Wagner/Liszt - Isoldens Liebestod
Uploaded on Jun 10, 2019
Liszt's transcription (written in 1867, S. 447) of the closing piece of Wagner's opera "Tristan und Isolde" (WWV 90) which was itself composed in 1859. It is the climactic end of the opera, as Isolde sings over Tristan's dead body.
Liszt's transcription is of Isolde's act 3 aria "Mild Und Leise Wie Er Lächelt" (mild and quiet as he smiles) which Wagner himself titled the "Verklärung" (Transfiguration). Liszt gave this transcription the title "Liebestod" and it is this title for the final scene that persists. Liszt's transcription became well known throughout Europe well before Wagner's opera reached most audiences.
The transcription is a near verbatim adaptation of the orchestral piece for solo piano. Liszt translates Wagner’s shimmering strings and Isolde’s aria into quiet tremolandi for piano accompanying the soprano’s line. The music gradually builds in a series of ever-impassioned sequences until a shattering, ecstatic climax as Liszt strains to represent full orchestral force. Slowly and gradually the music subsides into blissful exaltation as Isolde slips away to join her lover in death.
I have tried to match the tempo and dyamics to a famous performance by Marc-André Hamelin, the Canadian virtuoso pianist.
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