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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde
Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde”, an opera in 3 acts based on a libretto by the composer, was composed between 1857 and 1859. The opera’s premiere was at the National Theater in Munich on June 10, 1865. Wagner referred to the work not as an opera, but as an “action.”
This opera, or action, was enormously influential among Western classical composers such as Gustav Mahler, Igor Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, Arnold Schoenberg, Benjamin Britten, Max Steiner and many others. “Tristan and Isolde” continues to be the driving influence for almost all of today’s composers in classical music.
Due to it’s influence, “Tristan and Isolde” is considered the greatest work by Wagner ever composed.
R Strauss: Macbeth - Death and Transfiguration
Macbeth, Op. 23
Death and Transfiguration, Op. 24
Joana Filipe Martinez, conductor
CMD Grand Opera Company of Barcelona Orchestra
Mozart: The Pretend Garden-Girl
“The Pretend Garden-Girl” is an Italian opera and was mentally copied from Mozart’s hearing of the 1774 opera of the same name by Pasquale Anfossi which Mozart heard while at the Weber’s in Munich. This amazing mental feat of hearing an entire opera, only one time, then improving and copying the entire opera to paper as his own opera, shows just how brilliant Mozart’s natural music talent was.
Also, amazingly, the opera was written to paper, parts and scores in less than a week and was performed for the first time on January 13, 1775. There is no doubt that the entire Weber family helped Mozart with the copying.
The story follows Count Belfiore and the Marchioness Violante Onesti (or the Violent but Honest Marchioness), who were lovers before Belfiore stabbed Violante in a fit of rage. The story begins with the revived Violante and her servant Roberto disguised as "Sandrina" and "Nardo," and quietly working in the mansion of the town Podestà. Violante discovers that Belfiore has become engaged to Arminda, the niece of the Podestà, and when Belfiore confesses his lingering love for Violante, Arminda jealously conspires to abduct the other woman. When Violante is found, she and Belfiore lose their minds and believe themselves to be Greek gods. When they regain their senses Violante forgives the Count and they fly to each other's arms. Arminda returns to Cavalier Ramiro, her spurned suitor, and Roberto finds love with Serpetta, another servant of the Podestà.
This performance is by the CMD Grand Opera Company of Venice and is conducted by Dominique Beaulieu.
Wagner: Die Walküre
Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), WWV 86B, is a music drama in three acts by Richard Wagner with a German libretto by the composer. It is the second of the four works that form Wagner's cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).
The story of Die Walküre is based on the Norse mythology told in the Volsunga Saga and the Poetic Edda. In Norse mythology, a valkyrie is one in a group of female figures who decide which soldiers die in battle and which live. Die Walküre's best-known excerpt is the "Ride of the Valkyries".
It received its premiere at the Königliches Hof- und National-Theater in Munich on 26 June 1870. Wagner originally intended the work to be premiered as part of the entire cycle, but was forced to allow the performance at the insistence of his patron King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It was first presented as part of the complete cycle on 14 August 1876 at Wagner's Bayreuth Festival. The work made its United States premiere at the Academy of Music in New York on 2 April 1877.
Verdi: Il Corsaro
Pirates, intrigue and a harem for good measure. This rarely performed masterpiece is a must for any true fan of Giuseppe Verdi.
Performed by the CMD Grand Opera Company of Venice.
Recorded by Classical Music Discoveries.
R Strauss: Aus Italien, Op. 16
Aus Italien (From Italy), Op. 16, is a tone poem for full orchestra composed by Richard Strauss in 1886 when he was 22 years old. It was inspired by the composer's visit to Italy (encouraged by Johannes Brahms) in the summer of the same year, where he travelled to Rome, Bologna, Naples, Sorrento, Salerno, and Capri. He began to sketch the work while still on the journey.
The full score of the work, Strauss's first tone poem, was completed in Munich on September 12, 1886. The work is named by the composer as "Symphonic Fantasy", and is dedicated to his mentor Hans von Bülow. It is the only work by Richard Strauss for which he himself wrote a specific program. The entire work takes over forty minutes to perform.
Strauss incorporated the tune of "Funiculì, Funiculà" into the symphony's fourth part "Scenes from Neapolitan Life", thinking it was a traditional Italian folk song, when it was in fact a piece written by Luigi Denza in 1880. Denza filed a lawsuit against Strauss and eventually won.
Mahler: Symphony No. 6 "Tragic"
Symphony No. 6 in A minor by Gustav Mahler is a symphony in four movements, composed in 1903 and 1904 (revised 1906; scoring repeatedly revised). Mahler conducted the work's first performance at the Saalbau concert hall in Essen on May 27, 1906. It is sometimes referred to by the nickname Tragische ("Tragic"). Mahler composed the symphony at what was apparently an exceptionally happy time in his life, as he had married Alma Schindler in 1902, and during the course of the work's composition his second daughter was born. This contrasts with the tragic, even nihilistic, ending of No. 6. Both Alban Berg and Anton Webern praised the work when they first heard it. Berg expressed his opinion of the stature of this symphony in a 1908 letter to Webern:
"Es gibt doch nur eine VI. trotz der Pastorale." (There is only one Sixth, despite the Pastoral.)
R Strauss: An Alpine Symphony
An Alpine Symphony (Eine Alpensinfonie), Op. 64, is a tone poem written by German composer Richard Strauss in 1915. Though labelled as a symphony by the composer, this piece forgoes the conventions of the traditional multi-movement symphony and consists of twenty-two continuous sections of music. The story of An Alpine Symphony depicts the experiences of eleven hours (from daybreak just before dawn to the following nightfall) spent climbing an Alpine mountain. An Alpine Symphony is one of Strauss's largest non-operatic works in terms of performing forces: the score calls for about 125 players in total.
Joana Filipe Martinez, conductor
CMD Grand Opera Company of Venice Orchestra
Mozart - Building Bridges
After turning 18, Mozart desperately tries to rebuild his relationship with Archbishop Colloredo.
Litaniae lauretanae, K. 195
Concertone in C, K. 190
Dominique Beaulieu, conductor
CMD Philharmonic of Paris
Diana Semenova and Dominique Beaulieu, solo violins
Joana Filipe Martinez, conductor
Vienna Boys Choir (guest artists)
CMD Grand Opera Company of Venice
McEncroe: Symphonic Suites 1 & 2
Australian composer Mark John McEncroe’s SYMPHONIC SUITES NUMBER 1 & 2 – A MEDIEVAL SAGA is a classic adventure in orchestral music. Powered by McEncroe’s thematic style, these two symphonic suites lead the listener through a harrowing and dramatic story of ancient conflict and grandeur. Like a film score from the Golden Age Of Hollywood, McEncroe’s musical ‘storytelling’ is made clear by his powerful melodic material, which conjures the sweeping shots of a classic epic film in the listener’s imagination.
Salieri: Requiem in C minor
Salieri was committed to medical care and suffered dementia for the last year and a half of his life. He died in Vienna on 7 May 1825, aged 74 and was buried in the Matzleinsdorfer Friedhof on 10 May. At his memorial service on 22 June 1825 his own Requiem in C minor – composed in 1804 – was performed for the first time. His remains were later transferred to the Zentralfriedhof. His monument is adorned by a poem written by Joseph Weigl, one of his pupils:
Rest in peace! Uncovered by dust
Performed by the CMD Philharmonic and Chorus of Paris