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Berliner Philharmoniker – “Tristan und Isolde” with Simon Rattle, Eva-Maria Westbroek and Stuart Skelton 2016 1080p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Richard Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde was premiered in Munich in 1865 and is based in its outline on a medieval epic poem. He called it a “drama in three acts”– for all intents and purposes a paradoxical designation, given that the work is characterised precisely by the fact that remarkably little happens on the surface. In all three acts it is primarily related what has happened before the curtain rises: be it Tristan’s murder of Isolde’s bridegroom and his inauspicious mission to bring the daughter of the Irish king whom he loves to a former vassal of her father, and the resulting inner conflicts of the two main figures (First Act); be it the disputes that Isolde – by now the wife of King Marke – has with her handmaid Brangäne about the reliability of her lover’s friends (Second Act); be it the attempts of Tristan’s servant Kurwenal to alleviate the hallucinations of his feverish lord by telling him what happened since Tristan walked into the open sword of Melot, who has remained devoted to the cuckolded Marke (Third Act).

If, every now and then, major events leave their traces in the events on stage in Tristan und Isolde – for instance, the decision that actually gets the drama going is only supposedly a decision by Tristan and Isolde to put an end to their lives (First Act), the discovery of the couple’s nightly tête-à-tête and the resulting duel (Second Act) and Isolde’s delayed and thus ineffective arrival at Tristan’s castle (Third Act) – all these are negotiated completely undramatically by Wagner, away from the centre of interest. A concert performance of the opera would seem to do justice to the composer’s intentions, as he ventures into musically previously “unheard of” dimensions to a particular degree with his Tristan. Especially considering that Eva-Maria Westbroek and Stuart Skelton in the title roles head up a top-class ensemble of singers.

https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/22405

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Magdalena Kozena, Stuart Skelton, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra & Sir Simon Rattle – Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde (Live) (2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Magdalena Kožená, Stuart Skelton, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra & Simon Rattle – Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde (Live) (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:04:08 minutes | 621 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © BR-Klassik

Conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, this performance of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) was recorded at concerts in Munich’s Herkulessaal on January 25 and 26, 2018, and features Magdalena Kožená and Stuart Skelton. The work is subtitled ‘A symphony for tenor, alto (or baritone) voice and orchestra’. It examines the border between two different genres: the Lied, in its extended form as a song cycle, and the symphony. The entire work is spanned by a taut arc, culminating – in accordance with the principle of intensification – in a huge final movement lasting as long as all the others together, and entitled Der Abschied (The Farewell). Here, Mahler is continuing the genre of the ‘Finale Symphony’, and the brightening of C minor to C major is even reminiscent of his usual apotheoses. In this symphony, as in his others, Mahler wanted to ‘create a world using all existing technical means’.

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