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The best known pieces performed this evening were from Die Tote Stadt ('The Dead City') by Erich Korngold (1897-1957). Soprano Tatiana Pavlovskaya sang Marietta's Song: 'Gluck das mir verblieb' with creamy tones and baritone Martin Gantner serenaded Marietta with a silken voiced version of Pierrot's lyrical 'Tanzlied'.

Martin Gardner in 'Pierrot's Tanzlied' from Erich Wolfgang Korngold's 'Die Tote Stadt'. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard
Martin Gardner in 'Pierrot's Tanzlied' from Erich Wolfgang Korngold's 'Die Tote Stadt'. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard

All of these selections were semi-staged with appropriate projected images. After intermission, Pavlovskaya, Albert and Anthony Dean Griffey performed the one-act opera Eine florentinische Tragödie (1917) by Alexander Zemlinsky (1871-1942). The oldest of this group of composers, Zemlinsky, who grew up in the age of Johannes Brahms, taught Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Anton Webern at various times. Zemlinsky's 1917 opus, based on a play by Oscar Wilde, was presented in Stuttgart and a few other European cities but disallowed by the German government in 1933 because the composer was Jewish. He came to the US at age 67, but his music was little known on the other side of the Atlantic. He died in New York in 1942.

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Copyright © 3 April 2007 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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Classical Music Programme Notes for concerts and recordings, by Malcolm Miller