11th June 2019: Mahler and Zemlinsky

Conductor: Philip Hesketh

Tuesday 11th June 2019 at 7.30pm

St John’s Smith Square
Mahler – Totenfeier
A tone poem that later became the 1st movement of Mahler’s 2nd symphony
Mahler – Blumine
An original movement from Mahler’s 1st symphony that was removed by Mahler soon after first publication
Zemlinsky – Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid)


Relationships between the resident Viennese composers at the turn of the 20th century were complex. This was particularly so where Alma Schindler (herself a composer) was concerned. Alma was in love with Zemlinsky, but left him to marry Mahler (who initially stifled her musical ambitions). Zemlinsky poured his emotions of a spurned lover into his lavishly scored ‘symphonic fantasy’ based on Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’.
Mahler’s Totenfeier is a tone poem inspired by Mickiewicz’s ‘Dziady’ – feast for the dead. It was slightly reworked to become the first movement of his Resurrection symphony.
Blumine was originally written as incidental music to von Scheffel’s play ‘The Trumpeter of Säkkingen’, probably inspired by Mahler’s infatuation with soprano Johanna Richter. It was included in the first two performances of his first symphony, thereafter removed possibly as it is simpler and lighter compared with the other movements.

Tickets available from St John’s Smith Square or from members of the orchestra.