The Other Wagner: Symphonic, Vocal and Piano Music | EMI 7055142

The Other Wagner: Symphonic, Vocal and Piano Music

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Label: EMI

Cat No: 7055142

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 3

Release Date: 29th October 2012

Contents

Artists

Christa Ludwig (mezzo-soprano)
Mikhail Rudy (piano)
Thomas Hampson (baritone)
Geoffrey Parsons (piano)
Jessye Norman (soprano)
Irwin Gage (piano)
Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
Philadelphia Orchestra
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
London Symphony Orchestra
Philharmonia Orchestra

Conductors

Michel Plasson
Wolfgang Sawallisch
Jeffrey Tate
Marek Janowski
Otto Klemperer

Works

Wagner, Richard

An Webers Grabe, WWV72
Ankunft bei den schwarzen Schwanen, WWV95
Christoph Columbus: Overture
Das Liebesmahl der Apostel, op.69
Der Tag erscheint, WWV68B
Der Tannenbaum, WWV50
Elegie in A flat major
Faust Overture
Faust lieder (7) for voice & piano, op.5 WWV15
» IV Lied des Mephistopheles I
» V Lied des Mephistopheles II
Grosser Festmarsch (Centennial March)
Huldigungsmarsch
Kaisermarsch
Les deux grenadiers, WWV60
Mignonne, WWV57
Siegfried Idyll, op.103 (trans. for piano by Artur Rubinstein)
Siegfried Idyll, op.103
Sonata for Mathilde Wesendonk's Album
Symphony in E major
Tout n'est qu'images fugitives, WWV58
Trauersinfonie, WWV73
Wesendonck-Lieder (5) (orch. Felix Mottl)
Wesendonck-Lieder (5), WWV91

Artists

Christa Ludwig (mezzo-soprano)
Mikhail Rudy (piano)
Thomas Hampson (baritone)
Geoffrey Parsons (piano)
Jessye Norman (soprano)
Irwin Gage (piano)
Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
Philadelphia Orchestra
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
London Symphony Orchestra
Philharmonia Orchestra

Conductors

Michel Plasson
Wolfgang Sawallisch
Jeffrey Tate
Marek Janowski
Otto Klemperer

About

Wagner is, of course, best known for his operas, but he actually wrote music in an unexpectedly wide variety of genres. Encompassing orchestral works, overtures, marches, songs, choral works and piano music, this collection complements Wagner’s great operas, providing fascinating insights into the composer’s emerging style and musical techniques. It also showcases some rousing, moving and powerful music that is well worth discovering.

This album is part of a series of releases including ‘Wagner: The Great Operas’ and ‘The Essential Wagner’ released by EMI Classics to mark the bi-centenary of the birth of Richard Wagner. The operas of Wagner have never been more popular than they are today, and performances of his Ring cycle continue to fill opera houses all over the world.

Wagner was born in Leipzig in May 1813. He began his professional career as an opera conductor and concentrated on composing operas throughout his whole life. His output was highly successful, particularly as regards his concept of opera as a total work of art. His turbulent personal life, however, was characterised by debts, political exile, escapes and frequent love affairs, while his belligerent personality and often outspoken views on music, politics and society made him a controversial figure in his time, which he remains to this day, largely due to his anti-Semitism.

But, in addition to his operas, Wagner composed a small number of non-operatic works and this album brings together a representative collection of these pieces.

CD 1 begins with A Faust Overture, written in Paris in 1840 and intended to be part of a longer work that was never completed. This is followed by the choral piece: Der Tag Erscheint that Wagner composed as his first duty when appointed Kapellmeister in 1843 in Saxony, and another choral work: An Webers Grabe, performed when the remains of the composer Carl Maria von Weber were transferred from London to Dresden for re-burial. Then comes the Siegfried Idyll, a piece for chamber orchestra written for the birthday of Wagner’s second wife, Cosima, followed by the orchestral composition: Trauermusik that accompanied the funeral procession of Weber’s remains in Dresden before the re-burial. The disc ends with Das Liebesmahl der Apostel (The Love Feast of the Apostles), a piece for male chorus and orchestra on the theme of Pentecost that was commissioned by a cultural association in Dresden in 1843.

The surviving first movement of Wagner’s Symphony in E, written in 1834, opens CD 2, followed by the overture to the play Columbus (1835) and then three marches: Huldigungsmarsch (1864), Kaisermarsch (1871) and Großer Festmarsch (1876). The last is also known as the ‘American Centennial March’. It was commissioned by the city of Philadelphia (on the recommendation of conductor Theodore Thomas, who was subsequently very disappointed with the work when it arrived) for the opening of the Centennial Exposition, for which Wagner was paid $5,000. The disc ends with the five romantic songs that Wagner composed for Mathilde Wesendonck while he was working on Tristan und Isolde, performed here in the orchestrations by Felix Mottl.

CD 3 brings us a few of the compositions that Wagner wrote for solo piano and includes a piano transcription of the Siegfried Idyll by Artur Rubinstein, revised by the pianist heard performing it here, Mikhail Rudy. We then hear six of the handful of songs that Wagner composed during his life, sung by the American baritone Thomas Hampson, and the programme ends with the original version for voice and piano of the Wesendonck-Lieder, sung here by the soprano Jessye Norman.

Contents:

01. Eine Faust-Ouvertüre
02. Festgesang: Der Tag erscheint, WWV68B
03. An Webers Grabe: Hebt an den Sang, WWV 72
04. Siegfried-Idyll
05. Trauersinfonie für Blasorchester nach Motiven aus "Euryanthe" von Carl Maria von Weber
06. Das Liebesmahl der Apostel, Eine biblische Szene für Männerchor und grosses Orchester
Dresdner Philharmonie / Michel Plasson

07. Symphony in E Major (Allegro con spirito)
Philadelphia Orchestra / Wolfgang Sawallisch

08. Columbus Overture
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks / Jeffrey Tate

09. Huldigungsmarsch
10. Kaisermarsch
11. Großer Festmarsch (Centennial March)
London Symphony Orchestra / Marek Janowski

12. Wesendonk Lieder (orch. Mottl)
Christa Ludwig (mezzo-soprano)
Philharmonia Orchestra / Otto Klemperer

13. Ankunft bei den Schwänen
14. Eine Sonate fur das Album von Frau Mathilde Wesendonck
15. Elegie in As Dur
16. Siegfried Idyll (arr. für Klavier)
Mikhail Rudy (piano)

17. 3 Melodies: Mignonne
18. Tu n'est qu'images fugitives
19. Les Deux grenadiers
20. Lied des Mephistopheles No.4
21. Lied des Mephistopheles No.5
22. Der Tannenbaum
Thomas Hampson (baritone) / Geoffrey Parsons (piano)

23. Wesendonck-Lieder mit Klavier
Jessye Norman (soprano) / Irwin Gage (piano)

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