Zemlinsky: The Chalk Circle / Soltesz, Behle, Hermann, Lorenz
Two years after the death of Klabund, Zemlinsky decided to use his Chalk circle as the basis for an opera. He recast the five-act "play after the Chinese" first into a two-act, later into a three-act version, and composed his Chalk circle in 1931/32. This blend of a fairy-tale Utopia, social criticism and inwardness makes itself felt in Zemlinsky's music, which seeks to combine varied stylistic components: Chinese coloration appears in the orchestral scoring, which is enriched with gongs and other exotic-sounding instruments: the melody often avoids semitonal steps and so takes on a pentatonic character. It was the seventh and also his last completed opera, from which the then 61-year-old Zemlinsky hoped for the definitive breakthrough as an operatic dramatist.
Catalog Number: C5190
Composer: Alexander von Zemlinsky
Conductor: Stefan Soltesz
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Performer: Celina Lindsley, Reiner Goldberg, Renate Behle, Roland Hermann, Siegfried Lorenz