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Alexander Zemlinsky: Lyric Symphony

(Arranger: Thomas Heinisch)

  • in 7 songs (1923)
  • for soprano, baritone and chamber orchestra
  • 1 1 2 1 - 2 1 2 0 - timp, perc, hp, harm, pno, vln.I, vln.II, vla, vc, cb
  • Duration: 45’
  • Instrumentation details:
    flute (+picc)
    oboe (+c.a)
    1st clarinet in A (+cl(Bb))
    2nd clarinet in A (+cl(Bb)
    bass cl(Bb))
    bassoon (+cbsn)
    1st horn in F
    2nd horn in F
    trumpet in C
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    piano (+cel)
    1st violin
    2nd violin
    double bass
  • Composer: Alexander Zemlinsky
  • Arranger: Thomas Heinisch

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Work introduction

“To my surprise, it was relatively easy to arrange the first three movements for ensemble, as the orchestra never goes beyond the traditional four-part harmony, with a texture that – interestingly enough – is closer to Brahms than, for instance, to Schönberg. From an instrumentation perspective, the exquisite slow 4th movement “Sprich zu mir, Geliebter” (Speak to me, my love) in the middle of the work poses a challenge, given the subtle separation of the string parts. As the string parts are not played by several instrumentalists, it was necessary to assign some of them to the harmonium or accordion (either can be used in my version). I feel that this movement has lost none of its mysterious charm through this alteration. It was also necessary to make changes to the short yet massive 5th movement. By introducing the shrill E flat clarinet, which does not feature at all in the original, I have attempted to do justice to the abrasiveness and corporeality of this movement.”

Thomas Heinisch

Sample pages

World première

Wien (AT)
Ensemble Kontrapunkte
Peter Keuschnig
Main soloists:
Peter Weber, B; Gabriele Fontana, S

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