Today's Memory

Today’s Memory – Wagner’s Lohengrin – Amintirea de azi

Cover photo: Lohengrin – Poster for an 1898 performance in Paris

Wagner’s opera, Lohengrin, was performed for the first time at the Staatskapelle Weimar

28 August 1850

Cover of the Libretto of Lohengrin by Richard Wagner

Lohengrin, WWV 75, is a Romantic opera in three acts composed and written by Richard Wagner. The story of the eponymous character is taken from medieval German romance, notably the Parzival of Wolfram von Eschenbach and its sequel, Lohengrin, written by a different author, itself inspired by the epic of Garin le Loherain. It is part of the Knight of the Swan tradition.

In composing Lohengrin Wagner created a new form of opera, the through-composed music drama. The composition is not divided into individual numbers, but is played from scene to scene without any interruption. This style of composition contrasts with that of the conventional number opera, which is divided into arias, recitatives, and choral sections. Lohengrin still contains lengthy performances – for example, Elsa’s Alone in dark days and Lohengrin’s Grail aria – which harken back to the classical solo aria form. Wagner made extensive use of leitmotives in his composition (for example, the Grail motif first revealed in the prelude, and the question motif first sung by Lohengrin to Elsa). These motives allowed Wagner to precisely narrate the inner thoughts of the characters on stage, even without speech.

The first production of Lohengrin was in Weimar, Germany, on 28 August 1850 at the Staatskapelle Weimar under the direction of Franz Liszt, a close friend and early supporter of Wagner. Liszt chose the date in honour of Weimar’s most famous citizen, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who was born on 28 August 1749. It was an immediate popular success.

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Richard Wagner – Lohengrin • Choir of the Bayreuth Festival, Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, Conductor: Peter Schneider


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Opera lui Wagner, Lohengrin, a fost interpretată pentru prima dată la Staatskapelle Weimar

28 august 1850

Ludwig II of Bavaria portrayed as Lohengrin below a moon with Wagner’s face. Brochure in Der Floh, 1885

Lohengrin, Op. 75, este o operă romantică în trei acte compusă și scrisă de Richard Wagner. Povestea personajului omonim este preluată din romanele cavalerești germane medievale, în special Parzival al lui Wolfram von Eschenbach și continuarea sa, Lohengrin, scrisă de un alt autor, inspirată de epopeea lui Garin le Loherain. Face parte din tradiția Cavalerului lebedei.

Premiera operei Lohengrin a avut loc la Weimar, Germania, la 28 august 1850 la Staatskapelle Weimar, sub conducerea lui Franz Liszt, un prieten apropiat și un susținător timpuriu al lui Wagner. Liszt a ales data în cinstea celui mai cunoscut cetățean al orașului Weimar, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, născut la 28 august 1749. A fost un succes de public imediat.

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Richard Wagner – Lohengrin • Berliner Philharmoniker Conductor: Herbert von Karajan, With: René Kollo


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