Zemlinsky: Eine Florentinische Tragödie, Op. 16
Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien; Billy, Bertrand de; Koch, Wolfgang; Reid, Charles; Brunner, Heidi
Oscar Wilde’s A Florentine Tragedy was written in 1893, but remained a fragment when the author was arrested. But the material was in the air, so to speak, and Alexander von Zemlinsky, who may have had Richard Strauss’ recourse to Wilde’s Salome in mind and hoped for a similar success with A Florentine Tragedy, finally converted the play into a one-act opera. Puccini had also been interested in the material, but the publisher Tito Ricordi advised him against it. Other potential takers also included Ferruccio Busoni who also found the ending too hackneyed. However, such alleged triviality did not deter his colleague Alexander von Zemlinsky, who celebrated success with his opera. Alban Berg admired the work so much that musical parallels to the Florentine Tragedy can be found in his Wozzeck, premiered eight years later.