Richard Wagner

Dario Acosta

Join us on Sunday, March 14th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1 and Monday, March 15th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2 to hear a 2018 concert broadcast from the Orchestra’s British Isles Festival conducted by Fabio Luisi.

5-21-18.  In Wagner: Orchestral Music from Der Ring des Nibelungen, JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic perform highlights from Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle. Beginning with the first of four music dramas, Das Rheingold, and proceeding through Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung, it’s a thrilling  journey and a chance to be swept up in the magic of Wagner’s orchestral color.

Only gods can live in endless bliss. Tannhäuser—minstrel and renegade—is lured into the erotic realm of the love goddess Venus. There he luxuriates in lust and a host of sinful pleasures. But finally it's all too much. He longs to return home, and does—to friends, rules of Christian conduct, and most of all, to Elisabeth, the warm but chaste young woman who loves him, despite the grief he's caused.

Setting the Stage with Richard Wagner

Sep 28, 2016

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, this Saturday at 5 pm on WRTI... Looking over the landscape of American orchestral music covering the 19th and into the 20th centuries as we have been, we see two names—not American—looming large. One is Beethoven, the other, Wagner. They are still huge now; imagine them in the eyes of American musicians then.

Anton Seidl and New Music in the New World

Aug 3, 2016

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday from 5 to 6 pm on WRTI... As we’ve seen this year on Discoveries, the rise of American orchestral music followed composers and orchestras, as you might think. And because orchestras have leaders, we’ve started looking at conductors, too.

Karl Goldmark Had Character Enough

Mar 4, 2015

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday March 1st, 2015, 5-6 pm... Continuing our survey of the year 1915, we find one of the few people of the time—composers, critics, or audience members—who liked both Brahms and Wagner, and that's Karl Goldmark. A Hungarian composer trying to make his way in Vienna, he took on other jobs in and related to music. One of those jobs was music criticism.

James Levine returns to Wagner with a signature run of the epic comedy, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, back at the Met for the first time in eight years. Michael Volle is in the central role of Hans Sachs. Johan Botha reprises his indomitable Walther, and the elegant Annette Dasch is Eva. Saturday, December 13, 12 noon to 6 pm (***Note early start time and later end time.)

This Sunday at 1 pm on WRTI, it's a performance of Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 7  by The Philadelphia Orchestra. The work, and the composer, are very close to Yannick's musical heart.

Paired with Wagner's tender Siegfried Idyll, you're in for an orchestral treat, in this rebroadcast of a Verizon Hall concert first heard last January, and broadcast a week after the death of the Orchestra's Conductor Laureate Wolfgang Sawallisch.

The prayers of a desperate woman are answered in the form of a noble warrior in Richard Wagner's most accessible opera, which contrasts the lust for power with the search for faith. The title role is sung by Brandon Jovanovich, "a first-rate Wagner tenor" (San Francisco Chronicle) who was an electrifying Siegmund in Die Walküre (2011). As his doubt-plagued bride, soprano Camilla Nylund "evokes an affecting degree of dreamy distance in Elsa's account of her mysterious savior" (Gramophone).

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 WRTI 60th 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?”

Pages