Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony Available for Chamber Orchestra
James Conlon Conducts The Mermaid in New Critical Edition

Jun. 03, 2013

Ensemble Kontrapunkte premieres the new chamber orchestra arrangement of Alexander Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony on June 3, led by Peter Kausching.
The performance of the new arrangement by Thomas Heinisch features soprano Gabriele Fontana in a concert hosted by the Society of Music Lovers in Vienna.

Zemlinsky composed the Lyric Symphony in 1922 using texts from The Gardener by Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore.
The piece is divided into seven movements, and each contains its own unique anecdote about love and desire.
Heinisch’s revival of the piece retains the use of a baritone and soprano, which Zemlinsky regards as “voice types that are right for theater: a heroic baritone and a young, dramatic soprano.”

Heinisch writes:

To my surprise, it was relatively easy to arrange the first three movements for ensemble, as the orchestra never goes beyond the traditional four-part harmony, with a texture that – interestingly enough – is closer to Brahms than, for instance, to Schönberg. From an instrumentation perspective, the exquisite slow fourth movement “Sprich zu mir, Geliebter” (Speak to me, my love) in the middle of the work poses a challenge, given the subtle separation of the string parts. As the string parts are not played by several instrumentalists, it was necessary to assign some of them to the harmonium or accordion (either can be used in my version). I feel that this movement has lost none of its mysterious charm through this alteration. It was also necessary to make changes to the short yet massive fifth movement. By introducing the shrill E-flat clarinet, which does not feature at all in the original, I have attempted to do justice to the abrasiveness and corporeality of this movement.

In a new critical edition publication of Zemlinsky's The Mermaid, arranged by Antony Beaumont, two versions of Part II now appear side by side: the original version (with the rediscovered episode of the sea witch) is retained with its build to a wild climax, bordering on hysteria, and disrupting the formal balance of the work; and the composer's revised version, which passes elegantly over the agony and ecstasy of Andersen’s fairy tail, as if to say, “the rest is silence.” James Conlon leads the Vienna Philarmonic in the Austrian premiere of Beaumont's new critical edition on June 7 and 8.

The performance of Lyric Symphony takes place June 3 at the Musikverein in Vienna.

Alexander Zemlinsky
Lyric Symphony
arr. for chamber orchestra by Thomas Heinisch
for soprano, baritone and chamber orchestra

Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid) (1903)
fantasia in three movements for large orchestra based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen
Critical Edition arr. by Antony Beaumont


Jardins d'amour : Mahler, Wagner et Zemlinsky

Le Secession Orchestra dirigé par Clément Mao-Takacs, accompagne les chanteurs Stéphane Degout et Elsa Dreisig dans la Symphonie Lyrique de Zemlinsky;
un arrangement de Thomas Heinisch pour 34 musiciens joué pour la première fois en France. Mahler et Wagner complètent le programme.

Concert donné le 24 septembre 2017 à 17h30 au Refectoire des Moines à Royaumont dans le cadre du Festival de Royaumont.

Programme du concert

Gustav Mahler (1860 - 1911)
Blumine, pour orchestre

Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883)
Enchantement du Vendredi Saint

Alexander von Zemlinsky (1871 - 1942)
Symphonie lyrique pour soprano solo, baryton solo et orchestre
texte de Rabindranath Tagore, arrangement de Thomas Heinisch (2012)

Secession Orchestra
Clément Mao-Takacs : Direction
Elsa Dreisig : Soprano
Stéphane Degout : Baryton

On peut l'écouter ici (à partir de 28'10)


file:///D:/Musiques/Ma musique/Zemlinsky/FM_Mahler_Wagner_Zemlinsky.mp3