26.06 / mo / 20:00—21:30

Wagner: Ouvertures

Soldatov Palace of Culture
On the programme:
Alexey Retinsky (b. 1986)
Water Has No Hair, overture to the overture from Wagner's opera Tristan and Isolde (2023, Russian premiere)

Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883)

Vorspiel und Liebestod from the opera Tristan und Isolde (1857 – 1859)
Vorspiel to the opera Lohengrin (1845 – 1848)
Overture to the opera Tannhäuser (1843 – 1845)
Vorspiel to the opera Parsifal (1882)
Siegfried's Journey Along the Rhine from the opera Götterdämmerung (1874)

musicAeterna Orchestra
Conductor Teodor Currentzis

Richard Wagner is one of the most influential composers in the history of music, a cultural hero, myth, and symbol, whose work and views still remain the subject of frenzied debate. Orchestral music belongs to his most indisputable creative achievements: the technical perfection and expressiveness of his instrumentation were recognized even by sceptically minded critics. Wagner was a reformer of the art of orchestration, as well as the founder of conducting practice in its modern form.

Opera overtures form a significant part of Wagner’s symphonic legacy. To the traditional genre of the introduction to the opera, he brings new ideas that have developed in the programmatic symphonic poems of the New German School. Wagner's overture is inseparable from the opera it precedes and it is not only due to their thematic connections. Anticipating the drama, it illustrates not its external events, but the key philosophical problems behind the plot: the conflict of carnal and spiritual love in "Tannhäuser", pessimism and ever-insatiable love longing in "Tristan", the outpouring of heavenly grace into the world in "Lohengrin"… The overtures included in the concert programme form a kind of synopsis of Wagner's mature work, a brief digest of the German heroic epic, which the composer developed all his life, borrowing motifs from chivalric novels, medieval legends, ancient myths, and historical chronicles.

The introduction to "Tristan and Isolde" is preceded by a new work by Alexey Retinsky, composed in the unique genre of "an overture to overture". Retinsky is approaching Wagner in his attention to orchestral colour and the mythological nature of artistic thinking. The title of his composition – "Water Has no Hair" – refers the audience to the romantic and symbolist circle of images, from Wagner's Rhine mermaids to Debussy-Maeterlinck's Melisande.