Discussion:
Wesendonck-Lieder?
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g***@gmail.com
2016-09-28 09:07:22 UTC
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(x-posted to rec.music.opera)
hello fellow opera fans,
i've recently stumbled upon this collection of songs, and was having some
trouble of finding more information about'em.
all i could piece together was that Wagner composed these songs (around five?)
for his mistress - Wesendonck, in around 1862. (that simple?)
what would be a good recording of these songs? i did a search on Amazon, and
they all seem to be part of a collection with other composers... and Jane Eaglen
and Jessye Norman seemed to stand out....
any suggestions? review? tips? info? thanks :)
Recent list of recommended recordings:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/mwi-recommends.htm
Bert Coules
2016-09-28 10:15:23 UTC
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I heard Jessye Norman perform these live and she was superb. I haven't
heard her recording but I don't imagine you'd be disappointed.

Wagner wrote the songs at the same time as he was working on his opera
Tristan and Isolde. There's a fair bit of information online, including of
course in Wikipedia:

http://tinyurl.com/zcvnjco

Incidentally, as far as I know there's no definite evidence that Wagner and
Mathilde Wesendonck were lovers. But they certainly had a pretty intense
relationship.

Bert
Herman van der Woude
2016-09-28 11:25:40 UTC
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I heard Jessye Norman perform these live and she was superb. I haven't heard
her recording but I don't imagine you'd be disappointed.
Wagner wrote the songs at the same time as he was working on his opera
Tristan and Isolde. There's a fair bit of information online, including of
http://tinyurl.com/zcvnjco
Incidentally, as far as I know there's no definite evidence that Wagner and
Mathilde Wesendonck were lovers. But they certainly had a pretty intense
relationship.
Bert
You both do realise, that you were responding to a fifteen year old
posting?

My personal favourite is Cheryl Studer's performance with the
Staatskapelle Dresden, conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli (coupled with
Isolde's Liebestod and Strauss' Four Last Songs) - DGG, 1994. That is
if you look for a performance with orchestra. Harder to find is an
original performance for alto and piano. I found a very satisfying live
performance from 4 May 1991 with alto Marjana Lipovsek, alto, and
Wolfgang Sawallisch at the piano (FARAO Classics, 2007 - coupled with
the Siegfried-Idyll in the original setting for 16 players (in this
case players from the Orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera), conducted
by Wolfgang Sawallisch.

I do agree, Bert, that we cannot be sure that Wagner and Mrs Wesendonck
had a love affair. Like you, I tend to see it is a pretty close
relationship ("soul mates", as we now would put it, rather than lovers
for which there is no real evidence, other than Minna's strong
suspicions).
--
Met vriendelijke groet,
Cheers,
Herman van der Woude
Bert Coules
2016-09-28 12:03:09 UTC
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Post by Herman van der Woude
You both do realise, that you were responding to a fifteen year old
posting?
Really? The post I replied to is dated 28th September 2016.

I rather suspect that Mathilde simply got caught up in Wagner's intensity
like many before her and since: she just happened to be available at a time
when he was in need of someone close. The poems were just a coincidence.

Bert
Bert Coules
2016-09-28 12:11:54 UTC
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Ah - I've just checked back, and the post I responded to was mainly a quote
from an earlier one, which does indeed date back a few years. I saw but
didn't observe...

Bert
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-10-03 01:22:01 UTC
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Post by Bert Coules
Ah - I've just checked back, and the post I responded to was mainly a quote
from an earlier one, which does indeed date back a few years. I saw but
didn't observe...
Bert
God, I didn't see all the older ones -- all that came up were ACD's opening comments. Very strange.

Cheers,

Mike
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-10-03 01:19:28 UTC
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Post by Herman van der Woude
My personal favourite is Cheryl Studer's performance with the
Staatskapelle Dresden, conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli (coupled with
Isolde's Liebestod and Strauss' Four Last Songs) - DGG, 1994. That is
if you look for a performance with orchestra. Harder to find is an
original performance for alto and piano. I found a very satisfying live
performance from 4 May 1991 with alto Marjana Lipovsek, alto, and
Wolfgang Sawallisch at the piano (FARAO Classics, 2007 - coupled with
the Siegfried-Idyll in the original setting for 16 players (in this
case players from the Orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera), conducted
by Wolfgang Sawallisch.
Yes, I was impressed by the Lipovsek/Sawallisch too, the more so as I haven't always liked her on stage. For me, though, the prime performance of the orchestrated version has to be Christa Ludwig's with Klemperer. Though there are several others that stick in the mind, including Melchior's Traume..
Post by Herman van der Woude
I do agree, Bert, that we cannot be sure that Wagner and Mrs Wesendonck
had a love affair. Like you, I tend to see it is a pretty close
relationship ("soul mates", as we now would put it, rather than lovers
for which there is no real evidence, other than Minna's strong
suspicions).
--
Met vriendelijke groet,
Cheers,
Herman van der Woude
Yes, we talked about this and I think most people agreed. There is certainly no positive evidence, and some circumstantial evidence against it. It's easy to be misled by the characteristically overheated language of Victorian letters, especially as translated into English; and Wagner was more florid than most. Which is not to say that he didn't have flings with other enraptured ladies, but they were almost all unhappily married -- Judith Gautier and Cosima, expecially. Mathilde seems to have been perfectly happy with Otto, though undoubtedly flattered by the prospect of being a great man's muse.

Cheers,

Mike
g***@gmail.com
2016-09-28 17:52:46 UTC
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Post by g***@gmail.com
(x-posted to rec.music.opera)
hello fellow opera fans,
i've recently stumbled upon this collection of songs, and was having some
trouble of finding more information about'em.
all i could piece together was that Wagner composed these songs (around five?)
for his mistress - Wesendonck, in around 1862. (that simple?)
what would be a good recording of these songs? i did a search on Amazon, and
they all seem to be part of a collection with other composers... and Jane Eaglen
and Jessye Norman seemed to stand out....
any suggestions? review? tips? info? thanks :)
http://www.musicweb-international.com/mwi-recommends.htm
Am I the only one surprised that that list:

- Doesn't include any of Tiana Lemnitz's many recordings?,

- Doesn't include any recordings with piano accompaniment?
g***@gmail.com
2016-10-07 22:11:34 UTC
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Post by g***@gmail.com
(x-posted to rec.music.opera)
hello fellow opera fans,
i've recently stumbled upon this collection of songs, and was having some
trouble of finding more information about'em.
all i could piece together was that Wagner composed these songs (around five?)
for his mistress - Wesendonck, in around 1862. (that simple?)
what would be a good recording of these songs? i did a search on Amazon, and
they all seem to be part of a collection with other composers... and Jane Eaglen
and Jessye Norman seemed to stand out....
any suggestions? review? tips? info? thanks :)
http://www.musicweb-international.com/mwi-recommends.htm
Concerning Stemme, she will be in Saturday's MET HD broadcast of TRISTAN UND ISOLDE.
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