Tristan und Isolde

Romantic opera from 1859

Richard Wagner
Composer, Librettist

Description

Tristan und Isolde (Tristan and Isolde, or Tristan and Isolda, or Tristran and Ysolt) is an opera, or music drama, in three acts by Richard Wagner to a German libretto by the composer, based largely on the romance by Gottfried von Strassburg. It was composed between 1857 and 1859 and premiered at the Königliches Hof- und Nationaltheater in Munich on 10 June 1865 with Hans von Bülow conducting. Wagner referred to the work not as an opera, but called it "eine Handlung" (literally a drama, a plot or an action), which was the equivalent of the term used by the Spanish playwright Calderón for his dramas.

Wagner's composition of Tristan und Isolde was inspired by the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer (particularly The World as Will and Representation), as well as by Wagner's affair with Mathilde Wesendonck. Widely acknowledged as one of the peaks of the operatic repertoire, Tristan was notable for Wagner's unprecedented use of chromaticism, tonality, orchestral colour and harmonic suspension.

The opera was enormously influential among Western classical composers and provided direct inspiration to composers such as Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Karol Szymanowski, Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg and Benjamin Britten. Other composers like Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Igor Stravinsky formulated their styles in contrast to Wagner's musical legacy. Many see Tristan as the beginning of the move away from common practice harmony and tonality and consider that it lays the groundwork for the direction of classical music in the 20th century. Both Wagner's libretto style and music were also profoundly influential on the Symbolist poets of the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Year 1859
Opening Night 1865
Time Period Romantic
Opus WWV 90
Instrumentation Opera orchestra, Opera chorus, Soli

Scores

Tristan und Isolde: Vorspiel und Isoldes Liebestod
Ernst Eulenburg & Co. GmbH 2011
Voss, et al.
Vorspiel und Liebestod
Novello & Company 1859
Wagner, et al.
Tristan und Isolde
Breitkopf and Härtel 1859
Wagner, et al.

Videos

Tristan und Isolde
Glyndebourne's celebrated production of Nikolaus Lehnhoff's Tristan und Isolde is a supremely intelligent achievement; gravely ...
Tristan und Isolde
John Treleaven and Deborah Polaski lead an outstanding cast in Wagner's operatic tour de force ...
Tristan und Isolde
"There are no bounds to the longing, the desire, the bliss, and the anguish of ...
Tristan und Isolde
This is a performance of Tristan und Isolde, performed by Chor der Bayreuther Festspiele (Bayreuth ...
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Albums

Great Wagner Singers
Deutsche Grammophon
Ride of the Valkyries
Deutsche Grammophon
Karajan Adagio - Music To Free Your Mind
Deutsche Grammophon
Pelleas and Melisande
Deutsche Grammophon
Scenes from Richard Wagner
Chandos
Dame Gwyneth Jones Sings Wagner
Chandos
Die Meistersinger, Götterdämmerung, Parsifal, Tristan und Isolde
Urania / Qualiton Imports, Ltd.
Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde
Archipel Records / Qualiton Imports, Ltd
Maria Callas: Favourite Arias
Synergie OMP
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde
Qualiton - Myto
Recital
Myto Records S.a.s. / Qualiton Imports, Ltd.
Bruckner: Sinfonia N. 4 "Romantica"; Wagner: Tristan und Isolde
Urania / Qualiton Imports, Ltd.
Opera Masterpieces II
Abaco Music
Trahisons (Betrayals)
Groupe Analekta, Inc.
Audrey Stottler sings Wagner
Roméo Records / Qualiton Imports, Ltd.
Richard Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde
Archipel Records / Qualiton Imports, Ltd
Wagner: Götterdämmerung
Urania / Qualiton Imports, Ltd.
Tristan und Isolde
Myto Records S.a.s. / Qualiton Imports, Ltd.
Kirsten Flagstad Farewell Concert
Archipel Records / Qualiton Imports, Ltd
Liszt: Transcriptions: Bach, Wagner
Groupe Analekta, Inc.
Kirsten Flagstad: Concerto a Berlino, 1952
Urania / Qualiton Imports, Ltd.
In Concert: Strauss & Wagner
Qualiton - Gebhardt
Strauss: Don Quixote - Victor De Sabata
Urania / Qualiton Imports, Ltd.
Kirsten Flagstad as Alceste
Urania / Qualiton Imports, Ltd.
Fantasien für 8 Hörner
Arts Productions Ltd.