High Ahrt That Has Touched the Soul of Millions: Tannhauser Overture by Wagner, Conducted by Karajan, Wiener Philharmoniker - GREATNESS

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    Sep 08, 2016 3:41 AM GMT
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    Sep 08, 2016 12:37 PM GMT
    The late Herbert von Karajan was revered in Germany as their greatest living conductor of the Beethoven symphonies. I attended concerts when I lived in Berlin of him conducting his Berliner Philharmoniker for some of the symphonies, totally sold out (I never saw the Germans permit an SRO audience at any serious concert).

    I also heard von Karajan conduct the Bach Brandenburg Concert #1 from the harpsichord personally. Not the more demanding keyboard passages of the Brandenburg 5th, the harpsichord mainly part of the basso continuo in the 1st. Still, a thrill to be there to witness a living legend.

    But Tannhäuser has a sullied reputation, earned during the Nazi years, and not helped by Wagner's own anti-Semitism. And Wagner's own daughter was a good friend of Adolph Hitler, who himself played piano transcriptions of Tannhäuser and other Wagner operas at the piano (not all that well, I believe).

    The overture became something of an unofficial Nazi anthem, and I can't hear it without thinking of the some of the cinema work of Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. Especially her "Triumph of the Will" (1936) documenting the supremacy of Hitler and the Nazi Party over Germany during the 1934 Party rally.

    Nevertheless, taken as music this interpretation by von Karajan is extremely poetic, and a bit more sensitive than some more heavy-handed, bombastic approaches. I'd never heard this one before.
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    Sep 08, 2016 5:24 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidThe late Herbert von Karajan was revered in Germany as their greatest living conductor of the Beethoven symphonies. I attended concerts when I lived in Berlin of him conducting his Berliner Philharmoniker for some of the symphonies, totally sold out (I never saw the Germans permit an SRO audience at any serious concert).


    SRO: Self-Regulatory Organization
    SRO: Senior Ranking Officer

    You never saw the Germans permit a Senior Ranking Officer audience at any serious concert?
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    Sep 08, 2016 5:32 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidThe late Herbert von Karajan was revered in Germany as their greatest living conductor of the Beethoven symphonies. I attended concerts when I lived in Berlin of him conducting his Berliner Philharmoniker for some of the symphonies, totally sold out (I never saw the Germans permit an SRO audience at any serious concert).

    I also heard von Karajan conduct the Bach Brandenburg Concert #1 from the harpsichord personally. Not the more demanding keyboard passages of the Brandenburg 5th, the harpsichord mainly part of the basso continuo in the 1st. Still, a thrill to be there to witness a living legend.

    But Tannhäuser has a sullied reputation, earned during the Nazi years, and not helped by Wagner's own anti-Semitism. And Wagner's own daughter was a good friend of Adolph Hitler, who himself played piano transcriptions of Tannhäuser and other Wagner operas at the piano (not all that well, I believe).

    The overture became something of an unofficial Nazi anthem, and I can't hear it without thinking of the some of the cinema work of Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. Especially her "Triumph of the Will" (1936) documenting the supremacy of Hitler and the Nazi Party over Germany during the 1934 Party rally.


    I do not believe Hitler commissioned the piece.
    I do not believe the Nazis commissioned the piece.

    It was during Wagner's first sojourn in Paris (1839–1842) that he first became aware of Ludwig Lucas' theory on the identity of the two knights when his friend Samuel Lehrs lent him a volume from the historical and literacy proceedings of the Königliche Deutsche Gesellschaft zu Königsberg (Royal German Society of Königsberg), containing a paper by Lucas on the Sängerkrieg in which he outlined the hypothesis of identity. This sparked Wagner's imagination, made him yearn for all things German, and convinced him to return, which he did on 7 April 1842.[7] Having crossed the Rhine, the Wagners drove towards Thuringia, where the first rays of sun he had seen that day were striking the Wartburg, and he immediately began to sketch the scenery that would become the stage sets.[8] Wagner wrote the prose draft of Tannhäuser between June and July 1842 and the libretto in April 1843.[9] The libretto of Tannhäuser combines the mythological element characteristic of German Romantische Oper (Romantic opera) and the medieval setting typical of many French Grand Operas. Wagner brings these two together by constructing a plot involving the 14th century Minnesingers and the myth of Venus and her subterranean realm of Venusberg (mountain of Venus). Both the historical and the mythological are united in Tannhäuser's personality; although he is a historical poet composer, little is known about him other than myths that surround him. Furthermore, half of the opera takes place in a historical setting, and half takes place in the mythological Venusberg.

    Composition
    Wagner began composing the music during a vacation in Teplitz in the summer of 1843 and completed the full score on 13 April 1845; the opera's famous overture, often played separately as a concert piece, was written last.[10] While composing the music for the Venusberg grotto, Wagner grew so impassioned that he made himself ill; in his autobiography, he wrote, "With much pain and toil I sketched the first outlines of my music for the Venusberg.... Meanwhile I was very much troubled by excitability and rushes of blood to the brain. I imagined I was ill and lay for whole days in bed...."[11] The instrumentation also shows signs of borrowing from French operatic style. The score includes parts for on-stage brass; however, rather than using French brass instruments, Wagner uses twelve German waldhorns. Wagner also makes use of the harp, another commonplace of French opera.


    The first performance was given in the Königliche Hoftheater (Royal Theater)
    in Dresden on 19 October 1845

    not 1935-1945
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    Sep 08, 2016 5:39 PM GMT
    Wagner was eliminated from my college Music Appreciation class by a Jewish professor.

    Again, Wagner composed Tannhauser more than 50 years before the political rise of Adolph Hitler.
    It was composed before WWI and WWI's contribution to the German economy what many historians site as a contributing factor to WWII.

    The Tannhauser Overture is a great and wondrous work of art that does not always have to be mentioned/associated with Hitler.
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    Sep 18, 2016 4:28 AM GMT
    The Overture gives us some of the Pilgrims' Chorus, here:



    English Lyrics (religious)
    http://lyricstranslate.com/en/chor-der-pilger-pilgrims-chorus-pilgrims-chorus.html