Author Topic: Tristan und Isolde  (Read 577 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Tantris

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Location: USA
  • Currently Listening to:
    mainly Romantic, especially Tchaikovsky
Tristan und Isolde
« on: August 28, 2021, 11:04:15 AM »
It was the 2011 Hollywood feature movie "Melancholia" that caused me to have repeated listenings to the complete opera "Tristan und Isolde" by R. Wagner.  In that sci-fi drama art film by Danish director Lars von Trier, the viewer hears some key sections of Wagner's opera-- these passages are repeated over and over through the movie. [I think I read that von Trier is, as am I, quite fond of Wagner.] Decades before "Melancholia" I knew the famous Prelude and orchestral and/or vocal Liebestod but hadn't listened to the rest of the opera. My public library has a copy of the superb, cleaned-up (sound quality improvements) 1950s recording by Wilhelm Furtwangler and Kirsten Flagstad. I really recommend that recording to you since the sound is indeed so excellent. I did read that Flagstad thought she was too old to sing certain well-known sections so some other woman sang those passages. Anyway, I just can never get over the modern sound to Wagner's genius in this score. He worked on and completed Tristan at 3 points in the late 1850s (!!). I've read that this work was a major change in classical music due to the remarkable, groundbreaking musical techniques Wagner employed. While listening to the entire work, I hear so often, here and there, just a few shorts notes or some longer passage that astounds me---> so modern sounding!

At YouTube there's a great old video of Toscanini, in his old age, conducting the orchestral version of the Liebestod. I think he and the orchestra are in Cargegie Hall. The camera is trained on Toscanini's face for most of the video so, I say, this makes it just marvelous. To watch this almost 6 minutes long video, go to https://youtu.be/FL1gFw-7SMc  ["Wagner - Tristano e Isotta".]

I remember well when I was in marching and concert band in my 4 year high school that the band director would now and then tell us that once in a while he'd rush over to Manhattan (I grew up in northeast NJ just 10 miles west of midtown Manhattan) to watch Toscanini in rehearsal with his NBC Symphony. Our band director usually pointed out the intense fury and rage in Toscanini whenever the music or some player's performance wasn't just perfect in those rehearsals.

Offline Chaszz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 478
  • Alberta Notch
  • Location: Carmel, NY
  • Currently Listening to:
    Amore Dei Tre Re, Montemezzi
Re: Tristan und Isolde
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2021, 07:32:53 AM »
It was the 2011 Hollywood feature movie "Melancholia" that caused me to have repeated listenings to the complete opera "Tristan und Isolde" by R. Wagner.  In that sci-fi drama art film by Danish director Lars von Trier, the viewer hears some key sections of Wagner's opera-- these passages are repeated over and over through the movie. [I think I read that von Trier is, as am I, quite fond of Wagner.] Decades before "Melancholia" I knew the famous Prelude and orchestral and/or vocal Liebestod but hadn't listened to the rest of the opera. My public library has a copy of the superb, cleaned-up (sound quality improvements) 1950s recording by Wilhelm Furtwangler and Kirsten Flagstad. I really recommend that recording to you since the sound is indeed so excellent. I did read that Flagstad thought she was too old to sing certain well-known sections so some other woman sang those passages. Anyway, I just can never get over the modern sound to Wagner's genius in this score. He worked on and completed Tristan at 3 points in the late 1850s (!!). I've read that this work was a major change in classical music due to the remarkable, groundbreaking musical techniques Wagner employed. While listening to the entire work, I hear so often, here and there, just a few shorts notes or some longer passage that astounds me---> so modern sounding!

At YouTube there's a great old video of Toscanini, in his old age, conducting the orchestral version of the Liebestod. I think he and the orchestra are in Cargegie Hall. The camera is trained on Toscanini's face for most of the video so, I say, this makes it just marvelous. To watch this almost 6 minutes long video, go to https://youtu.be/FL1gFw-7SMc  ["Wagner - Tristano e Isotta".]

I remember well when I was in marching and concert band in my 4 year high school that the band director would now and then tell us that once in a while he'd rush over to Manhattan (I grew up in northeast NJ just 10 miles west of midtown Manhattan) to watch Toscanini in rehearsal with his NBC Symphony. Our band director usually pointed out the intense fury and rage in Toscanini whenever the music or some player's performance wasn't just perfect in those rehearsals.

There was a time of a month or so when I was so addicted to the Act II Love Duet that I could,,, no, not merely listen but even think of anything else. I still regard that duet as a candidate on a short list for the greatest music ever written. That Wagner could create this opera, a beacon to the future of music in its breaking down of the tonal system, while also at about the same time creating Meistersinger, a celebration of the tonal system, is only another amazing thing about him. I find the red-hot 1966 Bayreuth live version bv Karl Bohm with Nilsson and Windgassen the best interpretation of this incredible opera. 
See my sculptures and paintings at Saatchiart.com - Enter Charles Zigmund in the search field