Andris Nelsons led the BSO by way of an unforgettable traversal of excerpts from Wagner’s Tannhäuser, an opera based mostly on two German legends: Tannhäuser, a legendary medieval German singer and poet, and the Wartburg track contest. Sacred love (on this opera personified by Elisabeth, niece of Landgrave Herman) struggles towards the profane (represented by Venus), and redemption comes by way of love.
In 13th-century Eisenach (Germany), the rulers of the Thuringian Valley, the realm across the Wartburg, have been nice supporters of the humanities. They held common track contests between the Minnesingers on the Wartburg. In line with the legend, Holda, the goddess of spring (who was recognized with Venus, the pagan goddess of affection) collectively along with her sirens and nymphs lured the Wartburg minnesingers into the Venusberg that towered over the realm. Her magnificence additionally captivated the Minnesinger-knight Heinrich von Ofterdingen, a.ok.a. Tannhäuser, after he had left the courtroom of the Landgrave of Thuringia a yr in the past after a disagreement together with his fellow knights within the second Act of the opera.
The substantial overture commenced with the theme of the ‘Pilgrim’s Refrain’ from Act III, Scene 1, and in addition included components of the ‘Venusberg’ music from Act I, Scene 1. Wagner initially gave the opera the title “Venusberg” due to its sexual connotation earlier than Wagner’s writer requested for the now established title “Tannhäuser”. Nelsons selected a remarkably sluggish tempo for the solemn march, which allowed the musicians to revel in the dead of night, intimate sounds over a wide range of dynamics, whereas precisely conveying underlying rhythms within the quicker elements and build up rigidity within the frenzied Bacchanal after the Venusberg music.
Wealthy, coherent string and woodwind sound gave strong and attentive assist for the solo singers. Particular mentions to live performance grasp Elita Kang for her gorgeous violin solos and to the gleaming horns, essential in each Wagner efficiency! John Ferrillo’s plangent oboe and William Hudgins’s vocal clarinet at all times instructed.
Tannhäuser Act III begins with the Pope’s refusal to absolve Tannhäuser; Elisabeth’s prayers and self-willed loss of life win his salvation earlier than Tannhäuser’s personal loss of life in a miracle decision voiced by the refrain.
Within the prelude, woodwinds and strings fantastically reprised the Pilgrim’s music from the overture. The Tanglewood Competition Refrain beneath James Burton appeared first because the refrain of pilgrims, however their beautiful tone manufacturing additionally sumptuously supported the excellent soloists.
Soprano Amber Wagner (not a descendant of the composer) passionately prayed as Elisabeth, providing her personal life for Tannhäuser’s salvation with a wealthy and profound voice and an actor’s dedication. Accompanying wind devices signified a church organ and the purity of her love. Christian Gerhaher as Wolfram started in his famend pure and profoundly honeyed Lieder-singer artistry, as he dwelt on Elisabeth’s sorrow throughout Tannhäuser’s absence among the many pilgrims. Jessica Zhou’s harp gave poignant assist, as his “O du, mein holder Abendstern” (Tune to the Night Star) anticipated Elisabeth’s loss of life and her soul’s ascension to heaven…as did we! What a second!
When encountering Wolfram, Klaus Florian Vogt’s Tannhäuser began matter-of-factly, telling of his pilgrimage story to Rome to hunt absolution from the Pope; his timbre turned more and more determined when failing to achieve absolution. He made his misery searing with penetrating colorations, marking him as one of many excellent Wagner tenors of our instances. [And he also plays the horn HERE.]
As Wolfram then pleaded with Tannhäuser for repentance, Gerhaher’s vary seamlessly expanded to a heroic dimension as Wolfram realized of Tannhäuser’s future. Tannhäuser, cursed and more and more desolate (after an off-stage interlude from the woodwinds, taking part in from the foyer with open aspect doorways), as soon as once more sought bliss with Venus. Mezzo-soprano Marina Prudenskaya appeared as a seductive Venus with a brilliant, and sensible vary, however she disappears when Wolfram invokes the lifeless Elisabeth’s identify. This modified Tannhäuser’s thoughts, and he died too. The estimable TFC closed with a deeply satisfying and redemptive Younger Pilgrim’s Refrain.
Go in the event you can tonight. It was a tremendous present.
Leave a Reply