WAGNER - A PRELUDE TO TRISTAN UND ISOLDE

henrynarula
Mind Map by henrynarula , updated more than 1 year ago
henrynarula
Created by henrynarula almost 6 years ago
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Mindmap of Prelude to Tristan und Isolde
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WAGNER - A PRELUDE TO TRISTAN UND ISOLDE

Annotations:

  • The Prelude was first performed in 1859, but the complete opera was only staged for the first time in 1865. The libretto was written by Wagner himself, and drew on medieval sources. In Wagner's treatment, the lover's passions are requited only in death. The work is of major significance, opening new avenues that led directly to late romanticism and the atonality of early 20th century music.  The prelude paves the way for the atmosphere and content of the opera itself (Act i of which follows without a break), moving from insatiable longing to rapture, then back to a state of languor. German musical directions. 
1 Rhythm and Metre
1.1 The prelude is in slow compound duple (6/8) time
1.2 The pulse is not easy to discern because of pauses (bar 10), silences (bar 3-4) and notes tied over bar lines (bar 16)
1.3 As the music moves towards the main climax, note values become shorter
1.4 Dotted rhythms frequently occur (bar 1)
2 Melody
2.1 The un-ending melody is woven from a series of leitmotifs

Annotations:

  • Lietmotif - a theme that is associated with a character, situation, mood, object or idea, especially in the operas of Wagner and dramatic film music or later composers
2.2 Characteristics include; chromaticism (bar 5), appoggiaturas, 'yearning' rising minor 6th in the grief motif (bar 1), falling 7th / dotted rhythms figure in the Glance and Love Potion motifs (bar 17), sequential repetition (bar 52), Inversion, Fragmentation.

Annotations:

  • appoggiatura - a non-chord note that sounds on the beat as a dissonance and then resolves by step (up or down) to the main chord note. The dissonant note is not 'prepared' as a suspension is. Appoggiaturas are normally approached by leap.
3 Harmony
3.1 Wagner's harmony is functional, but notable for reinforcing the mood of longing by avoiding closure
3.2 There are few perfect cadences but some notable interrupted cadences (bars 16-17)
3.3 Characteristics include; 'Tristan Chord' (formed from an augmented 6th plus an appoggiature (bars 2-3), unresolved dominant 7th chords (bar 3), diminished 7th, Neapolitan 6th, dominant pedal (used to increase tension)
4 Tonality and Structure
4.1 The sense of key is weakened through chromaticism, unresolved dissonance and the avoidance of perfect cadences
4.2 Bars 1-24: Exposition
4.2.1 Theme 1 (bars 1-17) passing through 1 - A minor, 4 to 7 - C major, 8 to 11 - E minor, 16 - A minor
4.2.2 Theme 2 (bars 17-24) passing through 21 - D minor, 23 - B major
4.3 Bars 24-65 in ternary form beginning with Theme 3
4.3.1 25 - A major, 29 - E minor, 36 - D minor, 43 to 44 - interrupted cadence in C# minor, 45 - E major, 63 - Dominant pedal in A major
4.4 Bar 66-83: First recapitulation; climatic presentation mainly of opening motifs. Ambiguous tonality, but moving from A minor to Eb minor
4.5 Bar 84 - 111: Second recapitulation; a 'thinning out' presentation of opening motifs and Glance motif. Tonality moves from A minor to C minor
4.6 Bar 106: C minor, dominant preparation for opening of Act 1
5 Resources and Texture
5.1 The prelude is scored for a large orchestra including the following transposing instruments; Cor anglais, sounding a perfect 5th below printed pitch, Bass / Clarinets in A, sounding a minor 3rd lower, Horns in F, sounding perfect 5th below, Horns in E sounding minor 6th below printed pitch, Trumpets in F, sounding perfect 4th above printed pitch, Double basses, which sound an octave lower than written.
5.2 Some technical devices are used by Wagner for the strings include; tremolo, Sul G (play on the G string), Pizzicato, Divisi
5.3 Melody-dominated homophony
5.4 Antiphonal exchanges between instruments (bars 10-15), orchestral polyphony, arising from the combination of leitmotifs (bars 80-82), Pedal points, Low octave (at the end)
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