Richard Wagner (1813–1883) Tannhäuser and the Minstrel Contest at Wartburg Castle WWV 70
Romantic Opera in 3 Acts Text: Richard Wagner
solos: SSSTTTBarBBB – 4 child (SSAA) – choir: SSAATTBB – 3(picc).2.2.B-clar.2 – 184.108.40.206 – timp.perc(4) – hp – str / stage music: 2picc.4.4.cor ang.6.4 – 220.127.116.11 – perc(3) – hp (hp in stage music: only "Paris" version)
1. Original version based on the autograph and the Dresden premiere of 1845
2. Dresden version of 1847
3. Paris version of 1860
EB 4503 with introduction and indication of motifs by Carl Waack
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Text by the composer; english translation by E. Newman
Place and time: Inside the Venusberg near Eisenach, the valley of the Wartburg, Wartburg Castle, at the beginning of the 13th century
Characters: Hermann (bass) – Tannhäuser (tenor) – Wolfram von Eschenbach (baritone) – Walther von der Vogelweide (tenor) – Biterolf (bass) – Heinrich der Schreiber (tenor) – Reinmar von Zweter (bass) – Elisabeth (soprano) – Venus (soprano) – a young shephard (soprano) – four young noble men (2 sopranos, 2 altos)
Wagner was never entirely satisfied with his “Tannhäuser”, which is why he kept revising it, the last time for a Vienna production in 1875, when he staged the work for the third time. In the overture, the abrupt transition to the Bacchanal – he had composed this especially for Paris – now occurs directly after the Venusberg motifs. Wagner was no longer able to eliminate the musical inconsistencies between the Dresden version and the newly written scene involving Venus and Tannhäuser in the Paris version, which was scored in a style reminiscent of “Tristan”. This is why Wagner, according to an entry in Cosima’s diary, still felt on the day of his death that he “owed the world a proper ‘Tannhäuser’”.