Tristan und Isolde (Tristan and Isolde, or Tristan and Isolda, or Tristran and Ysolt) is an opera, or music drama, in three acts by Richard Wagner to a German libretto by the composer, based largely on the 12th-century romance Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg. It was composed between 1857 and 1859 and premiered at the Königliches Hof- und Nationaltheater in Munich on 10 June 1865 with Hans von Bülow conducting. Wagner referred to the work not as an opera, but called it "eine Handlung" (literally a drama, a plot or an action), which was the equivalent of the term used by the Spanish playwright Calderón for his dramas.
Wagner's composition of Tristan und Isolde was inspired by the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer (particularly The World as Will and Representation), as well as by Wagner's affair with Mathilde Wesendonck. Widely acknowledged as one of the peaks of the operatic repertoire, Tristan was notable for Wagner's unprecedented use of chromaticism, tonal ambiguity, orchestral colour and harmonic suspension.
Performances & Interviews
- Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (Act 3)https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01t1z7j.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01t1z7j.jpg2013-04-11T19:32:00.000ZStephen Johnson explores Act 3 of Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/b01rrc79
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (Act 3)Stephen Johnson explores Act 3 of Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde.
- Wagner: Tristan und Isoldehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01w6h1k.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01w6h1k.jpg2014-03-25T14:31:00.000ZHoward Goodall and Suzy Klein discuss Liebestod from Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01w6h1r
Wagner: Tristan und IsoldeHoward Goodall and Suzy Klein discuss Liebestod from Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.