Zemlinsky - The Mermaid

Naxos: 8570240

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Zemlinsky - The Mermaid



Catalogue No:




Release date:

29th June 2009




62 minutes


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Zemlinsky - The Mermaid


Sinfonietta, Op. 23

Die Seejungfrau

The Mermaid



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A Symphony in all but name, Zemlinsky’s lavishly scored ‘symphonic fantasy’ Die Seejungfrau (1903) is his most frequently performed large-scale work beside the Lyric Symphony (Naxos 8572048).

Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale of the mermaid who sacrifices herself out of unrequited love for a prince, the work places greater emphasis on thematic development than on mere illustration.

Written over three decades later, when Zemlinsky’s music was taking on a more astringent manner, the Sinfonietta is remarkable for its nervous energy, anguished passion and sheer virtuosity

Alexander von Zemlinsky: Sinfonietta, Op. 23

I. Sehr lebhaft

II. Ballade: Sehr gemessen [poco adagio], doch nicht schleppend

III. Sehr lebhaft

Alexander von Zemlinsky: Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid)

I. Sehr massig bewegt

II. Sehr bewegt, rauschend

III. Sehr gedehnt, mit schmerzvollem Ausdruck

BBC Music Magazine

October 2009


“Zemlinsky's symphonic fantasy Die Seejungfrau… is one of the most sumptuously scored orchestral pieces of the early 20th century. James Judd… galvanises the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra into playing this challenging score with sensitivity and a good deal of virtuosity.”

The Guardian

31st July 2009


“Seejungfrau is crammed with ravishing, expansive melodies and lush, aqueous harmonies and, as the New Zealand Symphony performance shows, it's a mystery why it is not an established repertory work”

The Times

11th July 2009


“Zemlinsky’s symphonic fantasy may have fewer take-home tunes than Disney’s The Little Mermaid, but you can’t fault its opulent sweep, lively imagination, or inventive scoring.”

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