Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Tristan & Isolde’s Prelude

Wagner’s thrilling Tristan and Isolde is being performed in Auckland on Saturday. This is the second post getting ready for the great event!

So Wagner takes his Tristan Chord, that single chord that changed music forever, and then in the opera’s prelude – the twelve minutes or so of music before the drama starts – he tells the opera’s story in music alone.

True story.

The chord is built on the tension between two impossibly star-crossed lovers – excuse me, between two chords that shouldn’t go together that, when they do are themselves transformed – a tension and release played out over the prelude that presages the opera to come.

There’s nothing else like it in music. And it doesn’t get resolved for another four-and-a-half hours. Either musically, or dramatically.

The edge of your seat is the place to be.

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