A. Zemlinsky, Die Seejungfrau, Gürzenich Orchester Köln, J. Conlon (EMI, 1997)
According to Antony Beaumont's biography of Zemlinsky, it was Die Seejungfrau "that stole the show" at that 1905 concert: "His diaphanous orchestration teased the ear; the rich harmonies and passionate climaxes gave pleasure, and with his experience as a conductor of operetta, he knew how to articulate the finest nuance, to negotiate the subtlest of rubatos." During the Schoenberg piece, on the other hand, the audience grew restless, and many listeners left. Conlon's recording is well worth revisiting, or hearing for the first time, revealing a work that is in keeping with other fairy-tale music works of the same era, including the Pelléas adaptations by Fauré and Debussy. Listening to it now (see embedded video below), as with many of Zemlinsky's works, it is hard to believe that this composer could have passed into obscurity.