With Alexander Liebreich for the First Time
The unexpected union of the music of Alexander Zemlinsky and Leoš Janáček was foreshadowed during the interwar period in the dramaturgy of the New German Theatre in Prague, which used to be housed in the building of today’s State Opera, about 200 metres from Czech Radio in the Prague quarter of Vinohrady.
Alexander Zemlinsky, a fundamentally Austro-Hungarian composer with Slovakian, Jewish and Bosnian ancestors, was the theatre’s music director from 1911 to 1927. As a conductor, he performed numerous remarkable works, such as the world premiere of Arnold Schönberg’s Erwartung (Expectation) or Max Brod’s German translation of Leoš Janáček’s opera Jenůfa.
The programme showcased in its second half the symphonic poem Death and Transfiguration, written by the young Richard Strauss, and Concert Românesc, written by Hungarian classic György Ligeti in the mid twentieth century.
Richard Strauss – Death and Transfiguration
Alexander Zemlinsky – Es war einmal…, prologue to an opera
Alexander Zemlinsky – Six Songs to Poems by Maurice Maeterlinck
György Ligeti – Concert Românesc
Leoš Janáček – Jenůfa, suite from the opera (arrangement by Tomáš Ille)