ERIC ZEISL (1905-1959): Little Symphony after Pictures of Roswitha Bitterlich, Concerto Grosso for Cello and Orchestra, November: Six Sketches for Chamber Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 10P008
Label: Yarlung Records
Description: The earliest work here is the Little Symphony of 1935-36 whose four movements are reactions to paintings by a 14-year-old Austrian artist who produced strikingly bizarre and powerful images well beyond what one might have expected for her age. "The Madman", "Poor Souls", "The Wake" and "Expulsion of the Saints" are vividly characterized in neo-classical/expressionist language (and three of the paintings are reproduced in color in the expensive, detailed booklet. November (1937-40) is an intimate, confessional suite written after Zeisl's emergence from a period of depression and its segments ("All Souls", "Souvenir", "Rainy Day", "Dance of the Fallen Leaves", "Shepherd's Melody" and "Victory of Winter") depict the grey melancholy of the season in Vienna. The biggest work is the 30-minute Concerto Grosso (1955-56) in which Zeisl vies with Bloch in vividly emotional music of Hebraic modality in its outer movements with a Slavic-infused scherzo in the center. Antonio Lysy (cello), UCLA Philharmonia; Neal Stulberg.