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The Mermaid Naxos 8.570240


Composer: Alexander Zemlinsky

Conductor: James Judd

Orchestra: New Zealand Symphony Orchestra


A Symphony in all but name, Zemlinsky's la­vish­ly scored 'symphonic
fantasy' Die Seejungfrau (1903) is his most frequently performed large-scale
work beside the Lyric Symphony. Based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale
of the mermaid who sacrifices herself out of unrequited love for a prince, the
work places greater emphasis on thematic development than on mere illustration.
Written over three decades later, when Zemlinsky's music was taking on a more
astringent manner, the Sinfonietta is remarkable for its nervous energy,
anguished passion and sheer virtuosity.

The Mermaid Review

When this disc was released in 2009, the music of Alexander Zemlinsky was
no longer the recorded rarity it had once been. After more than 20 years of
what could be called the “Zemlinsky revival,” there were recordings
available of most of the fin-de-siècle Austrian composer's major works, and
this disc adds further performances of two of his most popular works to the
catalog: Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid) from 1903 and the Sinfonietta from
1934. Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under the direction of
James Judd, both works receive well-played and thoughtful accounts here. In
their performances, Die Seejungfrau's so­ar­ing themes have plenty of late
Romantic muscle, and its sensual harmonies have plenty of heart. The
Sinfonietta's more angular themes, leaner harmonies, and sharper colors work
together to form a winning

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