Zemlinsky: Eine Florentinische Tragödie

Album cover art for upc 4035719003475
Label: BRK
Catalog: BRK900347

Bruns, Benjamin; Maltman, Christopher; Münchner Rundfunkorchester; Hahn, Patrick; Wilson, Rachael

ALEXANDER ZEMLINSKY A FLORENTINE TRAGEDY Guido Bardi, the son of the Duke of Florence, kneels before Bianca, the wife of the rich merchant Simone, and holds her hands. Simone, who has returned early from a business trip, then enters the room. The very beginning of Alexander Zemlinsky's one-act opera "A Florentine Tragedy", based on Oscar Wilde's play of the same name in the German translation by Max Meyerfeld, presents the conflict from which the tragedy arises. This stage work by the Austrian composer, who was forgotten for many decades, had its world premiere on January 30, 1917, in Stuttgart and was not performed again until 1977. This CD from BR-KLASSIK documents the Munich premiere on November 27, 2022, with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester conducted by Patrick Hahn, recorded live at the city’s Prinzregententheater. With the "Florentine Tragedy", albeit rather belatedly, Zemlinsky followed the fashion for Renaissance and one-act works at the turn of the century. Richard Strauss had made his mark in that genre with "Salome" and "Elektra" – and the literary basis for the former had also been provided by Oscar Wilde. In the very first notes, seemingly aware of this similarity with Strauss’s work, Zemlinsky goes on the offensive with an "upbeat fanfare" – as the prelude to an orchestral introduction that can easily be interpreted as a musical representation of the main romantic relationship. At the transition to the actual stage action, however, Zemlinsky switches to a somber minor-key atmosphere. When Simone appears, the music already makes it clear that the plot cannot end otherwise than tragically. For whom, we do not yet know… In the Munich premiere of Zemlinsky's "A Florentine Tragedy", Rachael Wilson (mezzo-soprano) sang the part of Bianca, Benjamin Bruns (tenor) was Prince Guido Bardi, and Christopher Maltman (baritone) portrayed the merchant Simone. The Münchner Rundfunkorchester performed under the young conductor Patrick Hahn. Last year, the 27-year-old Austrian – who since 2021 in Wuppertal has been the youngest Generalmusikdirektor in the German-speaking world – was engaged as the Münchner Rundfunkorchester’s Principal Guest Conductor.

Price: $30.98