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Frühling Zemlinsky

CLARINET

TRIOS

Davide Bandieri clarinet Joël Marosi cello Marja-Liisa Marosi piano


Frühling & Zemlinsky Clarinet Trios

Carl Frühling (1868–1937) Trio Op.40 in A minor 1. Mäßig schnell 2. Anmutig Bewegt 3. Andante 4. Allegro vivace

7’00 5’29 8’22 5’48

Alexander von Zemlinsky (1871–1942) Trio Op.3 in D minor 5. Allegro ma non troppo 14’19 6. Andante 9’19 7. Allegro 6’05

Davide Bandieri clarinet Joël Marosi cello Marja-Liisa Marosi piano

Recording: 13-14 October 2017, Piano et Forte Showroom, Perugia, Italy Producer & Sound engineer: Luca Ricci, Luca Tironzelli (assistant) StudioMobile Tuner technician: Diego Sciurpa Photo of Davide Bandieri by Maurizio Rastrelli Photo of Joël Marosi by Giorgia Bertazzi Photo of Marja-Liisa Marosi by Joël Marosi Cover photo by Beat Anderwert p & © 2018 Brilliant Classics

According to the meticulous catalogue compiled by Lawrence Oncley in 1977, Zemlinsky’s earliest works date back to the mid-1880s. Ten years later, in 1896, he composed the Trio in D minor for clarinet, cello and piano Op. 3 that features in this welcome new recording. It is one of the most mature fruits of a career that began in 1884 in his hometown, Vienna, where he enrolled in the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde conservatoire to study the piano under Wilhelm Rauch and Anton Door. From 1887 he also began attending courses in music theory held by the great teacher Robert Fuchs, and between 1890 and 1892 the lessons on composition taught by the latter’s brother, Johann Nepomuk Fuchs. With a solid background in composition, piano and conducting, he was able to launch into a career as a composer, meeting with considerable acclaim from the early 1890s, even before he had completed his studies. During the same years he also took part in musical life in Vienna, going regularly to the Hofoper and attending concerts at the Gesellshcaft der Musikfreunde, becoming a member of the Wiener Tonkünstlerverein in 1893, and taking over as vice-president of the same organization in 1899. It was here that he came into contact with Brahms, who greatly influenced the young composer’s orientation as a composer. His relationship with Schoenberg, whom he had met around 1894, grew closer the following year, when Zemlinsky involved him as a cellist in the newly founded Polyhymnia amateur orchestra. In 1934 Zemlinsky wrote a lively portrait of the youthful Schoenberg for the Festschrift that friends, colleagues and pupils chose to dedicate to Schoenberg for his 60th birthday celebrations (Arnold Schönberg zum 60. Geburtstag. 13 September 1934, Vienna 1934, pp. 3335). Zemlinsky was giving lessons in counterpoint to his slightly younger colleague in 1895. During the summer of 1897, shortly before the premiere in Munich, Schoenberg wrote an arrangement for voice and piano of Zemlinsky’s opera Sarema. Composed between 1893 and 1895, the following year it won the prestigious Luitpoldpreis. In the autumn of 1901 Schoenberg married Zemlinsky’s younger sister Mathilde. So the background to the composition of the Trio comprises fin de siècle Vienna, with its wealth of outstanding personalities and its lust for life and novelty.


To breathe anew the atmosphere of that period, suffice it to turn the pages of Broch’s study of Hofmannsthal, or Stefan Zweig’s The world of Yesterday, or indeed a number of other publications. In December 1959, Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno dedicated a radio programme to Zemlinsky for Norddeutscher Rundfunk that was later turned into an essay, published in 1963 along with other reflections on music under the title Quasi una Fantasia. Although the author’s focus was largely Zemlinsky’s later works, he also had some interesting things to say about certain early compositions, such as the Trio for clarinet, cello and piano. In particular he talked about the categories of eclecticism and mannerism. Although the two extremes would appear to be in marked contrast with each other, they actually overlap to some extent, since eclecticism is shaped by the fusion of all possible stylistic elements in an attempt to create products that are free of any recognizable personal traits, while mannerism involves what is highly distinctive. In Adorno’s view, the negative connotation that tends to surround both eclecticism and mannerism can be traced back to the sphere of classicism, which defined them in the first place. Classicism considered conciliation and balance (Ausgleich und Balance) to be the only reliable parameters, and in so doing expressed an implicit ideology. Eclecticism and mannerism cannot simply be written off as the fruits of defective creativity, but should be viewed as signs of a crisis that reveals the vacuity of the critical categories pertaining to the aesthetics of both classicism and romanticism in their efforts to define the distinctive features of genius, of the creative personality: identity, synthesis, mediation, conciliation. “The fact that both categories are considered in such unfailingly negative terms simply shows to what extent aesthetics lags behind with respect to the concrete reality of art, and how powerless it proves to be as it clings to ideological categories that belong to a bygone age”. Adorno was also convinced that in Germany the eclectic perspective was viewed with extreme diffidence, since the national aversion to it fed on the same sap that had nurtured other developments, from the Reformation to Hegel, from the classically orientated protestant reaction to the Roman spirit embodied by Cicero and his

followers. Adorno reduced this attitude to the contrast between civilization (das Zivilisatorische) and a handful of words that lead dangerously in the direction of original values: Frühe, Ursprünglich, Naivetät. Hence the admonition that concludes the introductory section of his essay on Zemlinsky: while the reaction to eclecticism can sometimes arise from valid arguments involving systems of appraisal that relate to the quality of the individual artistic products, distinguishing the good from the second-rate, its prejudicial rejection as an inferior phenomenon actually conceals a mechanism of aesthetic legitimation that is generally murky in form and substance. Adorno thus argues in favour of a form of ‘good’ eclecticism that cannot be reduced to naive, childish copying since it speaks for ready awareness of existing models, and thus also of tradition. Eclecticism of this sort is an expression of opposition to the ‘archaic taboo on mimesis’ (das archaische mimetische Tabu), to the ‘dislike of resemblances’ (die Scheu vor Ähnlichkeit), to the rejection of what works, is absorbable, and serves as the ideological cornerstone of the cult of the individual, of the ‘stable ego’ (das feste Ich), of personality. In Adorno’s opinion, the eclectic Zemlinsky represents the ‘good’ form of eclecticism. This substantially positive view was underpinned by the relationship between the composer and the members of what came to be known as the Second Viennese School: Schoenberg, of course, whom Zemlinsky had taught, but also Berg, who dedicated one of his masterpieces to him, the Lyrische Suite, as Adorno duly recalls. The importance of Adorno’s appraisal thus justifies a quotation ad verbum: «The presence of eclectic features... reflect the conductor’s love for the masterpieces of his age, a love from which his sensibility is unable to draw back when he comes to compose. But of course great works can scarcely be imagined without such love. An originality which is on a par with the achievement of the age, but does not spring from an intimate knowledge of what is essential to it, does not count. Just because music had been split up into particular intentions, each of which had its own validity, the task facing Zemlinsky’s generation was one of unification. Only now can we see that this task was incapable of fulfilment. But he faced up to


it to the point of self-immolation with a musical intelligence devoid of all prejudice and preconception. In doing so a certain casualness is undeniable, as is an intermittent paralysis which prevents him from always making what he borrowed fully his own. But his eclecticism shows genius in its truly seismographic sensitivity to the stimuli by which he allowed himself to be overwhelmed. Weakness which never pretends to be creative acquires the strength of a second nature. The unreserved sacrifice of the pathos of personality becomes a critique of personality and hence something intensely personal. Soft-heartedness, sensitivity, nervousness, the imaginative power to combine heterogeneous elements – all these result in something quite unmistakable. And even though the subaltern, but practised ear can effortlessly detect the models of his works and his musical idiom, to say that it is difficult to define what is specific to Zemlinsky himself is not to detract from his achievement». As we have already pointed out, the Trio Op.3 is an early work. It was written for a competition launched in January 1896 by the Tonkünstlerverein that Brahms, among others, also supported. The call was for a chamber piece that involved at least one wind instrument. According to Max Kalbeck, Brahms, who was not at all well at the time, took his role as a jury member very seriously, never missing a performance. The award was announced in December 1896, and Zemlinsky’s Trio won third prize. Brhams had come into contact with the young Zemlinksy’s music at the time of the first performances of his Symphony in D minor, between July 1892 and the first months of the following year, and had shown interest in his String Quintet in D minor performed on 5 March 1896. He thus persuaded Simrock to publish the Trio, which was printed the following year, along with the Quartet in E flat major for clarinet, violin, cello and piano Op.1 by Walter Rabl, who had won the first prize. Zemlinsky showed a fondness for cyclical forms in the Trio, which consists of three movements: the first, an ‘Allegro ma non troppo’ in sonata form; the second, an ‘Andante’ in A-B-A ternary form; and the third, an ‘Allegro’ in the form of a rondo, terminating in a short coda that returns to the subject with which the composition began. Given the composer’s background and the circumstances of the competition, it is

hardly surprising that the entire Trio should be distinctly Brahms-like in mood. In particular, it recalls the compositions that Brahms wrote between 1891 and 1894 for the great virtuoso clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld, who played first clarinet at the Hofkapelle in Meiningen: the Trio for clarinet, cello and piano Op.14, the Quintet for clarinet and strings Op.115 and the two Sonatas for clarinet and piano Op.120. Not only is the overall Stimmung reminiscent of Brahms, but also the use of certain compositional devices, such as the pervasive role of triplets right from the start of the first movement, or the frequent use of highly rhythmic sections and passages dense with chords: for instance, in the first movement, from bars 11 to 22, where the first theme is established and developed, before the transition to the second subject. There is also something distinctly Brahmsian in the way Zemlinsky develops his thematic material by means of a continuous variation of microstructures, many of them little more than brief motifs: the D-E-F succession with which the composition begins, for instance, which becomes a sort of refrain that underlies the entire work, as various studies of the Trio have revealed (Clayton, Loll), undergoing progressive development in all three movements. The fluid, translucent handling of line is another feature that brings Brahms to mind, especially in the way it avoids any hint of ornamental or decorative intent. All this is far removed from the Jugendstil framework. As Adorno pointed out, the essence of Zemlinsky’s style lay in the bedachte Einfachheit des Satzes, in the ‘deliberate simplicity of composition’. Yet Zemlinsky’s Trio is far from being the work of an obedient artisan who follows a given model, because it is also highly personal and distinctive. While the syntax and mood certainly echo Brahms, and more in general the great classical and romantic tradition that Brahms represented towards the end of the century, in his own right Zemlinsky’s sensitivity was indeed seismographic, to use Adorno’s compelling image. He was intimately familiar with the structure and resonance of tradition, and so conversant with its every techtonic aspect that he was able to conceive of the creative act as though he were a sort of seismometer registering ground motion. This explains the originality of his work, which derives from the way he absorbed the shock waves


of tradition, revealing a degree of originality that transcends the constraints implicit in imitation. By undergoing a metamorphosis, the model gives rise to music that looks forward and speaks for renewal. In the case of the Trio, this is manifest not only in the harmony, but also in the warm, passionate cantabilità that prevails throughout. Yet the melodiousness of the composition differs from that of Brahms, suggesting developments that were to feature a little later in the early works of the Second Viennese School. Is it really just a coincidence that Verklärte Nacht should be in D minor, the same key chosen by Zemlinsky for his Trio? It would be interesting to know more about Zemlinsky’s relationship with Schoenberg, especially since the little that has come down to us of their paedeutic connection in 1895 is lacking in detail. It is certainly significant that in 1910 Richard Specht should have considered Brahms and Schoenberg as the two extremes of Zemlinksy’s development, of his essential oscillation between tradition and renewal, the old and the new. To accompany the recording of Zemlinky’s Trio with the Trio in A minor for clarinet, cello and piano Op.40 by Carl Frühling is a commendable choice. Born on 28 November 1868 at Lemberg, Carl Frühling died in Vienna on 25 November 1937, and has since practically disappeared from the musical horizon. Apart from a brief entry in an early edition of the MGG encyclopaedia, I have found little more on the subject, apart from a lively article by Steven Isserlis published in The Guardian a few years ago. Yet although the Trio in A minor lags behind the quality of Zemlinsky’s analogous composition, it is nevertheless well constructed and thoroughly melodious. The inclusion of Frühling’s Trio in this CD suggests that the time has come for the composer to be rescued from oblivion. © Davide Bandieri Translation by Kate Singleton

Davide Bandieri was born in Florence in 1979 and graduated in clarinet in 1997 from the Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali Pietro Mascagni in Livorno under the direction of Dario Goracci, then completing his training with Fabrizio Meloni, Karl Heinz Steffens and Alessandro Carbonare, ultimately at the Arturo Toscanini Foundation Mythos Academy. In 2002, he obtained his master’s degree in chamber music at the Academia Incontri col Maestro de Imola under Pier Narciso Masi. Since 2012 he has played First Solo clarinet in the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. From 2004 to 2011, he was solo piccolo clarinet in the Madrid Symphony Orchestra (the Teatro Real’s Resident Orchestra). He has worked with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia,


Orchestra Nazionale della RAI, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestra della Toscana and Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, playing under the baton of conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Harding, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Kent Nagano, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Bruno Bartoletti, Roberto Abbado, Lu Jia, Myung-Wung Chung, Pinchas Steinberg and Tugan Sohiev. He also plays first clarinet with the Camerata Strumentale di Prato. He regularly plays chamber music, performing at the Lucerne KKL (Lucerne Festival Orchestra), the Teatro Coliseo in Buenos Aires (Camerata Strumentale soloists), the Teatro dell’Opera de Roma, the Teatro Real in Madrid (Madrid Symphony Orchestra soloists) and for the Amici della Musica in Florence (Camerata Strumentale soloists). Very active in contemporary music, he has commissioned and premiered works by the likes of Antonio Anichini, Massimo Botter, Willy Merz, Eduardo Morales-Caso, Ailem Carvajal Gómez, Ileana Pérez Velázquez, Luis Cosme González, Luigi Abbate and Gianluca Cascioli.

Joel Marosi, born in Zurich. Studies with Nancy Chumachenco in Zurich, Heinrich Schiff in Basel, Claus Kanngiesser in Cologne and Arto Noras at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. 1996 degrees in Solo and Chambermusic with distinction. Numerous awards in competitions both nationally and internationally. Lausanne 1991, Berlin Mendelssohn Competition 1992, Osaka 1996.Masterclasses with Janos Starker, Yo Yo Ma, Harvey Shapiro, David Geringas, Ralph Kirschbaum. As a solist Joel Marosi performed with numerous Orchestras which include the Orchestre de chambre de Lausanne, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Göttinger Sinfonieorchester, Hannoversche Orchestervereinigung with conducters such as Ton Koopman and Heinrich Schiff. Joel Marosi was principal


with the Sinfonieorchester Basel 2000-2003. Since 1999 many concerts as a principal with the Camerata Salzburg and Camerata Bern. In addition to his orchestra and solo career, Joel Marosi is a dedicated chamber musician. Numerous concerts with, among others, members of the Sine Nomine, Skampa and Alban Berg Quartetts, Christian Zacharias, Ursula Holliger, Dimitri Ashkenazy,Ilya Gringolts , Isabelle van Keulen and the Labeque Sisters. Joel Marosi is a founding member of the Zurich Piano Trio. The Trio has earned a position among the leading young ensembles in the world of chamber music. After winning numerous competitions including Charles Hennen in the Netherlands, Mendelssohn competition in Berlin, International Piano Trio Competition of the Concert Society in Munich the Zurich Piano Trio made their debut concert on invitation from Isaak Stern at Carnegie Hall. The Trio has since become a regular guest at numerous celebrated chamber music festivals, including the Wigmore Hall Series in London, the Luzern Festival, the Schwetzinger Festspiele, the Kissinger Sommer and the Aldeburgh Festival. The Trio records for Claves Records. Joel Marosi holds a position as principal cello with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne since 2005. 2009 and 2010 he was invited by Maestro Charles Dutoit to take part in the international Faculty of the Lindenbaum Music Festival in Seoul, Korea. Joel Marosi is also a founding member of the 4Cellist , which tour regulary in Asia. 2010 he also gave the first performance of Daniel Schnyder’s Cello Concerto with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra in Switzerland. A recording is available by “Musikszene Schweiz”. “2013/14 he played among others the Brahms Double Concerto with Ilya Gringolts under the direction of Heinrich Schiff and the first performance in Switzerland of the Nino Rota 2. Celloconcerto. He recorded widely for Claves, Ars Musici (Harmonia Mundi) and Brillant Classics. The next album with French Cellosonatas and Chamber Music will come in 2016 as well as the Quatuor pour la fin du temps de Olivier Messiaen. For 2015/16 Joel Marosi holds a professorship at the Music Academie in Geneva.

Born 1971 in Finland, Marja-Liisa Marosi studied in Sibelius-Academy with Dmiotry Bashkirov as well as Matti Raekallio. She continued her studies at the Hochschule für Musik Köln with Arbo Valdma. She has participated in numerous master classes with Yefim Bronfman, Vitalij Margulis, Bella Davidovich, Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Pavel Vernikov, etc. She has also studied fortepiano with Melvyn Tan, Aleksej Ljubimov and Tuija Hakkila. Marja-Liisa Marosi won the first price in the Fazer Music Foundation piano competition in 1986, the Heino Kaski piano competition in 1985 and 1988, as well as at the contemporary music competition Tampere Uussoitto in 1996. She was the first Finnish musician to receive a scholarship for one year from Yamaha Music foundation in 1989. Marja-Liisa Marosi has been a very active member of Zagros Ensemble, which focuses on the performance of contemporary music, nurturing its contacts with young contemporary composers. She has worked as an accompanist in several chamber music festivals such as the Festival Pablo Casals, Naantali Music Festival, Lappeenranta-Lemi Music Festival, etc. She plays regularly in several different chamber music ensembles in Switzerland and in Europe. Since 2009 she has been teaching at the Conservatoire de Lausanne, and since 2012 has worked as an accompanist at the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne.

Digital booklet frühling zemlinksy  
Digital booklet frühling zemlinksy  
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