WAGNER Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod
LISZT Piano Concerto No.2
HANS VON BÜLOW Nirwana
BRAHMS Variations on a Theme by Haydn
Alexander Shelley Conductor
Mariam Batsashvili Piano
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Wagner’s incomparable opera Tristan und Isolde features in the second concert of Alexander Shelley’s 360° series, exploring musical influences and relationships that inspired great composers. The profoundly meditative Prelude and Liebestod opens the opera with lush orchestration, expressive harmonies and chromaticism that divided those who heard it in its day, irrevocably influencing the course of Western music in the nineteenth century.
Bülow and Liszt were both contemporaries and supporters of Wagner, whose personal relationships are well documented through Wagner’s scandalous affair with Liszt’s daughter – Bülow’s wife. Liszt’s Piano Concerto No.2 and Bülow’s Nirwana exhibit a Wagnerian fanaticism, but countering this is Brahms, whose stalwart conservative voice of the era is heard in the classically influenced Variations on a Theme by Haydn.
See other concerts in the Composer 360° series.
Alexander Shelley talks about the new 360 Composer concerts in this video.