From Gustav Mahler: Memories and Letters, by Alma Mahler, page 77. Chapter: Splendid Isolation, 1905
Diary: January 27. Concert yesterday: Zemlinsky – Schoenberg (the first performance of Schoenberg’s Pelleas and Melisande). My surmise was correct. Zemlinsky, in spite of his many thoughts and charming inspirations, in spite too of his imposing knowledge, has not the strength of Schoenberg, who for all his wrong-headedness is a very original fellow. The audience kept leaving in droves and slamming the doors behind them while the music was being played. There were whistles and cat-calls as well. But for us two his talent was beyond question.
When I was twenty Zemlinsky taught me in composition, and through him I got to know his pupil, Schoenberg. He used to say when I confessed my lack of sympathy with Schoenberg: ‘You wait. The world will talk of him before long.’ In those days I could not work up any belief in him. But Zemlinsky, who was at first Schoenberg’s teacher, later became his pupil. Nobody who entered the charmed circle of Schoenberg’s spirit could resist his intellectual pre-eminence or the force of his logic.