Switch to mobile view

Although Zemlinsky began in a late-Romantic vein, developing to a rich, post-Mahlerian expanded tonality, in the later 1920s and 1930s he adopted aspects of the dissonant neoclassical ‘Neue Sachlichkeit’ style. Despite his closeness to the Schoenberg circle he never adopted the 12-note method; indeed he and Schoenberg disagreed profoundly about it, though each continued to admire the other as a great artist.

Zemlinsky was above all a man of the theatre, and his most important music is to be found in his operas. He also wrote some significant orchestral works, some fine chamber music and many excellent songs.