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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Overtures and Preludes
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:21 pm 
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Brian wrote:
Africa,

First, I think Parsifal's placement is already pretty generous. It's in the top 20, and I think other Wagner overtures/preludes are more highly esteemed. And on Lohengrin, as you may have noticed, the Act 1 prelude is at #37, but the Act 3 prelude is at #18. I thought I should mention that since you just mentioned Lohengrin without specifying which.

The Ring is certainly hugely important, but is there any one overture or prelude from it that is important independently of the work as a whole?

On the lists I try to approach them in a balanced, objective way and rank things according to the general importance and acclaim for each work.




Yeah, Lohengrin's Act 1 prelude placed at #37 vs Tannhauser at #8 ? If it weren't for Lohengrin's influence on King Ludwig of Bavaria and his subsequent support and rescue of Wagner from poverty and obscurity....after that, who knows whether Wagner would be the towering figure that he is in the Romantic era. For that reason alone, it needs to be ahead of Tannhauser. And also since Lohengrin Act 1 prelude is performed more in orchestra repertoire than Tannhauser's prelude, at least in Europe anyway.

Regarding the epic Ring cycle, any of the 4 preludes should replace Rienzi for obvious reasons. But of the four, I would add either the prelude of Gotterdammerung. Die Walkurie is close 2nd, imo.

My whole point is that his Ring masterpiece was the culmination of his entire life's work to transform Opera (he preferred it to be called "music drama") into what he termed Gesamtkunstwerk (complete art) and to not have at least one prelude from this epic work seemed to be a glaring ommission, that's all.

As an aside, while technically not a prelude, Gotterdammerung's Siegfried's Tod and Trauermarsch (funeral march) is performed as an orchestral piece in many orchestra's repertiore throughout Europe and is performed like it were an Overture or Prelude. ( notice I'm not asking for clap trap "Ride of the Valkries" since Coppola bastardized it in Apocalypse Now :lol: )

What is your reasoning for placing Rienzi? I'm curious since it's no more popular than Die Feen.
I rarely see it in orchestral programms.


I guess Parsifal is fine where it's at, personly one of my favs along with Tristan.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Overtures and Preludes
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:24 pm 
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I'm not certain that Rienzi does belong on the list, but I've seen it listed in a couple sources as a recommended work, which I've never seen for the overtures from The Ring. I'd say the overtures from The Ring are overshadowed by non-overture Ring fragments. This list isn't intended to represent all the greatest operas. The greatest operas don't necessarily have the greatest overtures. Likewise with Lohengrin, I think what you mentioned is the Bavarian's king's reaction to Lohengrin as a whole, not specifically to the Act 1 prelude. Also for influence, we're looking more for musical influence rather than what motivated a benefactor to provide support. It probably should be a little higher than #37, however. And Tannhauser will probably move down a little bit.

Another factor on Rienzi is that it was the version of the list I inherited, and when I revised the list, I generally retained what was on that list unless I couldn't see any reason to do so. It was at #31, so I did move it down.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Overtures and Preludes
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:17 pm 
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Brian wrote:
I'm not certain that Rienzi does belong on the list, but I've seen it listed in a couple sources as a recommended work, which I've never seen for the overtures from The Ring. I'd say the overtures from The Ring are overshadowed by non-overture Ring fragments. This list isn't intended to represent all the greatest operas. The greatest operas don't necessarily have the greatest overtures. Likewise with Lohengrin, I think what you mentioned is the Bavarian's king's reaction to Lohengrin as a whole, not specifically to the Act 1 prelude. Also for influence, we're looking more for musical influence rather than what motivated a benefactor to provide support. It probably should be a little higher than #37, however. And Tannhauser will probably move down a little bit.

Another factor on Rienzi is that it was the version of the list I inherited, and when I revised the list, I generally retained what was on that list unless I couldn't see any reason to do so. It was at #31, so I did move it down.



Good point on Mad King Ludwig. You're right, just because the crazy f*cker was completly intoxicated by Lohengrin doesn't mean it was #1. :snacks:

Okay. So remove Rienzi and replace with any of the 4 Ring preludes to recognize his epic 16 hour masterpiece that was his life's work and his innovative use of leitmotifs saw its full realization of his "Gesamtkunstwerk" (complete work of Art) through The Ring.
I mean, the one reason the Bayreuth Festspielhaus (Wagner Mecca) was built was in order to accomodate his massive "music dramas" 'cause no other opera house was adequate and The Ring was one of if not the main impetus for this. It must be recognized. :cop: :biggrin:


This recording voted for Prelude Act 3 Die Walkure
WAGNER: The Best of Overtures & Preludes
http://www.amazon.com/WAGNER-Overtures- ... B001OZ4D44

So did this Deutsche Grammaphone recording chose for Walkure (hey, they placed Rienzi too )
http://www.amazon.com/Wagner-Overtures- ... B000001GLB

and this one chose all Ring cycle

Wagner: Overtures & Preludes
http://www.amazon.com/Wagner-Overtures- ... B000002S08


I must admit though, I noticed under Opera thread that The Ring is placed at #1 so I guess it did get its due. However, it seems that the preludes make it onto best of recordings as well. :dance:


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