Zemlinsky: Sinfonietta, Op. 23; Six Songs, Op. 13 “Maeterlinck-Songs”

“Just heard your wonderful Sinfonietta: hope it is the beginning of your American success,” wrote Arnold Schönberg to Zemlinsky. But Zemlinsky suffered a stroke and died some days later on, lonely in New York. In his Sinfonietta op. 24 (1934) he used again a short theme from the last song of his Maeterlinck-Songs, Op. 13 (1913): “Wohin gehst Du?” (Where are you going?) It’s a theme of ‘self-doubts‘ and ‘Farewell’ when Zemlinsky noticed very carefully the more and more stronger restrictions against the Judaism in Vienna. The Maeterlinck-Songs are “the center of his productivity” (Adorno), and abduct the listeners in a mystic world about life, evanescence and death.