Eric(h) Zeisl and Franz Mittler – Recommended Readings

The works of Zeisl and Mittler have endured silence long enough; they are most deserving of (re)discovering. There are not yet many recordings available—with many notable lacunae. Zeisl’s Symphonic Serenade and Symphony op. 40 are not available on record; the fine Arrowhead Trio (for piano, flute, and harp) is out of print, as are the violin, viola, and cello sonatas. Much the same goes for Mittler, whose chamber music is awaiting competent and well distributed performances.

Fortunately more recordings of both composer’s compositions are in the works and with any luck they will find a market of eager ears. Also a fortune is the website Zeisl’s grandson (also Arnold Schoenberg’s grandson), E. Randol Schoenberg, runs: having an eye especially on the musical heritage of the less famous of his composing grandfathers, he created ‘‘Zeisl.com’’ where one can search his entire output and listen to excerpts of most works.

Réquiem Ebraico—92nd Psalm, John Neschling, Choir of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Naomi Munakata, Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, BIS 1650

Piano Concerto in C Major; Suite for Orchestra Pierrot in der Flasche,

Gottlieb Wallisch (piano), Johannes Wildner (conductor), Vienna RSO, CPO 777 226

Lieder, Wolfgang Holzmair ( baritone), Cord Garben (piano), CPO 777 170

Little Symphony; November for Chamber Orchestra; Concerto Grosso for Cello and Orchestra, Antonio Lysy (cello), Neal Stulberg (conductor), UCLA Philharmonia, Yarlung 96820

November, Six Sketches for Chamber Orchestra (1940) is an intimate orchestral work based on his piano pieces of the same name. The dramatic Concerto Grosso for Cello and Orchestra (1956) epitomizes Zeisl’s mature style from Los Angeles.

Piano Music (including November for piano), Eric Le Van (piano), Music & Arts 1271

Franz Mittle

String Quartets nos. 1 & 3, Hugo Wolf Quartett, CPO 777 329

String Quartet no. 2; Four Songs, Artis Quartett Wien, Wolfgang Holzmaier ( baritone), ORF 4918425

Piano Trio op. 3; Character Pieces for Piano; Lieder & Couplets, Diana Mittler (piano), Anton Miller (violin), Lawrence Zoernig (cello), Wolfgang Holzmair ( baritone), Preiser 90567

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