Boston Philharmonic Orchestra

All Wagner


Three excerpts from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Prelude and Liebestod to Tristan und Isolde

Five excerpts from Die Götterdämmerung

Benjamin Zander, conductor

Alwyn Mellor, soprano

About the Program

Seven years ago the Boston Philharmonic performed an all-Wagner program, and last year the BPYO played the entire third act of Siegfried in Symphony Hall. Both of these events were among the greatest high points in the history of our organization. The critics were beside themselves with praise, the audiences went wild, and Mr. Zander himself points to these two programs as among the handful of his performances of which he is most proud. There is no doubt, the Wagner bug has hit the Boston Philharmonic! We have decided once again to devote an entire program to his music. And it will feature the same astonishing soprano who so overwhelmed the Boston public in Siegfried last year. Alwyn Mellor, who is possibly today’s leading exponent of the roles of Brünnhilde and Isolde, will sing the most famous excerpts from both these roles. The Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde is perhaps the lyric pinnacle of Wagner’s writing for the voice. No music, by any composer, reaches to greater sublimity or depth of feeling. Contrasting with this is the Immolation Scene, the closing scene from Götterdämmerung. It is one of the most dramatic, and expansive solo scenes in all of opera, and a formidable vocal challenge, even by Wagnerian standards.

Both the vocal scenes are being presented in context, as far as that is possible in a symphony concert.  The Liebestod will be preceded by the Prelude to Tristan und Isolde, the searing, yearning paean to love as ideal and as impossibility that never fails to hold audiences spellbound. The entire second half of the program is devoted to five excerpts from Die Götterdämmerung, played together as a single work to serve as a kind of concert summary of the great four-hour opera. It will include the most well-known of the orchestral excerpts from the opera, Siegfried’s Rhine Journey, as well as the radiant Dawn music, the poignant scene of Siegfried’s Death and the ensuing Funeral March, and will conclude, of course, with Brünnhilde’s Immolation Scene. 

Opening the concert are three excerpts from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, the poignant, profound prelude to the third act, the delightful Dance of the Apprentices, and the noble, lovably stolid Entry of the Mastersingers. This concert is certain to be one of the highlights of musical season in Boston.  Don’t miss it!

Wednesday, november 18, 2016
7:30pm / sanders theatre

Guide to the music with Benjamin Zander throughout concert (Discovery Series)

saturday, november 21 , 2016
8:00pm / nec’s jordan hall

Guide to the music with Benjamin Zander, 6:45pm

sunday, november 22 , 2016
3:00pm / sanders theatre

Guide to the music with Benjamin Zander, 1:45pm