Recording producer: Ralf Kolbinger
Recording & mixing engineer, editor: Ralf Koschnicke
Recording facilities: ACOUSENCE recording mobile / ACOUSENCE recordings
Recording location: Stadthalle Hagen, 18./19. Juni 2007
Publisher: SCHOTT MUSIC GmbH & Co KG, Mainz, Germany
c & p 2007 ACOUSENCE records
"Wagner / de Vlieger: Tristan & Isolde" (1857-1859 / 1994)
Richard Wagner (1813-1883) / Henk de Vlieger (geb. 1953) [Arr.]
The almost one-hour long symphonic work " Tristan & Isolde. An Orchestral Passion" connects central passages of the opera, and thereby traces the action of the "plot in three acts" (as Wagner simply called his great work). Already the prelude, perhaps the most famous operatic prelude in the history of music, shows the Wagnerian principles of "infinite melody" and the "art of the transition", for which "Tristan and Isolde" can be regarded as a typical example. As regards content, Wagner here anicipates the scene in the first act in which Tristan and Isolde take the love potion (which they think to be a death potion). Wagner himself described the immense consequences which arise from this as follows: "There hence was no end to the yearning, the longing, the bliss and the misery of love: world, power, glory, honour, chivalry, loyalty, friendship - all scattered like soulless dream; only one thing still living : longing, insatiable, constantly newly formed yearning, thirsting and languishing; the only redemption: death, dying, sinking, no longer awakening!"
In the centre of Wagner's stage work, and also in Henk de Vlieger's symphonic treatment, stands the incomparable 2nd act love scene: Isolde, who has been promised to Tristan's uncle King Marke, meets her lover in the garden of Marke's castle in Cornwall after the latter has left to go hunting. In unprecedented intensity Wagner arranges this dialogue of infinite love, which culminates in the hymnal night song, "O sink hernieder, Nacht der Liebe" ("O sink down, night of love"). But no luck is granted to this love in this life - the almost infinite intensification of the ecstatic love music culminates in a glaring dissonance: Marke has been warned by Melot and returns with his retinue earlier than expected. The king is deeply shaken by the betrayal, and Tristan deliberately allows himself to be wounded by Melot with the sword.
In the last act the dying Tristan waits in the castle of his fathers in Brittany for Isolde, who is the only one able to cure him. In his feverish illusions he imagines again and again that he sees a ship coming with her on board but is always disappointed, and when she does finally arrive, he dies in her arms. Marke who has learnt about the effect of the love potion and has come with a second ship in order to bring Tristan and Isolde together, finds his friend already dead, and can also no longer save Isolde: She follows her lover in her "Liebestod" ("Love Death") into the "Wunderreich der Nacht" ("wondrous empire of the night") - the place where both will be united for ever more.
The Dutch musician Henk de Vlieger was commissioned to write this large-scale orchestral fantasy in 1994 by Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland (Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra). De Vlieger who was born in 1953 was himself 1st percussionist of this orchestra. Before that, he had completed a degree in composition. De Vlieger was particularly successful arranging and orchestrating music, mainly by Brahms, Dvorák and Mussorgsky, but especially by Richard Wagner.
Alexander Odefey (Translation: Michael Millard)