<< -- 3 -- Patric Standford POIGNANT BEAUTY
The two cycles that form the major part of this recording are, however,
from later and perhaps more sober times. Six songs for mezzo-soprano and
orchestra Op 13 were written 1910-13 to texts by Maeterlinck and have already
moved with the times. At least one (the sixth, 'She
came to the palace') will be hard to resist replaying several times [listen -- track 10, 2:14-3:16].
In great contrast, the other cycle is a lively and moving group of seven
Symphonic Songs Op 20 for baritone and orchestra, completed in 1929. They
use poems from a Harlem Renaissance anthology which appeared in the 1920s
set to music that has a quaint jazz influence, enhanced by percussion and
mandolin, prompted by the bouquet of a new generation, Hindemith, Krenek
and Kurt Weill [listen -- track 14, 0:00-0:50].
Zemlinsky, who began as a Wagnerian, was acutely aware of the rapidly
developing climate around him and moved with it, whilst remaining quietly
and modestly himself, never failing in superb craftsmanship and with a gift
for the magical manipulation of orchestral colour [listen
-- track 16, 0:00-0:55].
For the unashamed romantic, this is a CD well worth having, even though
the 'complete' in its title may be rather flexible -- one of his earliest
orchestral songs seems to be missing and two have been carefully orchestrated.
The performances are warm and sympathetic, making a good case for this composer's
Copyright © 26 December 2000
Patric Standford, West Yorkshire, UK
CD INFORMATION - EMI 7243 5 57024 2 5
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