“It is in Zemlinsky’s early works that we encounter a fusion of Brahms and Wagner, mediated through Mahler, who chose to present Zemlinsky’s Es war einmal at the Vienna Opera in 1900, which was met with guarded comments by Eduard Hanslick. Mahler flummoxed Julius Korngold when he advised him to take Erich’s musical instruction away from Robert Fuchs – Mahler’s own composition teacher – and to place him with Zemlinsky where ‘in freely organised lessons, the boy will learn everything he needs’.”

– from Forbidden Music