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I've never heard his "Lyric Symphony". What's it like?
Since nobody seems to be interested in responding, allow me to say that it is the most "popular" work of this intriguing composer, although, even as such, it has not performed or recorded that often.
It is, somehow, modelled upon Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, but, the seal of the idiom of the composer is there. The soloists (a Soprano and a Bariton here) have a more "tight" writing and the large orchestration becomes heavy and imposing contrary to the much more lyrical Mahler's masterpiece. The issue here is Love, not Death, the poems come from India, not China, and the whole work flows in one continuous movement without break, but divided in 7 parts.
The influence of his student Schoenberg is evident both in the harmony and the orchestration (the trombones glissandi reminding us of Pelleas und Melisande).
While I do not find the Lyric Symphony on a par with Das Lied von der Erde, I believe it is a masterpiece on its own merits and a clear testimony of Zemlinsky's craft and inspiration.
As for the composer's Opus, I would stick to his very creative and impulsive String Quartets, although his orchestral works are colourful and sometimes exotic.
[quote=Adrian 3]I've never heard his "Lyric Symphony". What's it like?[/quote]
Thank you, Parla, for a very helpful reply.
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