Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lecture titled "Tristan and Ecstasy: Perspectives on Isolde's Transfiguration"

Last Saturday's talk by Professor Hans Rudolf Vaget was fabulous. But that's not really surprising. Prof. Vaget is one of the best Wagnerian minds alive today. The lecture was fascinating, and the speaker erudite. He played two rare musical examples: "Träume," a Wesendonk song sung by Kirsten Flagstad, and "Das Liebestod" (Tristan und Isolde), sung by Jessye Norman.

Even for a seasoned Wagnerian like me, there was so much to learn and savor. Prof. Vaget went over the libretto of "Das Liebestod," a wonderful exercise, which enhanced my appreciation of this incredible piece of music.

We also learned that Wagner considered "Träume" even closer to his heart than Tristan und Isolde.

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