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All the lyrical and troubled splendour of the Viennese spirit is concentrated in this programme of chamber music, in which a selection of Mahler’s lieder, representing the emotive quintessence of his art, is accompanied by two magnificent Trios.
Linked to Mahler by his unrequited love for Alma, Alexander von Zemlinsky—who in Vienna was also Korngold’s professor—composed his Trio op.3 in 1896, a score in three movements in which the legacy of Brahms glistens in its rhapsodic flair and late-19th-century energy with expressionistic accents.
Before his time in Hollywood, where he found success writing film scores, the young Erich Korngold was a darling of the Viennese music scene, which saw him as carrying on the legacy of Brahms. Composed when he was just thirteen, his Trio op.1 contains four movements, including an exquisite, meditative Larghetto. Clearly attesting to his gifts, often virtuoso and almost symphonic in its richness, the opus is striking in the coherence of its form and the iridescent play of its tonal colours.