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To celebrate WRTI's 60 years on the air, we've selected some of your favorite pieces and put them together in one fabulous collection as our thanks to you - our loyal listeners!Contribute today at the $160 level and we'll thank you with our limited-edition WRTI 60th Anniversary Classical 3-CD set with liner notes from your favorite hosts. Pledge Here, and Thanks!Check out the track list below! Click on a title for an audio excerpt and more information. CD 11. Marin Marais (1656-1728): Sonnerie de Saint Genevieve du Mont de Paris2-4. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Brandenburg Concerto No.35. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): Ave verum corpus6. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827): Für Elise7. Beethoven: Romance No.2 in F8. Morten Lauridsen (b.1943): O Magnum Mysterium9. Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): Tragic Overture10. Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Notturno in EbCD 21. Richard Wagner (1813-1883): Tristan und Isolde. Prelude and Liebestod2. Carl Orff (1895-1982): Carmina Burana. O Fortuna3. Franz Biebl (1906-2001): Ave Maria (Angelus Domini)4. Gerald Finzi (1901-1956): Eclogue for Piano and Strings5. Randall Thompson (1899-1984): Alleluia6. Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958): The Lark Ascending7. Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924): Gianni Schicchi. O mio babbino caroCD 31. Aaron Copland (1900-1990): Appalachian Spring2. Stanley Myers (1930-1993): Cavatina (theme from The Deer Hunter)3. Samuel Barber (1910-1981): Adagio for Strings4-9. Arrigo Boito (1842-1918): Mefistofele. Prologue in Heaven

60th Anniversary Classical CD Highlight: Wagner, Tristan, Prelude and Liebestod

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The Prelude and Liebestod from Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, performed by the ?Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Johannes Wildner, conductor, is featured on CD 2 in the WRTI60th Anniversary Classical 3-CD set.

There are those who feel, quite frankly, that the Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde is the greatest piece of music ever written. The final climax of the music drama probably inspired by Wagner’s affair with Mathilde Wesendonck and the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, is certainly one of the peaks of the operatic repertory. Here, before our very ears, we experience the beginning of the move away from conventional harmony and tonality, and witness Wagner laying the groundwork for the direction of classical music in the 20th century as early as 1857!

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! For me, the anticipation of final release in that last chord of the Liebestod is almost unbearable; but, when it finally comes, the lasting sense of ecstasy is as spine-tingling and blissful as anything in all art. I dissolve every time I hear it, and ask myself, “How could any human being have written this?”

Contribute today at the $160 level and we'll thank you with our limited-edition WRTI 60th Anniversary CDs. Choose either our Classical (3 CDs) or Jazz (2 CDs) sets with notes from your favorite hosts. Pledge Here, and Thanks!