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Lyrische Symphonie Op.18 (Lyric Symphony) [Import, Super Audio CD - DSD]

Alexander Zemlinsky , Christoph Eschenbach , Orchestre de Paris , Christine Schaefer , Matthias Goerne Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Christine Schaefer, Matthias Goerne
  • Orchestra: Orchestre de Paris
  • Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach
  • Composer: Alexander Zemlinsky
  • Audio CD (April 8, 2008)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Super Audio CD - DSD
  • Label: Capriccio
  • ASIN: B000EBEJ70
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,742 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I did have another recording of Alexander Zemlinsky's Lyrische Symphonie once, namely the recording by the otherwise excellent North German Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Claus Peter Flor, with Boje Skovhus and Luba Orgonasova in the singing parts. But I decided to part with it, because, in the end, it left me untouched and unmoved: really unacceptable with this music. This had to do with the fact that I felt that somehow, real 'drama' was missing. This was mainly the result of the singing (especially mr. Skovhus's), which sounded coolly detached and uninvolved somehow. But also, the balances between orchestral pianissimo's and fortissimo's were so wide as to be almost uncomfortable for repeated listening.
None of these things with this new, magnificent recording under review here! This recording has convinced me of the fact that I do indeed love Alexander Zemlinsky's Lyrische Symphonie, although others had maybe almost (inadvertantly) made me believe otherwise ;-)
First of all there is the finely balanced, warmly sympathetic playing of the orchestra. All of the exquisite detail is lovingly caressed and played out to the full by conductor and orchestra, I would say (although I must confess that I am a complete musical amateur, not being able to read music!). But all is done with finesse and with style. Furthermore, the balances within the orchestra are crystal clear, while at the same time, all instruments are blended in a way so as to make for a nicely 'natural' aural experience that is very sympathetic to the ears.
About the singing, I really love the singing of Matthias Goerne and especially Christine Schaefer. Christine Schaefer's voice really flutters and soars over the orchestra like a magical, colorful bird.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning performance of Zemlinsky's great work May 23, 2013
Format:Audio CD
Alexander von Zemlinsky (1871-1942) has enjoyed increased recognition and a wave of performances and recordings since the Seventies. The "Lyric Symphony" of 1922 is his best-known and most often recorded work, with truly amazing vocal writing reflecting Zemlinsky's experience writing operas.

This is a stunning performance, with Matthias Goerne's baritone and Christine Schaefer's soprano in alternating sections, as in Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde." Christoph Eschenbach leads the Orchestre de Paris in a sensitive and sweeping realization of Zemlinsky's vision. The recording is from 2005, and this disc was originally released in 2006, though it has been difficult to find ever since.

The vocals are sumptuous, gorgeous, and every other synonym. This is a piece to luxuriate in without paying too much attention to the lyrics, which are based on seven poems from a collection by the Bengal poet Rabindranath Tagore called "The Gardener." (They are included in German and English in the booklet.) The result is a dialogue between a prince and a girl in love, and ultimately they part because of the incompatibility of the girl's true love and the "dream of love as an aesthetic event of the artist" -- apparently the prince is an artist (and a fool, I might add).

More than just a string of songs, there is a symphonic structure to the work. The first movement establishes the central theme, the second movement is a scherzo, the third movement is an adagio, and the next three movements build to a tonally suspended, expressive sixth song, sung by the soprano, which is the peak of the symphony. The final movement is a mellow Mahlerian adagio in which all the themes are reprised.
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