlinksys Schüler und Schwager, beschrieb Eine florentinische Tragödie als "brilliantes Werk".


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