Donald Macleod explores the relationship between Wagner and Liszt, a close musical confidant and a composer with whom he shared ideas.
Franz Liszt stands apart amongst the influences on Wagner's life and music. Not only was he a close musical confidante whose unfailing support had helped Wagner secure fame and success at a time when he was in exile, but the two composers shared new ideas as their work changed the face of music in the mid-19th century. Liszt would also, somewhat to his chagrin, become Wagner's father-in-law after Wagner fell in love with his daughter Cosima, who at the time was married to the conductor Hans von Bülow.
Donald Macleod juxtaposes two highlights from Wagner's mature music-dramas with piano works by Liszt written around the time of Wagner's death, in Venice, in 1883. We'll also hear the work written for Cosima Wagner's birthday in 1870, the Siegfried-Idyll, in its charming original version for 13 instruments. Plus a real Wagner oddity, his youthful setting of "Gretchen Am Spinnrade", inspired by Goethe's Faust.