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Wagner Week: The Life of Richard Wagner

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WQXR is devoting the week of July 22-28, 2013 to the music of Richard Wagner (1813-1882), that consummate man of the theater who is considered one of history's greatest and most controversial opera composers.

Wagner's works gave us gods wreaking havoc from on high, evil dwarfs, valiant knights and love potions. His music has been heard in Hollywood films, cartoons and television shows; it's also been restyled in rock, jazz and hip-hop songs. His mature music dramas – especially the four-opera Ring Cycle – changed the course of music history; in them, he spun allegories about power, greed and original sin while using a musical language that ranged from sensuous to thundering.

Wagner is also a polarizing force. He was a paradox of practicality and idealism, the living embodiment of pride and prejudice. Listeners tend to be either passionately devoted or implacably hostile. His personal beliefs have inspired intense feelings of hatred and revulsion; his music can enchant, divert, amuse, make you think, and, at perhaps even hint at the sublime.

WQXR's Monday Programming Highlights (Listen to WQXR's Stream)

7am Die Feen: Schwinget euch auf   (Sir Edward Downes, conductor)

9am Rienzi: Overture (George Szell)

11am Lohengrin: Act III Prelude & Bridal Chorus  (Sir Georg Solti)

1pm  Wesendonck Lieder: 'Traume' (Christa Ludwig, mezzo/Otto Klemperer, conductor)

3pm  Siegfried Idyll (Ivan Fischer)

5pm Gotterdammerung: Siegfried’s Rhine Journey (Fabio Luisi)

7pm Parsifal: Music from Acts II and III (Edo de Waart)

9p Clash of the Titans Show

 

Operavore's Monday Programming Highlights (Listen to Operavore's Stream)

8am - DAS RHEINGOLD (full opera)

Wotan – James Morris
Donner – Siegfried Lorenz
Froh – Mark Baker
Loge – Siegfried Jerusalem
Alberich –Ekkehard Wlaschiha
Mime – Heinz Zednik
Fasolt – Kurt Moll
Fafner – Jan-Hendrik Rootering
Fricka – Christa Ludwig
Freia – Mari Anne Haggander
Erda – Birgitta Svenden
Woglinde – Hei-Kyung HongHei
Wellgunde – Diane Kesling
Flosshilde – Meredith Parsons
 
The Metropolitan Opera Chorus
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
James Levine, conductor


10:30am - DIE WALKURE (full opera)

Siegmund – Gary Lakes
Hunding – Kurt Moll
Wotan – James Morris
Sieglinde – Jessye Norman
Brunnhilde – Hildegard Behrens
Fricka – Christa Ludwig
Gerhilde – Marita Napier
Ortlinde – Marilyn Mims
Waltraute – Reinhild Runkel
Schwertleite – Ruthild Engert
Helmwige – Linda Kelm
Siegrune – Diane Kesling
Grimgerde – Meredith Parsons
Rossweisse – Anne Wilkens

The Metropolitan Opera Chorus
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
James Levine, conductor


2:30pm SIEGFRIED (full opera)

Siegfried – Reiner Goldberg
Mime – Heinz Zednik
Der Wanderer – James Morris
Alberich –Ekkehard Wlaschiha
Fafner – Kurt Moll
Erda – Birgitta Svenden
Brunnhilde – Hildegard Behrens
Stimme des Waldvogels – Kathleen Battle

The Metropolitan Opera Chorus
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
James Levine, conductor


7pm - GOTTERDAMERUNG (full opera)

Siegfried – Reiner Goldberg
Gunther – Bernd Weikl
Hagen – Matti Salminen
Alberich –Ekkehard Wlaschiha
Brunnhilde – Hildegard Behrens
Gutrune – Cheryl Studer
Waltraute – Hanna Schwarz
Erste Norn – Helga Dernesch
Zweite Norn – Tatiana Troyanos
Dritte Norn – Andrea Gruber
Woglinde – Hei-Kyung Hong
Wellgunde – Diane Kesling
Flosshilde – Meredith Parsons

The Metropolitan Opera Chorus
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
James Levine, conductor

 

Wagner Week takes place on 105.9 FM, WQXR.org and on the all-opera Operavore web stream. To get things started, below is a timeline of Wagner's career and legacy.