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ALEXANDER ZEMLINSKY  

(1871 - 1942)

The Austrian composer and conductor Alexander von Zemlinsky was born in Vienna in 1871. His reputation has to some extent been overshadowed by the controversial and influential achievements of his brother-in-law Arnold Schoenberg, with Alban Berg and Anton Webern, on the one hand, and by those of his older contemporary Gustav Mahler. Zemlinsky continues the tradition of Viennese classicism, the influence of Wagner never leading him to abandon tonality. In some measure he represents a generation of Viennese composers who were able to combine the apparently divergent tendencies of Brahms and Wagner.

Zemlinsky was trained at the Vienna Conservatory, where he was a composition pupil of Johann Nepomuk Fuchs, himself a pupil of Sechter, who had taught Schubert briefly, and of Bruckner, in the intervals of writing his daily fugue. Always a fine craftsman, Zemlinsky was able to instruct Schoenberg, whom he met in the amateur orchestra Polyhymnia in 1895, in counterpoint, and gave him advice on his earlier work. He was to remain for some time a strong influence both on Schoenberg and on younger composers in Vienna. He also taught Alma Schindler, later the wife of Mahler, who in 1897 became conductor at the Court Opera in Vienna

Zemlinsky’s close association with Schoenberg, a relationship strengthened when the latter married Zemlinsky’s sister Mathilde, brought early collaboration in the opera Sarema, for which Schoenberg assisted with the libretto. Both men were indebted to Mahler for practical encouragement. It was Mahler who presented Zemlinsky’s second opera Es war einmal at the Court Opera in 1900, and accepted his next opera Der Traumgörge for performance. Later operas included two works based on Oscar Wilde, Eine Florentinische Tragödie, and Der Zwerg, a version of The Birthday of the Infanta.

In addition to these and other stage works, Zemlinsky wrote songs, chamber music and four symphonies. The last of these, the Lyrische Sinfonie of 1923, using a text from Rabindranath Tagore, was quoted by Berg in his own Lyric Suite, as a sign of respect and affection.

Zemlinsky’s career was essentially in opera. In 1899 he became Kapellmeister at the Carltheater in Vienna, and later conducted also at the Volksoper, where he was Kapellmeister from 1906 until 1911, with a break during Mahler’s last season, 1907-08, when he conducted at the Court Opera. From 1911 until 1927 he was conductor at the Deutsche Landestheater in Prague, where he employed Schoenberg’s pupils Webern, Jalowetz and Karl Horowitz. This period was followed by appointment as Kapellmeister at the Kroll Theatre in Berlin, under Klemperer, and the continuation of his work as a teacher, which he had carried out in Prague, at the Berlin Musikhochschule. At the accession to power of Hitler in 1933, Zemlinsky made his escape to Vienna, and at the Anschluss in 1938 moved first to Prague and then to the United States, where he died in 1942.

View by Role: Classical Composer | Lyricist
Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
Art and Music: Klimt - Music of His Time Naxos
8.558146
Orchestral
Clarinet Recital: Ashkenazy, Dimitri - MOZART, W.A. / SCHUBERT, F. / ZEMLINSKY, A. / BRAHMS, J. (Live at the Klassik Musikfest Muhlviertel) Paladino Music
PMR0005
Chamber Music
ENNA: Lille pige med svovlstikkerne (Den) / ZEMLINSKY: Die Seejungfrau Dacapo
8.226048
Orchestral
FAMOUS AUSTRIAN COMPOSERS - STRAUSS / MOZART, W.A. / SCHUBERT, F. / BEETHOVEN, L. van / HAYDN, F.J. / HAYDN, M. / ALBRECHTSBERGER, J.G. Capriccio
C49370
Orchestral
LYRIC ORCHESTRAL SONGS Capriccio
C5101
Orchestral, Vocal
Marco Polo - The Label of Discovery: Sampler 1 Marco Polo
8.223001
Orchestral
PILSS / FORSTER / ZEMLINSKY / REINECKE: Wind Quintets BIS
BIS-CD-612
Chamber Music
RECITAL WITH RENÉE FLEMING (A) - Vienna at the Turn of the 20th Century (Blu-ray, HD) Arthaus Musik
108117
Classical Concert
RECITAL WITH RENÉE FLEMING (A) - Vienna at the Turn of the 20th Century (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
102196
Classical Concert
Vocal Music - STENHAMMAR, W. / ZEMLINSKY, A. / LANGGAARD, R. / HENRIQUES, F. / DELIUS, F. / PETERSON-BERGER, W. (Sange af J.P. Jacobsen) Naxos
8.572070
Vocal
Vocal Recital: Allen, Thomas Michael - BEETHOVEN, L. van / FAURÉ, G. / ZEMLINSKY, A. / BRITTEN, B. / BARBER, S. / EISLER, H. / WEILL, K. (Far Away) Capriccio
C5194
Vocal
Vocal Recital: Ziesak, Ruth - MAHLER, G. / MAHLER-WERFEL, A. M. / ZEMLINSKY, A. Capriccio
C5119
Vocal
ZEMLINSKY : Symphony in B-Flat Major Marco Polo
8.220391
Orchestral
ZEMLINSKY, A. von: Es war einmal … [Opera] Capriccio
C60019-2
Opera
ZEMLINSKY, A. von: Konig Kandaules (Der) [Opera] Capriccio
C60071-2
Opera
ZEMLINSKY, A. von: Serenade in A Major / BRAHMS, J.: Violin Sonata No. 3 / SCHUBERT, F.: Fantasy, Op. 159 (Contzen, Schuch) Oehms Classics
OC596
Chamber Music
ZEMLINSKY, A. von: Symphonische Gesange / 3 Ballet Pieces from Triumph der Zeit / Der Konig Kandaules (Grundheber, Hamburg State Philharmonic, Albrech Capriccio
C10448
Opera, Vocal, Orchestral
ZEMLINSKY, A. von: Symphony No. 1 / Fruhlingsbegrabnis / Waldgesprach / Maiblumen bluhten uberall (Beaumont) Capriccio
C10740
Vocal, Choral - Secular, Orchestral, Vocal
ZEMLINSKY, A. von: Traumgorge (Der) [Opera] Capriccio
C10241-42
Opera
ZEMLINSKY, A. von: Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in D Minor / BRUCH, M.: 8 Pieces (Kriikku) Ondine
ODE760-2
Chamber Music
ZEMLINSKY, A.: Kreidekreis (Der) [Opera] (Behle, Berlin Radio Symphony, Soltesz) Capriccio
C5190
Opera
ZEMLINSKY, A.: Lyric Symphony (Goerne, Schafer, Orchestre de Paris, Eschenbach) Capriccio
C71081
Orchestral
ZEMLINSKY, A.: Lyric Symphony / BERG, A.: 3 Pieces from the Lyric Suite (Robinson, Trekel, Houston Symphony, Graf) Naxos
8.572048
Orchestral
ZEMLINSKY, A.: Piano Trio, Op. 3 / BLOCH, E.: 3 Nocturnes / KORNGOLD, E.W.: Piano Trio, Op. 1 (Pacific Trio) Capriccio
C5221
Chamber Music
ZEMLINSKY, A.: Seejungfrau (Die) / Sinfonietta (New Zealand Symphony, Judd) Naxos
8.570240
Orchestral
ZEMLINSKY, A.: String Quartets, Vol. 1 (Escher String Quartet) - Nos. 3 and 4 Naxos
8.572813
Chamber Music
ZEMLINSKY, A.: String Quartets, Vol. 2 (Escher String Quartet) - Nos. 1 and 2 Naxos
8.573088
Chamber Music
ZEMLINSKY, A.: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 (Rajter, Seipensbusch) Naxos
8.557008
Orchestral
ZEMLINSKY, A.: Zwerg (Der) / ULLMANN, V.: Der zerbrochene Krug (Los Angeles Opera, 2008) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) Arthaus Musik
101528
Opera DVD
ZEMLINSKY, A.: Zwerg (Der) / ULLMANN, V.: Der zerbrochene Krug (Los Angeles Opera, 2008) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
101527
Opera DVD
ZEMLINSKY: Rustic Dances, Op. 1 / Four Fantasies, Op. 9 / A Ray of Light Naxos
8.557331
Instrumental
ZEMLINSKY: Symphony No. 1 / Das Glaserne Herz Marco Polo
8.223166
Orchestral
ZEMLINSKY: Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano / Cello Sonata / 3 Pieces Naxos
8.570540
Instrumental, Chamber Music
Role: Lyricist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 




 
 
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