Mastodon Starting Saturday On BBC Radio 3 - "Wagner Week". Highlights Listed - The Wagnerian

Starting Saturday On BBC Radio 3 - "Wagner Week". Highlights Listed

Written By The Wagnerian on Thursday 16 May 2013 | 8:53:00 pm

From Saturday May 18, BBC Radio 3 will begin "Wagner Week", a series of programs specially commissioned to celebrate Wagner 200.

Highlights include:

Wagner and His World

Donald Macleod explores the connections and relationships that helped establish Wagner as the most revolutionary musical thinker of the 19th century. Includes:

1/5 Donald Macleod explores how Beethoven's music heavily influenced Wagner.
First broadcast: 20 May 2013 

Weber and Bellini
2/5 Donald Macleod explores Wagner's early love for the operas of Weber and Bellini.
First broadcast: 21 May 2013

Meyerbeer and Palestrina
3/5 Donald Macleod explores how Wagner first cherished, then rejected, Meyerbeer's influence.
First broadcast: 22 May 2013

4/5 Donald Macleod explores the relationship between Wagner and Liszt.
First broadcast: 23 May 2013

One Winter's Afternoon

Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes First broadcast: Sunday 19 May 2013

As part of BBC Radio 3's Wagner 200, One Winter's Afternoon tells the story of the great operatic rivalry between Guiseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner in the year marking the bicentenary of their births. In real life, the two great composers never met.

Taking as its starting point the death of Wagner, the play travels between two time frames as it explores key moments in their lives, and in imaginary conversations between them about the struggles of creativity.

After the triumphant reception of his masterpiece Aida, Verdi has been coaxed out of retirement to write one more work, Otello, but he is struggling with it. As a voice inside Verdi's head, Wagner continues to taunt him, making him fear that Wagner will be remembered as the greater composer. The complex love lives of both composers illustrate how Wagner's ebullient and insensitive nature contrasted with Verdi's angst and more introverted temperament. The recollection of jealous passion does in the end serve to unblock Verdi in his creative despair.

The play explores - not without comedy - ageing and creativity, artistic loves and differences, the approach of death and the struggle against it bringing alive the texture of 19th-century Europe, its cultural and political influences.

Wagner ... Kenneth Cranham
Verdi ... Paul Rhys
Giuseppina ... Kate Buffery
Ricordi ... Clive Merrison
Boito ... Nicholas Boulton
Cosima ... Lydia Leonard
Stolz ... Zalie Burrow
Liszt ... Scott Handy
Minna ... Emily Bruni
Mathilde ... Clare Corbett
Mariani ... Sean Baker
Ludwig ... Mark Straker
Waiter ... Christopher York

Pianist: Will Bartlett
Sound Design: David Chilton and Lucinda Mason Brown
Writer: Guy Meredith
Director: Cherry Cookson

A Goldhawk Essential production for BBC Radio 3

Wagner In Zurich
Duration: 45 minutes. First broadcast:Saturday 18 May 2013

Wagner 200 with .Tom travels to Zurich, where Richard Wagner the revolutionary lived in exile for nine years, and finds a city which played a crucial role in the development of the composer's thinking and provided fertile ground for his Ring Cycle, and which is marking the 200th anniversary with a festival including a new musical theatre piece by the director Hans Neuenfels. Tom visits the home of the Wesendonck family, where Wagner was inspired to write Tristan und Isolde and his Wesendonck Lieder, and also the idyllic Tribschen district of Lucerne, where Wagner later lived and composed his Siegfried Idyll as a birthday gift to his second wife, Cosima. It was from Germany's 1848 revolutions that Wagner had fled to Switzerland, and from Leipzig, Wagner's birthplace and a city which is central to this year's anniversary celebrations, the BBC's Berlin correspondent Stephen Evans reports on the composer's controversial place in German culture today.

Saturday Classics

Duration: 2 hours. First broadcast:Saturday 18 May 2013

The great English operatic bass Robert Lloyd joins Radio 3's celebration of the 200th anniversary of Wagner's birth with selections from his favourite Wagner operas.

Mastersingers of Nuremberg

Duration: 58 minutes. First broadcast:Sunday 19 May 2013

Immortalised by Wagner in his famous opera, Lucie Skeaping looks back on the life and music of the real Hans Sachs and his fellow Mastersingers in 17th Century Germany.

Transformations and Transfigurations

Duration: 1 hour, 15 minutes. First broadcast:Sunday 19 May 2013

The much loved actors Juliet Stevenson and Michael Pennington present a selection of prose and poetry combined with music, evoking the spirit and art of Richard Wagner.

As part of BBC Radio 3's bicentennial celebrations of the birth of Richard Wagner, this edition of Words and Music does homage to one of the most outstanding of all Romantic composers - the man, it is claimed, who stands alongside Jesus Christ and Napoleon Bonaparte as having inspired more printed words than anyone else.

Transformations and transfigurations; music , memory and myth emerge through the poetry and prose of the "Nibelungenlied"; the works of Paul Verlaine, Charles Baudelaire, Stephane Mallarmé, and Gabriele D'Annunzio; the programme finds the "Wagnerian" in the writings of TS Eliot, DH Lawrence and Oscar Wilde; and gathers homages, portraits and reposts to the "Master" in the words of those who knew him, including Wagner's "Parsifal muse", Judith Gautier; the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche; and Wagner's wife, Cosima. Each verbal leitmotif is sheathed in the Wagnerian glories that are Tristan, Parsifal, Lohengrin, The Mastersingers and The Ring

Wagner 200

Duration: 2 hours, 57 minutes First broadcast:Sunday 19 May 2013

James Jolly makes his own selection of music by Wagner in the week of the composer's bicentenary. He also marks Whit Sunday with a cantata attributed to Bach, but actually composed by Telemann, Gott der Hoffnung erfülle euch, in a performance by Alsfelder Vokalensemble / Stento Baroque Bremen, with soloists Johanna Koslowski, Kai Wessel, Harry Gerearts, and Philip Langshaw.

Wagner: Making a National Hero
Duration: 45 minutesFirst broadcast:Sunday 19 May 2013

Wagner 200
Stephen Johnson explores the worlds of Wagner's heroes and how his Tannhauser, Lohengrin, Siegfried and Parsifal were created from a particularly Wagnerian concoction of ancient Norse legends, medieval German myths and current political thinking at the dawn of Bismark's Germany. He finds out how Wagner himself became a different sort of national hero through the efforts of Cosima, his zealously loyal widow, and then through misinterpretations of his writings about nationalism by the Third Reich.Stephen talks to conductor Donald Runnicles, Wagner experts Barry Millington and Barbara Eichner, writer and opera director Adrian Mourby, Ring expert Edward Haymes, and Cosima's biographer Oliver Hilmes

Wagner's Philosophers (
1 of 5. Click for details)
Duration: 15 minutesFirst broadcast:Monday 20 May 2013

Wagner and German Idealism

Professor Roger Scruton explores the philosophical background that influenced the young Richard Wagner. The German universities of his youth were in a state of intellectual ferment in the aftermath of the greatest philosopher of modern times, Immanuel kant. Out of this came a school of philosophy known as German Idealism. Wagner was particular influenced by the most famous of these philosophers, Hegel. And, even though Wagner was later to radically revise his philosophical views, the ideas of Hegel can still be traced in his great cycle of music dramas, The Ring: the notion that nothing human is permanent, and all must perish in the spirit's ongoing search for self-knowledge. And the essence of this spirit, Hegel argued, is freedom. Wagner took this idea one step further. Freedom, for Wagner, was not only a political phenomenon, it was also a profound spiritual reality, revealed in the moment of sacrifice.

Radio 3 In Concert

Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutesFirst broadcast:Wednesday 22 May 2013

Live from the Royal Festival Hall in London
Presented by Martin Handley.

Sir Andrew Davis conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra in a concert commemorating the exact 200th anniversary of Wagner's birth.

Wagner Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Philharmonia Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis (conductor)

Wagner Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde
Susan Bullock (soprano), Philharmonia Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis (conductor)

c. 8.00pm
Interval Music

c. 8.20pm
The Walküre (or Valkyries) are an army of maidens who ride through the air on horseback. The twin brother and sister, Siegmund and Sieglinde, have fallen in love, thereby committing both adultery and incest. Siegmund is killed by the leader of the gods, Wotan, although Brünnhilde (Wotan's favourite Valkyrie daughter) saves Sieglinde in the nick of time. After this, the Third Act begins with the famous Ride of the Valkyries and reaches a blazing climax when Brünnhilde is punished by Wotan. Wotan bids farewell to Brünnhilde and surrounds her with a ring of fire that can only be crossed by a fearless hero; that hero is destined to be none other than Sieglinde's eventual son, Siegfried.

Wagner Die Walküre, Act 3

Sieglinde.... Giselle Allen (soprano),
Wotan..... James Rutherford (bass),
The Valkyries:
Brünnhilde.... Susan Bullock (soprano),
Gerhilde..... Mariya Krywaniuk (soprano),
Waltraute..... Jennifer Johnston (mezzo soprano),
Schwertleite..... Miriam Sharrad (contralto),
Helmwige..... Katherine Broderick (soprano),
Siegrune..... Magdalen Ashman (mezzo soprano),
Grimgerde..... Antonia Sotgiu (mezzo soprano),
Rossweisse..... Maria Jones (mezzo soprano),
Ortlinde..... Elaine McKrill (soprano)Philharmonia Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis (conductor)

Night Waves
Duration: 45 minutesFirst broadcast:Thursday 23 May 2013

As part of Wagner 200 week Anne McElvoy assesses the composer's relationship with his Jewish collaborators and the extent to which Wagner's music is clouded anti-Semitism.


THU 23rd MAY AT 2.00PM -

Bryn Terfel, Anja Kampe, Hans-Peter Konig, Torsten Kerl,
John Tessier and Claire Shearer
Chorus and Orchestra of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Marc Albrecht conduct.

SUN 26th MAY AT 2.45PM -

Peter Wedd, Emma Bell, Susan Bickley, John Lundgren,
Simon Thorpe and Matthew Best
Chorus and Orchestra of Welsh National Opera
Lothar Koenigs conducts

Note: Details above are correct at time of print. However, please click the link below for full details and times. Additional Wagner related programs can also be found at this link