Tristan und Isoldewikipedia
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 12th-century romance Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg.
IsoldeTristanTristan and IsoldeKing MarkeTristan & IsoldeBrangäneTristaInfluence of Schopenhauer on Tristan und IsoldeWagner's operaKurwenalLiebestod

Richard Wagner

WagnerRichard WagnerWagnerian
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 12th-century romance Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg.
His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music.

Gottfried von Strassburg

Gottfried von StrassburgGottfriedGottfried von Straßburg
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 12th-century romance Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg.
His work became a source of inspiration for Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde (1865).

Chromaticism

chromaticismchromaticchromatically
Widely acknowledged as one of the peaks of the operatic repertoire, Tristan was notable for Wagner's unprecedented use of chromaticism, tonal ambiguity, orchestral colour and harmonic suspension.
As tonality began to expand during the last half of the nineteenth century, with new combinations of chords, keys and harmonies being tried, the chromatic scale and chromaticism became more widely used, especially in the works of Richard Wagner, such as the opera "Tristan und Isolde".

Richard Strauss

Richard StraussStraussR. Strauss
The opera was enormously influential among Western classical composers and provided direct inspiration to composers such as Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Karol Szymanowski, Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg and Benjamin Britten.
The influence of Wagner's music on Strauss's style was to be profound, but at first his musically conservative father forbade him to study it. Indeed, in the Strauss household, the music of Richard Wagner was viewed with deep suspicion, and it was not until the age of 16 that Strauss was able to obtain a score of Tristan und Isolde.

Wesendonck Lieder

Wesendonck SongsWesendoncklieder
During November, however, he set five of Mathilde's poems to music known today as the Wesendonck Lieder.
He set five poems by Mathilde Wesendonck while he was working on his opera Tristan und Isolde.

National Theatre Munich

National TheatreNationaltheaterHoftheater
It was composed between 1857 and 1859 and premiered at the Königliches Hof- und Nationaltheater in Munich on 10 June 1865 with Hans von Bülow conducting.
These included Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (1865), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868), Das Rheingold (1869) and Die Walküre (1870), after which Wagner chose to build the Festspielhaus in Bayreuth and held further premières of his works there.

Claude Debussy

DebussyClaude DebussyDebussy, Claude
Other composers like Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Igor Stravinsky formulated their styles in contrast to Wagner's musical legacy.
A week after his return to Paris in 1887, Debussy heard the first act of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde at the Concerts Lamoureux, and judged it "decidedly the finest thing I know".

Opera

operaopera singeroperas
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 12th-century romance Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg.
In his mature music dramas, Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal, he abolished the distinction between aria and recitative in favour of a seamless flow of "endless melody".

Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld

LudwigLudwig Schnorr
The work finally premiered on 10 June 1865, with Malvina's husband Ludwig partnering her as Tristan.
Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld (July 2, 1836July 21, 1865) was a German Heldentenor and the creator of the role of Tristan in Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde.

Malvina Garrigues

Malvina Schnorr von CarolsfeldMalvine Garrigues
Even then, the planned premiere on 15 May 1865 had to be postponed until the Isolde, Malvina Schnorr von Carolsfeld, had recovered from hoarseness.
She and her husband Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld created the title roles in Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in 1865.

Siegfried (opera)

SiegfriedMimeFafner
While the earliest extant sketches date from December 1856, it was not until August 1857 that Wagner began devoting his attention entirely to the opera, putting aside the composition of Siegfried to do so. On 20 August he began the prose sketch for the opera, and the libretto (or poem, as Wagner preferred to call it) was completed by September 18. Wagner, at this time, had moved into a cottage built in the grounds of Wesendonck's villa, where, during his work on Tristan und Isolde, he became passionately involved with Mathilde Wesendonck.
Wagner then left off work on Siegfried to write the operas Tristan und Isolde and Die Meistersinger. He did not resume work on Siegfried until 1869, when he composed the third act.

Parsifal

ParsifalAmfortasKlingsor
The first production outside of Germany was given at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London in 1882; Tristan was performed by Hermann Winkelmann, who later that year sang the title role of Parsifal at Bayreuth.
Wagner did not resume work on Parsifal for eight years, during which time he completed Tristan und Isolde and began Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

Tristan chord

opening motifTristan'' preludeharmony
The very first chord in the piece, the Tristan chord, is of great significance in the move away from traditional tonal harmony as it resolves to another dissonant chord:
It is so named as it is heard in the opening phrase of Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde as part of the leitmotif relating to Tristan.

Cosima Wagner

CosimaCosima von BülowCosima Liszt
One evening in September of that year, Wagner read the finished poem of "Tristan" to an audience including his wife, Minna, his current muse, Mathilde, and his future mistress (and later wife), Cosima von Bülow.
Bülow was committed to Wagner's music; in 1858 he had undertaken the preparation of a vocal score for Tristan und Isolde, and by 1862 he was making a fair copy of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

Hans von Bülow

Hans von BülowBülowBulow
It was composed between 1857 and 1859 and premiered at the Königliches Hof- und Nationaltheater in Munich on 10 June 1865 with Hans von Bülow conducting.
He conducted the premieres of two Wagner operas, Tristan und Isolde and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, in 1865 and 1868 respectively; both were immensely successful.

Bayreuth Festival

BayreuthBayreuther FestspieleBayreuth Festival
Wagner himself supervised another production of Tristan in Berlin in March 1876, but the opera was only performed in his own theatre at the Bayreuth Festival after his death; Cosima Wagner, his widow, oversaw this in 1886, a production that was widely acclaimed.
Felix Mottl, who was involved with the festival from 1876 to 1901, conducted Tristan und Isolde there in 1886.

Mathilde Wesendonck

MathildeWesendonck
Wagner's composition of Tristan und Isolde was inspired by the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer (particularly The World as Will and Representation), as well as by Wagner's affair with Mathilde Wesendonck.
Nevertheless, the episode inspired Wagner to put aside his work on Der Ring des Nibelungen (which would not be resumed for the next twelve years) and begin work on Tristan und Isolde.

Joseph Keilberth

(The stress of performing Tristan has also "claimed" the lives of conductors Felix Mottl in 1911 and Joseph Keilberth in 1968.
He died in Munich in 1968 after collapsing while conducting Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde in exactly the same place as Felix Mottl was similarly fatally stricken in 1911.

Gustav Mahler

MahlerGustav MahlerMahlerian
The opera was enormously influential among Western classical composers and provided direct inspiration to composers such as Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Karol Szymanowski, Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg and Benjamin Britten.
This Mahler did in his first season, when he conducted Wagner's Tristan und Isolde for the first time and gave acclaimed performances of the same composer's Tannhäuser and Siegfried.

Anna Deinet

Anna Possart-Deinet
She is best remembered today for portraying Brangäne in the world premiere of Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in 1865 and Helmwige in the premiere of Wagner's Die Walküre in 1869.

Baritone

baritonelyric baritonebaritones
Lyric German baritones sang lighter Wagnerian roles such as Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde or Telramund in Lohengrin.

Bass clarinet

bass clarinetbassClarinet (Bass)
The instrument plays an extensive role in Tristan und Isolde (1859), the operas of Der Ring des Nibelungen (1876), and Parsifal (1882).

Ludwig II of Bavaria

Ludwig IIKing Ludwig IIKing Ludwig II of Bavaria
It was only after King Ludwig II of Bavaria became a sponsor of Wagner (he granted the composer a generous stipend, and supported Wagner's artistic endeavours in other ways) that enough resources could be found to mount the premiere of Tristan und Isolde.
A year after meeting the King, Wagner presented his latest work, Tristan und Isolde, in Munich to great acclaim.

Bernard Herrmann

Bernard HerrmannHerrmannBernard Hermann
Bernard Herrmann's score for Alfred Hitchcock's classic, Vertigo, is heavily reminiscent of the Liebestod, most evidently in the resurrection scene.
In many of the key scenes Hitchcock let Herrmann's score take center stage, a score whose melodies, echoing the "Liebestod" from Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, dramatically convey the main character's obsessive love for the woman he tries to shape into a long-dead, past love.

Bassoon

bassoonbassoonsbassoonist
Peter Schickele's "Last Tango in Bayreuth" (after themes from Tristan und Isolde) is a popular work; Schickele's fictional alter ego P. D. Q. Bach exploits the more humorous aspects with his quartet "Lip My Reeds," which at one point calls for players to perform on the reed alone.