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Alexander von Zemlinsky A Florentine Tragedy

Iris Vermillion; Viktor Lutsiuk; Albert Dohmen
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Myung-whun Chung

Naive V 4987 [60 mins]

This is another useful release in Radio France's live concert opera broadcasts. A Florentine Tragedy is a lttle one act shocker setting a three-hander Oscar Wilde story about a frustrated wife anxious to be rid of her prosaic merchant husband. Premiered in Stuttgart, 1917, it is just the sort of thing put on successfully by Opera North in their recent season (c.f. Zemlinsky's The Dwarf), and like that one has autobiographical undertones.

Lush post-Mahlerian orchestral tapestry, becoming ironical as the screw is delicately turned; three good singing parts, all well taken, the main one Albert Dohmen as the unappreciated husband. Vivid recording and worth hearing, but perhaps once only?

Try to restrain yourself from reading the denouement before it happens! Full texts with translations, as usual in this series, and an illuminating commentary by F-G Tual which draws links to Salome, Wozzeck and Lulu.



© Peter Grahame Woolf