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Thread: Tristan und Isolde

  1. #16
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    If he hated Italians I'd still love his operas.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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  3. #17
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    This is my least favorite of his operas. It never seems to end. I would have probably finished them myself if I had to be there and hear another second of their incessant prattle. Chloroform posting as music.

    I do like Meister singer.

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Don't let anything you've read scare you off of Wagner. He, like many other people (including some famous composers) made antisemitic statements, but to find anything of that nature in his operas you have to be determined to read them in. A Jewish friend of mine, introduced to the Ring and knowing nothing about it except what he'd heard from who knows what non-authoritative sources, said with some surprise, "well, there's nothing Nazi about this." He was correct.
    Cognitive dissonance or not, I bit the bullet and pulled the trigger on that Böhm/Bayreuth recording as my first Wagner CD (other than the Szell/Cleveland "Wagner Without Words", but that was a gift from years ago). I liked what little I heard of it. At under $5 for a used copy I could hardly pass it up.

    All thanks to this thread. Cheers to setting aside my convictions for the sake of good music
    Last edited by flamencosketches; Apr-25-2019 at 03:37.

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  6. #19
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    Cognitive dissonance or not, I bit the bullet and pulled the trigger on that Böhm/Bayreuth recording as my first Wagner CD (other than the Szell/Cleveland "Wagner Without Words", but that was a gift from years ago). I liked what little I heard of it. At under $5 for a used copy I could hardly pass it up.

    All thanks to this thread. Cheers to setting aside my convictions for the sake of good music
    Bohm is a fine choice.
    I play it a lot because the acts are complete on each disc
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  7. #20
    Senior Member Clouds Weep Snowflakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Which Deutsche Grammophon one? Tthe DG recording of the 1966 Bayreuth Festival Tristan, with Birgit Nilsson and Wolfgang Windgassen, conducted by Karl Bohm, is one of the most highly recommended. The DG recording with Helga Dernesch and Jon Vickers under Karajan is also recommendable, and the DG recording with Margaret Price and Rene Kollo under Kleiber has its partisans.
    https://www.deutschegrammophon.com/gb/cat/4775355

  8. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    I feel genuinely sorry for people whose lives were affected by atrocities which, for whatever reason, make them uncomfortable with music they associate with terrible experiences and events. Nowadays most of those people are gone or very old, but there seem to be a surprising number of younger people who feel they must perpetuate a presumed "connection" between Wagner's operas and a vicious dictator who happened to love them. Some zealots have even tried to prove that the operas themselves are anti-Jewish.

    Sad to say, we've seen examples of that zealotry right here on TC. It would be good to keep it at bay. The subject is interesting, but it really belongs in another thread.
    A certain dictator's favourite drammatico-musical work was Lehar's Merry Widow, but you don't hear calls for that to be banned. (Although Lehar didn't write anti-semitic tracts). In fact there was a production recently at ENO in London that took a few digs at a more recent dictator...

    N.

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  10. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    it's common knowledge that Wagner himself was vehemently anti-Semitic, as I'm sure you know. Is it that much of a stretch to believe that he would have inserted elements of his worldview into his operas?
    Whether he did or not, I think I'm on safe ground in saying that there is nothing that could be remotely interpreted as anti-Semitic in Tristan und Isolde.

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  12. #23
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reichstag aus LICHT View Post
    Whether he did or not, I think I'm on safe ground in saying that there is nothing that could be remotely interpreted as anti-Semitic in Tristan und Isolde.
    Good, because Tristan is the one I like the most

    At least out of what I've heard. Does anyone know which of Wagner's scores Debussy owned and studied? I was thinking either Tristan or Parsifal. I certainly hear shades of the harmonies of Tristan in Debussy's work.

  13. #24
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clouds Weep Snowflakes View Post
    I apologize, but I still think this thread is relevant as I also pointed out the dilemma in Israel over Wagner's operas (though thankfully selling and buying them for private use is fine), which is important as I don't think there any people from Israel here aside of myself.
    google "site:talkclassical.com wagner+israel" Five threads. Like Wagner and Israel. 2012. 8 pages, etc.

    Tell me anything that hasn't been discussed about Wagner in 15 years of this forum. Maybe, what would happen if Wagner had a twitter account, VR Rheingold. Big Data companies catching new opera goers to their subscription site...
    Last edited by Granate; Apr-25-2019 at 13:11.

  14. #25
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    Good, because Tristan is the one I like the most

    At least out of what I've heard. Does anyone know which of Wagner's scores Debussy owned and studied? I was thinking either Tristan or Parsifal. I certainly hear shades of the harmonies of Tristan in Debussy's work.
    Debussy studied both of them. He even tried once to play the entirety of Tristan on the piano from memory (apparently unsuccessfully). While composing Pelleas et Melisande he complained of the difficulty of keeping reminiscences of Parsifal out of it, and we can still hear hints of that opera in some of the orchestral interludes of Pelleas.

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    Warm Greetings, Bonetan! If I want to read all the Wagner opera threads what search term should I use in Google? Have you ever found such a search to have missed many threads? TYVM

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  17. #27
    Senior Member DeepR's Avatar
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    Tristan und Isolde is on my to do list ever since I heard the magnificent Prelude and Liebestod, which I easily consider among the greatest music I know.
    I must say that the concept of Liebestod / love-death in general eludes me a bit, it seems very ambiguous.
    Last edited by DeepR; Apr-25-2019 at 20:46.

  18. #28
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeepR View Post
    Tristan und Isolde is on my to do list ever since I heard the magnificent Prelude and Liebestod, which I easily consider among the greatest music I know.
    I must say that the concept of Liebestod / love-death in general eludes me a bit, it seems very ambiguous.
    A love that could not be in the light of day
    A love so strong that can only be fulfilled in death.
    That's part of the fascination my friend.
    But remember WAGNER called it love/death and transfiguration.
    Think about that one.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  19. #29
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clouds Weep Snowflakes View Post
    Any opinion(s) on this Opera by Wagner? I have a copy of the full opera on 3CDs with a very detailed booklet, certainly a good perches; just that here in Israel Wagner's operas are not preformed publicly due to his anti-Semitism and relations to the Nazis, I think back in 2000 there was an attempt to preform this opera and well...it didn't work out smoothly; anyhow, Jew hater or nor, this does not detach from his talent, and I love his operas; and, hey, if Israelis drive on Ford's cars, but not listen to Wagner's operas?
    Also regarding this specific opera, I liked the story very much, and I can feel the emotions bursting despite not speaking German; I actually wanted to learn German once but my family opposed...
    I don't think anyone stops people listening to Wagner in Israel but I can understand why, in a country created from the Holocaust, people do not want a composer played whose name is indelibly linked (rightly or not) to the man who headed the atrocities. I recognise Tristan is a work of genius but it does leave me somewhat detached. Something I admire not warm to.

    The comparison with Ford is not quite accurate as Ford is dead and so are his designs. Wagner's philosophy lives on through his operas.
    Last edited by DavidA; Apr-25-2019 at 21:52.

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  21. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    The comparison with Ford is not quite accurate as Ford is dead and so are his designs. Wagner's philosophy lives on through his operas.
    It's not quite the same thing, but its a fair point about Isrealis driving Ford vehicles.

    Wagner's operas are works of art, not philosophical doctrines. If we didn't know so much about the man, his personal life, and his ideas, there's no way anyone would be able to deduce Wagner's "philosophy" from watching Tristan und Isolde, or any of the other music dramas.

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