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Wagner, Weber and Bellini

Donald Macleod explores Wagner's early love of Weber and Bellini - and their influence on his music.

As Donald Macleod continues his exploration of the composers who influenced Wagner's life and music, he looks at his earliest two complete operas, Die Feen and Das Liebesverbot, each written in a very different musical style.

In Die Feen, listeners can hear clearly the early influence of the great hero of early 19th century German Romantic opera, Carl Maria von Weber, and the programme also features two short occasional works by Wagner, written to commemorate his great forebear and compatriot.

But it's in Das Liebesverbot that those unfamiliar with Wagner's early work may be in for a shock! Sunny, witty, and bursting with the warm lyricism of the Mediterranean, the opera is full of the influence of Italian opera, particularly the compositions of Vincenzo Bellini, and sounds almost totally unlike anything else in Wagner's output. We hear it juxtaposed with one of Bellini's own beautifully-wrought "bel canto" arias.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Richard Wagner

    Polonaise for Piano Four Hands in D Major, Op.2, WWV 23b (1831-2)

    • CEDILLE 7002.
  • Richard Wagner

    Trauersinfonie für Blaserorchester nach Motiven aus "Euryanthe" von Carl Maria von Weber,

    • EMI CDC5563582.
  • Richard Wagner

    Die Feen [opening of Act II] (1833)Weh uns, weh!

    • OEHMS 940.
  • Richard Wagner

    Das Liebesverbot: Overture (1834-6)

    • PONTO MITRADITE 1055.
  • Vincenzo Bellini

    I Capuletti e I Montecchi [Act I, excerpt] (1831)Se Romeo T'Uccise Un Figlio,

    • EMI CDC 40637,.
  • Richard Wagner

    Das Liebesverbot [Act I excerpt] (1834-6)

    • PONTO MITRADITE 1055 –.
  • Richard Wagner

    An Webers Grabe: Heb an den Sang, WWV72 (1844)

    • EMI CDC5563582.
  • Richard Wagner

    Polonaise in D major for piano duet, Op. 2

    • Cedille 7002.
    • 7.
  • Richard Wagner

    Trauermusik (on motifs from Weber's "Euryanthe") for wind band

    • EMI CDC 556358 2.
    • 5.
  • Richard Wagner

    Die Feen (Opening of Act II)

    • OEHMS 940.
    • 1.
  • Richard Wagner

    Das Liebesverbot - Overture

    • Ponto Mitradite 1055.
    • 1.
  • Vincenzo Bellini

    I Capuletti e I Montecchi (Act I excerpt)

    • EMI CDC 40637.
    • 9.
  • Richard Wagner

    Das Liebesverbot (Act I excerpt)

    • Ponto Mitradite 1055.
    • 16.
  • Richard Wagner

    An Webers Grabe (Hebt an den Sang) for male chorus

    • EMI CDC 556358 2.
    • 3.

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