Sunday, June 10, 2018

June 10, 1865: Wagner's Tristan und Isolde opera premiered

Last updated 11/18/2020.

Tristan and Isolde

Richard Wagner (composer)

Recorded: 1857-1859

Premiered: June 10, 1865

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classical > opera


Act I:

  1. Prelude
  2. "Hab acht, Tristan!" (Kurvenal)
  3. "Doch nun von Tristan!" (Isolde)
  4. "Wie lachend sie mir Lieer singen" (Isolde's Narrative and Curse)
  5. "So reihte sie die Mutter" (Brangane)
  6. "Begehrt, Herrin was ihr wunscht" (Tristan)

Act II:

  1. Prelude
  2. a. "Isolde! Geliebte! Tristan! geliebter" (Tristan, Isolde)
    b. "O eitler Tagesknecht!" (Isolde)
    c. "O sink hernieder" (Beide)
  3. a. "Einsam wachend" (Brangane's Waming)
    b. "Lausch Geliebter!"
    c. "So sturben wir" (Tristan)
    d. "Lass' mich sterben!" (Isolde)
  4. "Tatest du's wirklich?" (King Marke's Monologue)
  5. "Konig... Wohin nun Tristan scheidet" (Tristan)

Act III:

  1. Prelude
  2. "Die alte Weise - was weckt sie mich?" (Tristan)
  3. "Dunkt dich das?" (Tristan)
  4. "Wie sie selig"
  5. "O diese Sonne!" (Tristan)
  6. "Ha! Ich bin's, ich bin's" (Isolde)
  7. "Mild und leise" (Liebestod) (Isolde)
  8. "Prelude und Liebestod" (Concert version, arr. Humperdinck)

Total Running Time: 222:30


4.525 out of 5.00 (average of 2 ratings)

Quotable: “One of the peaks of the operatic repertoire” – Wikipedia


About the Album:

Tristan und Isolde is a three-act opera based largely on Tristan, a 12th-century romance by Gottfried von Strassburg. Inspiration also included philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer and Wagner’s affair with Mathilde Wesendonck, WK his patron’s wife to whom he wrote poems which became the basis for five of the opera’s songs. JH Wagner “stated in his 1860 essay The Music of the Future, he wanted to compose an opera of more modest scale with a chance of being produced.” JH It premiered on June 10, 1865 at the Königliches Hof- und Nationaltheater in Munich with Hans von Bülow as the conductor. WK

It “was notable for Wagner’s unprecedented use of chromaticism, tonal ambiguity, orchestral colour and harmonic suspension.” WK Many view Wagner’s opera as the onset of a movement away from “common practice harmony and tonality” WK which launched musical modernism and “the direction of classical music in the 20th century.” WK Wagner’s “libretto style and music” served as enormous influences on 19th and early 20th century symbolist poets as well as Western classical composers, proving inspirational to Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Karol Szymanowski, Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg and Benjamin Britten. WK

“The harmonic language of Tristan…not only enacts musically the sexual tension between the opera’s two central characters, but also points to the liberation of dissonance from the constraints of tonality that Arnold Schoenberg and others in the twentieth century would champion. The Prelude to Tristan fully exemplifies Wagner’s forward-looking approach to both harmony and the issue of musical form – or, some would say, formlessness – that operates centrally in his music-dramas.” JH Wagner also used instrumental music to introduce “central motives which correspond with characters and ideas.” JH

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