Tag Archives: Wagner

Bayreuth Festival


Bayreuth Festival

Bayreuth, Germany, is home to this annual festival devoted to the performance of operas by Richard Wagner. Wagner launched the festival in 1876 to showcase a variety of German music and did not intend for his compositions to be the focus. The event was plagued by financial problems in its early years, but survived through state intervention and the support of influential Wagnerians, including Ludwig II of Bavaria and Adolf Hitler. Who did Hitler beg—unsuccessfully—to lead the festival? More… Discuss

Richard Wagner Overture from the Flying Dutchman: make music part of your life series


Richard Wagner Overture from the Flying Dutchman

Great Compositions/Performances: Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg; Prelude to Act I; Solti


[youtube.com/watch?v=3nhcTllJgIY]

Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg; Prelude to Act I; Solti

Wilhelm Richard Wagner
Sir Georg Solti
Vienna Philharmonic

This piece introduces the first act of the composer’s music drama called The Mastersingers of Nuremberg. Similar to his other operas, he wrote the scenario and libretto in addition to the musical score.

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Great Compositions/Performances: Richard Wagner – Siegfried Idyll (Conductor: Sergiu Celibidache & Münchner Philharmoniker)



Great Compositions/Performances:  Richard WagnerSiegfried Idyll
Conductor: Sergiu Celibidache & Münchner Philharmoniker

Apart from the operas, Wagner composed a small number of pieces; this stems from his reluctance to conceive music which didn’t belong to the sacredness of the drama, fundamental expression of his thought.
The “Siegfried Idyll” is a symphonic poem for chamber orchestra, composed by Richard Wagner (1813-1883) as a birthday present to his second wife, Cosima, after the birth of their son Siegfried in 1869. It was first performed on Christmas morning, 25 December 1870, by a small ensemble on the stairs of their villa at Tribschen.
Wagner’s opera “Siegfried”, which was premiered in 1876, incorporates music from the Idyll. It was once thought that the Idyll borrowed musical ideas intended for the opera, but it is now known that the opposite is the case: Wagner adapted melodic material from an unfinished chamber piece in the Idyll and later incorporated it into the love scene between Siegfried and Brunhilde in the opera.

 

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Wagner -Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Prelude and Liebestod from ‘Tristan Und Isolde’ (Karajan-BPO-Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)



From  the Author-DjangoMan1963:  “This is my personal vote for the greatest piece of music ever.
The version here is by the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by the late, great Herbert Von Karajan.

The jewish coductor Daniel Barenboim aptly said: “The music is bigger than the man”. Anyone who dismisses Wagner’s music on the basis of his views as a man, is missing something truly wonderful.

I’ve chosen Karajan’s version because he gets the tempo and the feel just right. Not too much vibratro here, which other conductors sometimes bring to the piece, making it sound too overwrought. He gets it spot on. A touch of vibrato, but he let’s the notes speak for themselves, whilst the languid tempo evokes a mystical atmosphere to the piece.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful music.”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Richard Wagner
Photo of Wagner

Tristan und Isolde (Tristan and Isolde, or Tristan and Isolda, or Tristran and Ysolt) is an opera, or music drama, in three acts by Richard Wagner to a German libretto by the composer, based largely on the romance by Gottfried von Straßburg. It was composed between 1857 and 1859 and premiered in Munich on 10 June 1865 with Hans von Bülow conducting. Wagner referred to the work not as an opera, but called it “eine Handlung” (literally a drama. a plot or an action), which was the equivalent of the term used by the Spanish playwright Calderón for his dramas.
Wagner’s composition of Tristan und Isolde was inspired by the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer (particularly The World as Will and Representation) and his affair with Mathilde Wesendonck. Widely acknowledged as one of the peaks of the operatic repertory, Tristan was notable for Wagner’s unprecedented use of chromaticismtonality, orchestral colour and harmonic suspension.
The opera was inexorably influential among Western classical composers and provided direct inspiration to composers such as Gustav MahlerRichard StraussKarol SzymanowskiAlban BergArnold Schönberg and Benjamin Britten. Other composers like Claude DebussyMaurice Ravel and Igor Stravinsky formulated their styles in contrast to Wagner’s musical legacy. Many see Tristan as the beginning of the move away from common practice harmony and tonality and consider that it lays the groundwork for the direction of classical music in the 20th century.[1] Both Wagner’s libretto style and music were also profoundly influential on the Symbolist poets of the late 19th Century and early 20th Century.[2]

Composition history

Wagner was forced to abandon his position as conductor of the Dresden Opera in 1849, as there was a warrant posted for his arrest for his participation in the unsuccessfulMay Revolution. He left his wife, Minna, in Dresden, and fled to Zürich. There, in 1852, he met the wealthy silk trader Otto Wesendonck. Wesendonck became a supporter of Wagner and bankrolled the composer for several years. Wesendonck’s wife, Mathilde, became enamoured of the composer. Though Wagner was working on his epic Der Ring des Nibelungen, he found himself intrigued by the legend of Tristan and Iseult.

The re-discovery of mediæval Germanic poetry, including Gottfried von Strassburg‘s version of Tristan, the Nibelungenlied and Wolfram von Eschenbach‘s Parzival, left a large impact on the German Romantic movements during the mid-19th century. The story of Tristan and Isolde is a quintessential romance of the Middle Ages and theRenaissance. Several versions of the story exist, the earliest dating to the middle of the 12th century. Gottfried’s version, part of the “courtly” branch of the legend, had a huge influence on later German literature.[3]

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Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg; Prelude to Act I; Solti



Wilhelm Richard Wagner
Sir Georg Solti 
Vienna Philharmonic

This piece introduces the first act of the composer’s music drama called The Mastersingers of Nuremberg. Similar to his other operas, he wrote the scenario and libretto in addition to the musical score.

 

Wagner – Tannhauser: Arrival of guests at Wartburg: MET, James Levine Director


Arrival of guests at Wartburg MET. James Levine Director

Rienzi Overture, Richard Wagner


Rienzi, der Letzte der Tribunen (WWV 49) (Rienzi, the Last of the Tribunes) is an early opera by Richard Wagner in five acts, with the libretto written by the composer after Bulwer-Lytton’s novel of the same name (1835). The title is commonly shortened to Rienzi. Written between July 1838 and November 1840, it was first performed at the Hofoper, Dresden on October 20, 1842, and was the composer’s first success. Continue reading