Tristan und Isolde

TristanIsoldeTristan and IsoldeKing MarkeTristan & IsoldeBrangäneInfluence of Schopenhauer on Tristan und IsoldeKurwenalMarkeWagner's opera
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.wikipedia
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Richard Wagner

WagnerWagnerianWagner’s
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

GottfriedGottfried 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

chromaticchromaticallychromatic note
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

StraussR. StraussStrauss, Richard
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.

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.

Opera

opera singeroperasoperatic
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".

Claude Debussy

DebussyDebussy, ClaudeC. Debussy
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".

Wesendonck Lieder

WesendonckliederWesendonck Songs
During November, however, he set five of Mathilde's poems to music known today as the Wesendonck Lieder.
Wesendonck Lieder, WWV 91, is the common name of a set of five songs for female voice and piano by Richard Wagner, Fünf Gedichte für eine Frauenstimme (Five Poems for a Female Voice). He set five poems by Mathilde Wesendonck while he was working on his opera Tristan und Isolde.

Hans von Bülow

BulowBülow[Hans] von Bülow
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.

Siegfried (opera)

SiegfriedBrünnhildeFafner
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.

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.

Gustav Mahler

MahlerMahlerianMahler, Gustav
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.

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.

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, 1836 – July 21, 1865) was a German Heldentenor and the creator of the role of Tristan in Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde.

Parsifal

AmfortasGurnemanzKlingsor
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

chordharmonyopening motif
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.

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.

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.

Bayreuth Festival

BayreuthBayreuther FestspieleWagner 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.

Der Ring des Nibelungen

Ring CycleRingThe Ring Cycle
Though Wagner was working on his epic Der Ring des Nibelungen, he found himself intrigued by the legend of Tristan and Isolde.
Chromatically altered chords are used very liberally in the Ring, and this feature, which is also prominent in Tristan und Isolde, is often cited as a milestone on the way to Arnold Schoenberg's revolutionary break with the traditional concept of key and his dissolution of consonance as the basis of an organising principle in music.

The World as Will and Representation

Die Welt als Wille und VorstellungWill and RepresentationThe World as Will and Idea
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.
To be mentioned are Wagner (Influence of Schopenhauer on Tristan und Isolde), Schönberg, Mahler, who cites The World as Will and Representation as “the most profound writing on music he had ever encountered”, Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Jorge Luis Borges, Tolstoy, D. H. Lawrence and Samuel Beckett.

Franz Liszt

LisztLisztianLiszt, Franz
Wagner wrote of his preoccupations with Schopenhauer and Tristan in a letter to Franz Liszt (December 16, 1854): Never in my life having enjoyed the true happiness of love I shall erect a memorial to this loveliest of all dreams in which, from the first to the last, love shall, for once, find utter repletion.
The song "Ich möchte hingehn" is sometimes cited because of a single bar, which resembles the opening motif of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.

Bernard Herrmann

Bernard HermannHerrmannHermann
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.

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

lyric baritonebaritonesbaryton-martin
Lyric German baritones sang lighter Wagnerian roles such as Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde or Telramund in Lohengrin.