- String Quartets, Volume 1
Alexander Zemlinsky was born in 1871 in Vienna, and he grew up in the so-called Leopoldstadt district (Second Bezirk), which was characterized by the many Jewish families who lived there. My grandparents and my parents lived there, too, until 1939–
Zemlinsky’s musical talent became evident at an early age, and his parents registered him at the Conservatory of the Society of the Friends of Music when he was barely 13 years old. Zemlinsky studied at this institution until 1892, composing works of his own which were influenced by those of his model and patron Johannes Brahms.
In recent years, my sense is that conductor James Conlon of the Los Angeles Opera has been a frequent performer of Zemlinsky’s works.
On this CD, we hear the following:
- String Quartet No. 3, Op. 19
- String Quartet No. 4 (Suite), Op. 25
- Zwei Sätze
Performed by the Escher String Quartet
Supported by Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler in his early career but silenced as “degenerate” by the Nazis, Alexander Zemlinsky’s reputation has undergone a rebirth in recent years.
Written just after Zemlinsky’s ‘Lyric Symphony’, the beauty and ironic playfulness of the Quartet number 3 is one of the highlights of this recording.
The Fourth Quartet was amongst the last of Zemlinsky’s significant works, composed as a moving tribute after the death of his friend, composer Alban Berg.
Performed by the internationally acclaimed Escher String Quartet, this is the first of two albums of the complete Zemlinsky quartets.
For additional information about Zemlinsky and his works, click HERE.
On the left side, see a photo of Alexander Zemlinsky with Arnold Schoenberg.
Here is Alexander Von Zemlinsky’s String Quartet No.4 Op.25 – Adagietto:
And next, here is Zemlinsky’s String Quartet № 1:
Tags: Alexander Zemlinsky, String quartets, Quartet 3, Quartet 4