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Richard Wagner: Transformations and Transfigurations

Juliet Stevenson and Michael Pennington are the readers in a sequence of poetry, prose and music evoking the spirit and art of Richard Wagner.

The much loved actors Juliet Stevenson and Michael Pennington present a selection of prose and poetry combined with music, evoking the spirit and art of Richard Wagner.

As part of BBC Radio 3's bicentennial celebrations of the birth of Richard Wagner, this edition of Words and Music does homage to one of the most outstanding of all Romantic composers - the man, it is claimed, who stands alongside Jesus Christ and Napoleon Bonaparte as having inspired more printed words than anyone else.

Transformations and transfigurations; music , memory and myth emerge through the poetry and prose of the "Nibelungenlied"; the works of Paul Verlaine, Charles Baudelaire, Stephane Mallarmé, and Gabriele D'Annunzio; the programme finds the "Wagnerian" in the writings of TS Eliot, DH Lawrence and Oscar Wilde; and gathers homages, portraits and reposts to the "Master" in the words of those who knew him, including Wagner's "Parsifal muse", Judith Gautier; the philosopher Freiderich Nietzsche; and Wagner's wife, Cosima. Each verbal leitmotif is sheathed in the Wagnerian glories that are Tristan, Parsifal, Lohengrin, The Mastersingers and The Ring.

1 hour, 15 minutes

Last on

Sun 8 Dec 2013 17:30

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:00

    Richard Wagner

    Götterdammerung: Prologue - Siegfried's Rheinfahrt

    Performer: Vienna Philharmonic Performer: Georg Solti

    • DECCA 455 569-2.
  • The Nibelungenlied” Stanzas 482-485, Trans. Cyril Edwards

    Michael Pennington

  • The Nibelungenlied” Stanzas 482-485, Trans. Cyril Edwards

    Juliet Stevenson

  • 00:05

    Richard Wagner

    Götterdammerung: Act 3 - Siegfried's Trauermusik

    Performer: Vienna Philharmonic Performer: Georg Solti

    • DECCA 455 569-2.
  • “The Nibelungenlied” Stanzas 976-997 Trans. Cyril Edwards

    Michael Pennington

  • 00:07

    Wagner

    Piano Sonata in Bb (1831) Op 1 – IV mvt

    Performer: Stephen Möller (piano)

    • KOCH SCHWANN 3-1361-2.
  • Wagner at Home” - Judith Gautier – Chapter 1 Translated by Effie Dunreith Massie

    Juliet Stevenson

  • 00:08

    Richard Wagner

    Liebesmahl der Apostel – Part 3

    Performer: Männerchöre des Singvereins der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde Performer: Wien Wiener Kammerchor Performer: Philharmonischer Chor und Jugendchor Dresden Performer: Dresden Philharmonie Performer: Michel Plasson

    • EMI 7 05514-2.
  • Richard Wagner: “The Art Work of the Future”. Trans. William Ashton Ellis

    Michael Pennington

  • 00:13

    Richard Wagner

    Das Rhinegold: Vorspiel, "Weia! Waga!"

    Performer: Oda Balsborg (Woglinde) Performer: Hetty Plümacher (Wellgune) Performer: Ira Malaniuk (Flösshilde) Performer: Vienna Philharmonic Performer: Georg Solti

    • DECCA 455 556-2.
  • TS Eliot: “The Waste Land – Fire Sermon”

    Archive Recording of TS Eliot

  • DH Lawrence: “Women in Love” Chapter 4

    Juliet Stevenson

  • 00:21

    Richard Wagner

    Das Rhinegold: Prologue - "Garstig glatter"

    Performer: Gustav Neidlinger (Alberich) Performer: Vienna Philharmonic Performer: Georg Solti

    • DECCA 455 556-2.
  • 00:21

    Richard Wagner

    Albumblatt: 'Ankunft bei den schwarzen Schwänen'

    Performer: Mikhail Rudy (piano)

    • EMI 7 05514-2.
  • 00:26

    Richard Wagner

    Lohengrin: Act 3 "Mein lieber Schwann!"

    Performer: Nicolai Gedda (tenor) Performer: Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française Performer: Georges Prêtre

    • EMI CDM7695502.
  • Judith Gautier: “Wagner at Home” - Chapter 3 Translated by Effie Dunreith Massie

    Michael Pennington and Juliet Stevenson

  • Oscar Wilde: “Portrait of Dorian Gray” - Chapter 4

    Michael Pennington

  • 00:31

    Richard Wagner

    Siegfried - (Waldweben) "Forest Murmers"

    Performer: Berlin Philharmonic Performer: Klaus Tennstedt

    • EMI CDM7470072.
  • Elizabeth Forster-Nietzsche: “The Nietzsche-Wagner Correspondence 1867”

    Juliet Stevenson

  • Baudelaire: “Correspondances” trans. Geoffrey Wagner

    Michael Pennington

  • 00:33

    Richard Wagner

    Wesendock Lieder - Im Treibhaus

    Performer: Marie-Nicole Lemieux (contralto) Performer: Daniel Blumenthal (piano)

    • CYPRES CYP9611.
  • TS Eliot: “The Waste Land – Burial of the Dead”

    Archive Recording of TS Eliot

  • 00:39

    Richard Wagner

    Tristan und Isolde – Liebestod (orchestral version).

    Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra Performer: Otto Klemperer

    • EMI 7 636172.
  • Gabriele D’Annunzio: “The Triumph of Death” - From Part VI: “The Invincible”

    Juliet Stevenson

  • 00:43

    Richard Wagner

    Tristan und Isolde – Act 3 "Mild und Leise"

    Performer: Helga Dernesch (Isolde) Performer: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Performer: Herbert von Karajan

    • EMI CMS 7 69319-2.
  • 00:44

    Wagner

    Symphony in C major (1832) – 1st mvt

    Performer: Norwegian Radio Orchestra Performer: Ari Rasilainen

    • FINLANDIA 3984 23400-2.
  • Friederich Nietzsche: “The Case of Wagner: A Musician’s Problem”.

    Michael Pennington

  • 00:47

    Paul Hindemith

    "Overture of 'The Flying Dutchman' as played at sight by a bad …"

    Performer: Kocian Quartet

    • PRAGA PRD250113115.
  • 00:47

    Wagner

    "The Ring of the Nibelung (An Analysis)"

    Performer: Anna Russell (reciter and pianist) Performer: John Coveart (pianist)

    • PHILIPS BBL 7033.
  • 00:49

    Faure/Messager

    "Souvenirs de Bayreuth"

    Performer: Kathryn Stott (piano) Performer: Martin Roscoe (piano)

    • HYPERION CDA669114.
  • John Ruskin: Letter to Lady Byrne-Jones 1882

    Michael Pennington

  • 00:53

    Richard Wagner

    Siegfried Idyll

    Performer: Academy of St Martin in the Fields’ Chamber Ensemble

    • PHILIPS 4262982.
  • Cosima Wagner: “Diaries”

    Juliet Stevenson

  • 01:00

    Richard Wagner

    Parsifal - Act 3 conclusion

    Performer: Siegfried Jerusalem (Parsifal) Performer: John Tomlinson (Titurel) Performer: José van Dam (Amfortas) Performer: Günter von Kannen (Klingsor) Performer: Waltraud Meier (Kundry) Performer: Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin Performer: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Performer: Daniel Barenboim

    • TELDEC 9031-74448-2.
  • Stéphane Mallarmé: “Homage” Trans. Henry Weinfield

    Michael Pennington

  • AC Swinburne: “The Death of Richard Wagner”

    Juliet Stevenson

  • 01:09

    Richard Wagner

    Parsifal - Act 3 conclusion

    Performer: Siegfried Jerusalem (Parsifal) Performer: John Tomlinson (Titurel) Performer: José van Dam (Amfortas) Performer: Günter von Kannen (Klingsor) Performer: Waltraud Meier (Kundry) Performer: Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin Performer: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Performer: Daniel Barenboim

    • TELDEC 9031-74448-2.
  • Paul Verlaine: “Parsifal” Trans. John Turner

    Michael Pennington

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