Katharine Tier sings Wagner

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Australia's Katharine Tier performs Im Treibhaus from Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder No 3, in concert four of the 2009 competition.

Mathilde Wesendonck was Wagner's muse, and in 1857-8 he set five of her poems to music, one of the few times he was to use someone else's words. This song, perhaps the best-known of the set, was a sketch for Tristan und Isolde, and quotes almost exactly the prelude to Act III. In this melancholy text, the writer compares herself to tropical plants in a hothouse, being kept alive but missing home desperately.


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