The Little Mermaid was adapted for a symphony orchestra long before Broadway

Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale The Little Mermaid was adapted by Alexander Zemlinsky, an Austrian composer, in 1903 as a large-scale symphonic poem titled Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid). It premiered in Vienna in 1905 to poor reviews and Zemlinsky withdrew the score. Nonetheless, it was one of two movements he took to New York City when escaped Europe in during World War Two. It has been performed in the U.S. since 1984. The Mermaid opens with a musical depiction of the first lines of Andersen’s tale: “Far out in the ocean, where the water is as blue as the prettiest cornflower, and as clear as crystal, it is very, very deep; so deep, indeed, that no cable could fathom it. Many church steeples, piled one upon another, would not reach from the ground beneath to the surface of the water above. There dwell the Mer-king and his subjects.” You can buy an MPG version of the symphonic poem (in three parts, just over 40 minutes total) And here’s Another Link

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