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There were notable musical settings of Rabindranath Tagore's poems made roughly between 1914 and 1925, when his reputation in Europe was at or near its peak. This article provides a detailed account of Tagore as perceived in European musical circles of that period set against a broader sketch and critical assessment of 'exoticism' in Western music. It then offers a finely grained musicological analysis (supplemented by a discography) of settings of Tagore's poems (in translation) by selected European composers. In particular it contrasts Szymanowski and Zemlinsky. The finale of the latter's Lyrische Symphonie the composer himself directed in the poet's presence in Prague in 1926.