Gabriele Ferro

Zemlinsky: Lyrische Symphonie, Op. 18

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This recording of Zemlinsky's Lyrische Symphonie is not altogether as bad as it could have been. It could have been slower and then it would last longer and that would have been worse. And it could have a worse recording that would make it sound even more opaque and that would have been worse. And it could have worse singers who would make it sound even duller and that would have been worse. And it could have a worse conductor and then it would be even drabber and that would have been worse. And it could have a worse orchestra and then it would be even more poorly played with even worse tone and worse ensemble and that would be worse. But, no matter how much worse the singers and the conductor and the orchestra and the recording could have been, the piece itself could not have been any worse if it tried. A tawdry knock-off of Das Lied von der Erde with a dollop of sex and sensuality for extra texture, Zemlinsky's Lyrische Symphonie starts awful and progresses through appalling to abysmal. When this recording was made in 1978, the Zemlinsky revival was just starting. It's too bad it got this far.

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