This year’s Nachspiel concert is dedicated to the great music of Richard Wagner and Arnold Schönberg, and takes place in Olavshallen on thursday 8th of May right after the TSO concert. As usual, there are no tickets specially for the Nachspiel, just linger in the hall while we reshuffle the stage and make room for the audience where musicians normally sit. – Or just show up for the Nachspiel directly.
Richard Wagner : Siegfried Idyll
Arnold Schönberg : Kammersinfonie no. 1 op. 9
Richard + Arnold @ nachspiel – Reactions to Wagner
Richard Wagner is far from our usual repertoire in the sinfonietta. However, his music and its influence on composers and western music ever since is undebatable.
Siegfried Idyll was written in 1870 in a symphonic style for 13 musicians, each with his/her own part. This is the trademark of a sinfonietta, and this piece would be an early inspiration to this kind of ensemble. The original name of the piece was “Tribschen Idyll with Fibi’s bird song and the orange sunrise, as a birthday greeting.” It was originally meant for private use only. Tribschen was the Wagners’ family home in Lucerne, and Fibi was the pet name of the couple’s son Siegfried, who was born the year before. The Idyll was first perfomed on the steps of Tribschen on christmas morning 1870 by 15 musicians, as a birthday gift (and wake-up call…) to Wagner’s wife Cosima in celebration of the birth of their son and her 33rd birthday.
This thursday evening in Olavshallen is themed around reactions to Richard Wagner’s music. Earlier in the evening, the TSO performs Debussy, who heard Wagner’s grand opera Parsifal in Bayreuth and was influenced by this for the rest of his composing carreer. Wagner challenged his time’s conformities towards things like length, size, shape and build of a musical work. He also squeezed the limits of harmonies beyond how they would traditionally be treated. Arnold Schönberg, like other composers of his generation and tradition, picked up Wagner’s most experimental and expressionistic tendencies where he left off, and took them in his own, new direction. This ‘reaction’ to Wagner contributed to the so-called Second Viennese School’s project of dissolving and ultimately disintegrating harmony revolving around major and minor keys and traditional harmonic progressions, as well as freeing music from conform boundaries of form and structure.