Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Wagner's in the house

Patty, we must be kindred spirits. Just read today's post while listening to my Carlos Kleiber recording of Tristan und Isolde. Coincidence? I was inspired by hearing the overture to Tannhauser on the radio this morning. I then got an email to see if I was available to play second oboe for Sioux City Symphony this weekend (I'm not); what are they playing? Among other things, the Prelude to Tristan und Isolde. Rats. I've never played it before, and I'd love to.

I love that Wagner has the ability to bring us to the brink of something glorious and then eases us away. No wonder the last act was so scandalous! The opera is a four-hour love song, "in which death is transformed into an experience of orgasmic transcendence." I just read this from my genious "Rough Guide to Opera":
Shocked by its eroticism, men at the first performance removed their women from the Munich theatre, and a priest was seen to cross himself before fleeing in horror.
Richard Wagner wrote:
This Tristan is turning into something fearful! That last act!!!... I'm afraid the opera will be forbidden...only mediocre performances can save me. Completely good ones are bound to drive people mad.
Excuse me while I get back to my CD...er, my studying.

1 comment:

Pattyoboe said...

Hah! Too funny, this coincidence! :-)

I think I'll take a nap ... that's one long sit. But I'm really looking forward to this.