An evening of opera and song with the Curtis Vocal Studies Department. All of the selections are sung by Curtis students, accompanied by pianists Mikael Eliasen and Danielle Orlando. The program:
Art Songs by Brahms, Giordani, Parisotti, Sharp and Tchaikovsky, plus Wagner’s Wesendonck Songs. Also, scenes and arias from Don Giovanni, L’enfant prodigue, Tannhaeuser, Don Carlo, Rigoletto and La Traviata.
In 1849, Richard Wagner became friends with the prosperous merchant Otto Wesendonck and his wife Mathilde, and spent time at the Wesendonck estate. As Curtis’ Mikael Eliasen claims, Wagner and Mathilde became “great, GREAT friends,” if you catch the meaning. At any rate, Wagner composed a cycle of five songs for Mathilde, two of which served as studies for his great opera Tristan und Isolde, on which he was working at the time. The songs are titled: “Der Engel” (“The Angel”), “Stehe still!” (“Stand still!”), “Im Treibhaus – Study for Tristan und Isolde” (“In the Greenhouse”), “Schmerzen” (“Sorrows”), and “Träume – Study for Tristan und Isolde” (“Dreams”).
Music Word of the Week: Study (or etude)
“…The study was above all designed to encourage amateurs by wrapping up the necessary practice in a piece that was interesting to play and tolerable to listen to…” – from the Oxford Dictionary of Music