On Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Classic and Opera | Composers

Richard Wagner

The Wagner life, written thousands of times, is full of the highest dramatism and is one of the richest in events of the history of the music. The composer born in Leipzig on May 22, 1813, hesitated in his youth between the literature and the music. The work of his life should represent an union of both arts, possibly the union of music and word more perfect that is known. His inclination towards the music did not wake up up to knowing the works of Weber and Beethoven. After a life lax and invested in the game and the women, he married and traveled to Paris and then to Dresden, where his work was recognized.

It owed his first inspirations to the storyteller Gozzi (Die Feen), as well as to Shakespeare (You give Liebesverbot). His conductor's career, which scarcely began, took it to Magdeburg, Kónigsberg and Riga. From there it escaped, overwhelmed by the debts and consciously of the tightness of the artistic ambience, towards Occident; he slipped in of stowaway with his dog and his wife Minna Planer, a notable actress, in a sailing ship that crossed the Baltic, he was pushed by a thunderstorm up to the coast of Norway and he ended up anchoring in England. During this rough trip, Wagner read the version that Heine had written on the legend of the wandering Dutch.

After a brief stay in England, it happened to France, met the famous composer of that time Giacomo Meyerbeer and settled in Paris, where a difficult and bitter epoch began for him. It had to do musical works of low category and did not find a real access to the artistic circles of the city. A success must have considered that the Opera should buy to him an operatic project on the motive of the wandering Dutch; but to the institution he was not interested in the Wagner music. So that what was released was an opera of a French composer today completely forgotten.

Thanks to the Meyerbeer influence, there was opened to Wagner the possibility of representing in Germany his opera Rienzi (based on the novel of Bulwer Lytton), which it had just finished. His success savoured in Dresden on October 20, 1842, gave a new draft to the Wagner life.

After the premiere of The wandering Dutch (that was successful), they named it conductor of the Opera of the court of Dresden; it means that, for the first time in the life, it reached a notable position in one of the most important theaters of Germany. Nevertheless, his interior feeling of unease did not allow him, in spite of the requests of his wife, to enjoy the new situation. The wandering Dutch took the rebel Wagner, whom everything was leading for the new way of the musical drama, increasingly far from Rienzi, who belonged to the type of the big opera of Meyerbeer and who that's why was understood by major facility and received with applauses for the public.

After releasing Tannhauser in 1845 and of beginning to occupy of Lohengrin, it contacted, because of his political ideas, the anarchistic Bakunin circle; the revolution of 1848, which exploded in almost the whole Europe, forced it to escape again. It went to Weimar and presented Franz Liszt to him, the dispensing lighthouse of hope of all the composers, and obtained of him a false passport, which allowed him to escape of the police that was chasing it, as well as money to come to Switzerland. May 28, 1849 came there and he settled in Zurick, in an exile that should last eight years. At first he was dealing with writing works in prose, but soon he began to write The ring of the Nibelungo, which arose in inverse order: The Sigfrido death, today The west of the gods, The young man Sigfrido preferred him to the drama, today called only Sigfrido; then it composed The valquiria as previous history, and later it projected The gold of the Rhine in the manner of prologue of the universal events about which the work was treating. He read this impressive poetical sketch to a friends' select circle of Zurick and went on, encouraged by the favorable reception, to the composition, which took place according to the final order of the tetralogía and which came up to half of Sigfrido.

Meanwhile, Wagner and his wife had been invited by the rich merchant Otto Wesendonk and his young wife Mathilde to change to one of his mansions, placed in a beautiful place. The incipient Wagner love for Mathilde determined that it was interrupting the composition of The ring of the Nibelungo and was dealing intensely with Tristán and Isolda. Then, because of an intercepted letter, the rupture took place: Minna armed a scandal and Wagner had to escape again. In Venice it worked at once second of Tristán, work that would end in Lucerne in 1859.

There begins this way the worst epoch of Wagner, in which sometimes it comes to the entire despair. The theaters that offer to him the possibility of representing this formidable love drama, resign from the representation as soon as they understand the tremendous and unsuspected difficulties that the opera presents.

Of all his remaining works, only it survives Lohengrin, which Liszt had released in Weimar on August 28, 1850, and which since then had spread so much that Wagner could affirm ironically that it was the German only one that had not seen it. Since to Germany the ominous search order is always opposed to his return and captures that the police of Dresden had put in circulation.

When the amnesty was granted, more than twelve years later, and Wagner trod again on German soil with a heavy trunk, in which there were few personal belongings but also the extensive scores of The gold of the Rhine, The valquiria and Tristón, felt very strange, very unknown, much desesperanzado. But, as always, when his life seemed to have come in the end, it was blunting a new and unsuspected hope, his name will be already Meyerbeer, Liszt or Wesendonk.

This time called Luis II of Bavaria presented before himself in the shape of a real miracle. At the edge of the hotel of Stuttgart at which Wagner was staying the awaited caretaker did not call with the account without paying, but an elegant aristocrat who delivered to the "teacher" a ring and the invitation of a sovereign one, the king of Bavaria, of 18 years, who was asking him was moving quickly to Munich to spend there the rest of his life, forgetting all the worries and arranged to all the artistic achievements.

On the following day, May 4, 1864, two men were for the first time in the Residence of Munich. The Wagner adventures had not ended yet: his temperament was still too impulsive, his too versatile character, but all the future adventures would be under the effective protection of Luis II, without which there would have been unthinkable the sudden victory of Wagner (bigger that a musician has obtained).

On June 10, 1865, the Hoftheater of Munich releases Tristón and Isolda, one of the most important events of the history of the music. The people of Bavaria begins to murmur, the "foreign" friend of the king (Wagner is Saxon) is too expensive, too absorbent, too influential. The government office takes charge of the complaints; after a violent and painful struggle, Luis has to yield and Wagner goes again to the exile.

It is established in Tribschen, on the banks of the Vierwaldstatt lake, in Switzerland, where the king puts at his disposal a magnificent residence and visits it often of incognito. There he wrote main Wagner Los singers of Nuremberg, which was released in Munich on June 21, 1868 with a clamorous success. In Tribschen, after the Minna death in the distance and in the solitude, Coabyss joins definitely Wagner; the Liszt daughter has left his husband Hans von Bülow, the director of the premiere of Tristán and Isolda, and dedicates his life to Wagner, for whom it goes so far as to have the highest significance.

In these years it has matured slowly the most important Wagner project: to construct a theater exclusively dedicated to the representation of his works. It finds a place that seems adapted to him in the city of Bayreuth, in Franconia. Since his request of which there is a «national collection» scarcely finds echo, it is Luis II who once again puts the money that is missing. The theater gets up on the «Green Hill»; the magnificent mansion «Wahnfried« is added to him; there ends The ring of the Nibelungo, the most extensive composition composed by a teacher, and the Bayreuth opening is foreseen for the summer 1876. An extraordinary event is on the point of taking place, never seen; emperors and kings, princes and politicians, artists and wise persons of many countries announce his arrival. Luis II, shy and solitary, is present at the last essays and goes away. Wagner lives through the victory of his life: on August 13, 1876 The gold of the Rhine is represented; 14 The Valquiria; 16 Sigfrido; 17 The west of the gods.

Only then there goes out to the public light the big deficit that the representations have produced and that makes the achievement of others impossible. In fact, they pass six years before Wagner could locate nobody again to the «Green Hill». There has ended Parsifal, a «sacred celebration» that it wanted that was represented exclusively in his theater. There it was released on July 26, 1882. Wagner, patient from hacía time, clutches once again the baton, in the sixteenth and last representation of that summer, and directs the band (in Bayreuth it is secret to the public) during a long part of the third act. A few weeks later it divides with his family Italy, where it happens the winters since it has aged.

On February 13, 1883 he dies in Venice, in the arms of Coabyss. The transfer of his remains was comparable to the funeral procession of a big sovereign one. Luis II survived his venerated friend. He died in circumstances never clarified in the waters of the lake Starnberg, together with his family doctor. They had demolished it long time ago for the most famous real castles had wasted the public treasury in today and in Wagner; they had declared it incapable, mad; finally, they had exiled it to the Berg castle and retained there until the end; they owe to this crowned idealist gratitude all the "wagnerianos"; and absolute, even fond respect, all the friends of the music.

  • Richard Wagner
  • Richard Wagner
  • Richard Wagner
  • Richard Wagner
More Notes
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
Jacques Offenbach
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Carl Maria von Weber
Niccoló Paganini

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  • On February 17, 1653: Arcangelo Corelli, musician and Italian composer is born. Grosso contributed to the crystallization of the concerto. Author of numerous instrumental works (Concert of Christmas, The Follia, sonatas), father of the sonata for violin and inspirer of a group of composers of this instrument like Varacini, Germiniani and Viotti.

  • On February 13, 1883: Richard Wagner dies in Venice. Composer of German origin, renovator of the romantic opera. His inclination towards the music did not wake up up to knowing the works of Weber and Beethoven. After a life lax and invested in the game and the women, he married and traveled to Paris and then to Dresden, where his work was recognized. The transfer of his remains was comparable to the funeral procession of a big sovereign one.

  • On February 13, 1976: the soprano Lily Pons dies. A voice crystalline and extended towards the sharp one, joined a graceful figure and personal friendliness, they constitute the props of the formidable success of Lily Pons. An exceeded publicity helped to do of her almost a sacred monster of the singing; so much it was so in the decade of '40 went so far as to consider her to be the best singer of the world.

  • On February 12, 1924: there is released "Rhapsody In Blue" of George Gershwin. Gershwin managed to unite in this work three fundamental elements of the music of his country: the piano popular tradition, the harmonic treatment of the music of the theater of varieties and all the ambience of the African American blues.

  • On February 10, 1881: I release in Paris of "The Stories of Hoffmann" of Jacques Offenbach. The opera is an adaptation of Jules Barbier and Michel Carré of several stories of writer Ernst T.A. Hoffmann. The first one takes place with a mechanical doll, the second one with the victim of the conjuration of a magician, and the third one with a moribund sick person. The history begins with a prologue ambientado in a bar.


  • Daniel Barenboim
    "The director does not have physical contact with the music that his instrumentalists produce and at most he can correct the phrasing or the rhythm of the score but his gesture does not exist if it does not find a band that is receiving"

  • George Gershwin
    "It would give everything what I have as a little of the genius that Schubert needed to compose his Ave Maria"

  • Gustav Mahler
    "When the work turns out to be a success, when a problem has been solved, we forget the difficulties and the perturbations and feel richly rewarded"

  • Franz Schubert
    "When one is inspired by something good, the musician is born fluently, the melodies sprout; really this is a big satisfaction"

  • Bedrich Smetana
    "With the help and the God's grace, I will be a Mozart in the composition and a Liszt in the skill"


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Astor Piazzolla

Astor Piazzolla

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Carlos Gardel

Carlos Gardel

Carlos Gardel is perhaps the biggest myth of the Argentina. His artistic skill, his incomparable talent as singer of the suburbs of Buenos Aires, his musical instinct to compose some of the biggest tangos of all the times, his marvelous character, his fanaticism for the careers, have led him to being equalled perhaps only by another legend of the country of the south of the Silver: Eva Perón. Nevertheless, while all political activity can be worth of objections, comments and mistrust on the part of certain sectors of the population, the figure of Carlos Gardel is erected as universally for all the Argentinians and the followers of the tango across the world.

Paris, on February 16

Juan José Mosalini: the soul of the bandoneón beats in Paris

The music and the dance of the River Plate came to the margins of the Seine more than one century ago, seducing the French, but Juan José Mosalini lives through the tango now a real explosion in France, of the hand of some of his contemporary teachers, like the bandoneonista. In an interview with the AFP in Paris, before traveling to Argentina, where it will offer two concerts, and from which it will set off then in the direction of China, Mosalini evoked "passionate and unconditional" relation between Paris and the tango and between he and the bandoneón, which came to his hands when it was a chiquilín.

Granada, on February 16

International festival tango Granada dedicates his XXII edition to Carlos Gardel

75 anniversary of the death of the singer and tanguista Carlos Gardel will lead XXII edition of the International Festival of Tango of Granada, which also will organize several parallel activities between which there are holidays of trasnoche, tango in the university or an exhibition. Between the artists who will take part in three forms of the festival - dance, set of instruments and sung - there is Leo Sujatovich, Cristian Zárate and the Japanese couple of dance Kyoto and Hiros Yamao.


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