Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Donnie Ray Albert, Alexander von Zemlinsky, Cologne Philharmonic|
Zemlinsky: A Florentine Tragedy
This is one of those typically decadent, fin-de-siècle, sexual-depravity operas that seem to be making a comeback, maybe because we've reached our own fin-de-siecle but have little to offer in the sexual-depravity depar... more »
This is one of those typically decadent, fin-de-siècle, sexual-depravity operas that seem to be making a comeback, maybe because we've reached our own fin-de-siecle but have little to offer in the sexual-depravity department. Anyway, here's the plot: married couple is having a slight performance problem, so she looks for entertainment elsewhere. Hubby catches her in the act, murders her boyfriend, and the two find themselves so turned on by the murder that their lust for each other is rekindled. End of opera. What could be more fun than that? The music is luscious, the performance passionate. -- David Hurwitz
A gorgeous, sinister, visceral short from Zemlinsky
Eric D. Anderson | South Bend, IN United States | 01/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Eine Florentinische Tragodie" is one of Zemlinsky's greatest masterpieces, and one of his most frequently performed operas, usually paired with his 1922 opera, "Der Zwerg" (They've entered the repertory in Europe--American companies don't seem to have discovered them yet). From it's opening bars, the score seeths with visceral energy, at times ecstatic, at others, sinister. The orchestration is an endless feast of opulent orchestral timbres. At only 55 minutes, it swoops towards it's "end with a twist" with terrible efficiency. In that short hour, it explores the themes of betrayal, cruelty, and love reclaimed. The closing is especially amazing in it's originality. Most famously, as Simone strangles the begging Guido Bardi, a solo violin glissando slides into the depths, as if representing his departing spirit. Suddenly, the darkness of the score dissolves into beautiful light, as Simone's act of strength inspires new love and adiration in Bianca, his unfaithful wife. As with most of the Conlon's Zemlinsky recordings, both performance and sound are great."
Music Worth Reviving
Eric D. Anderson | 08/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having worked on this piece under the direction of maestro Conlon with the Aspen Festival Orchestra, I truly came to realize how much depth there is to this work. The orchestration, textures, harmonic and melodic structuring, and libretto are all equally amazing. Zemlinsky really is one of the underestimated geniuses of recent times, and James Conlon is an absolute master of this music. No doubt in my mind that this recording ought to belong in all serious classical collections!"