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Liebestod (Mild und leise)

Opera details:

Opera title:

Tristan und Isolde

Composer:

Richard Wagner

Language:

German

Synopsis:

Tristan und Isolde Synopsis

Libretto:

Tristan und Isolde Libretto

Translation(s):

English

Aria details:

Also known as:

Mild und leise

Type:

aria

Role(s):

Isolde

Voice(s):

Soprano

Act:

3.18-1

Previous scene: Tristan! Tristan! Isolde!
Next scene: Mild und leise wie er lächelt

Richard Wagner "Tristan und Isolde" Liebestod Mild und Leise | Margaret Price, Carlos Ludwig Kleiber

Singer(s): Brigitte Fassbaender Margaret Price

Richard Wagner Tristan and Isolde, Opera, WWV 90. Act III. Mild und Leise (Liebestod) | Dame Margaret Price. Staatskapelle Dresden, Carlos Ludwig Kleiber. Deutsche Grammophon, 1982.
Act I. Prelude Act III. Liebestod Complete Opera
Mild und leise
wie er lächelt,
wie das Auge
hold er öffnet
seht ihr's Freunde?
Seht ihr's nicht?
Immer lichter
wie er leuchtet,
stern-umstrahlet
hoch sich hebt?

Seht ihr's nicht?
Wie das Herz ihm
mutig schwillt,
voll und hehr
im Busen ihm quillt?
Wie den Lippen,
wonnig mild,
süßer Atem
sanft entweht
Freunde! Seht!
Fühlt und seht ihr's nicht?
Hör ich nur
diese Weise,
die so wunder
voll und leise,
Wonne klagend,
alles sagend,
mild versöhnend
aus ihm tönend,
in mich dringet,
auf sich schwinget,
hold erhallend
um mich klinget?
Heller schallend,
mich umwallend,
sind es Wellen
sanfter Lüfte?
Sind es Wogen
wonniger Düfte?
Wie sie schwellen,
mich umrauschen,
soll ich atmen,
soll ich lauschen?
Soll ich schlürfen,
untertauchen?
Süß in Düften
mich verhauchen?
In dem wogenden Schwall,
in dem tönenden Schall,
in des Welt-Atems
wehendem All
ertrinken,
versinken
unbewußt
höchste Lust!

Friedrich Nietzsche, who in his younger years was one of Wagner's staunchest allies, wrote that, for him, "Tristan and Isolde is the real opus metaphysicum of all art... insatiable and sweet craving for the secrets of night and death... it is overpowering in its simple grandeur". In a letter to his friend Erwin Rohde in October 1868, Nietzsche described his reaction to Tristan's Prelude: "I simply cannot bring myself to remain critically aloof from this music; every nerve in me is atwitch, and it has been a long time since I had such a lasting sense of ecstasy as with this overture". Even after his break with Wagner, Nietzsche continued to consider Tristan a masterpiece: "Even now I am still in search of a work which exercises such a dangerous fascination, such a spine-tingling and blissful infinity as Tristan - I have sought in vain, in every art."

Tristan und Isolde is an Opera in three acts by Richard Wagner to a German libretto by the composer, based largely on the romance by Gottfried von Straßburg. It was composed between 1857 and 1859 and premiered in Munich on 10 June 1865 with Hans von Bülow conducting. Wagner referred to the work not as an opera, but called it "eine Handlung" (literally a drama. a plot or an action), which was the equivalent of the term used by the Spanish playwright Calderón for his dramas.
Wagner's composition of Tristan und Isolde was inspired by his affair with Mathilde Wesendonck and the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer. Widely acknowledged as one of the peaks of the operatic repertory, Tristan was notable for Wagner's advanced use of chromaticism, tonality, orchestral colour and harmonic suspension.

The opera was profoundly influential among Western classical composers and provided inspiration to composers such as Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Karol Szymanowski, Alban Berg and Arnold Schoenberg. Many see Tristan as the beginning of the move away from conventional harmony and tonality and consider that it lays the groundwork for the direction of classical music in the 20th century.

It was only after Ludwig II of Bavaria became a sponsor of Wagner (he granted the composer a generous stipend and in other ways supported Wagner's artistic endeavours) that enough resources could be found to mount the premiere of Tristan und Isolde. Hans von Bülow was chosen to conduct the production at the Munich Opera, despite the fact that Wagner was having an affair with his wife, Cosima von Bülow.

Wagner died at 50, with the premiers of Tristan, Meistersinger, the Ring, and Parsifal. Tristan marks his first fully mature work and establishes Wagner as a composer of the first rank. This digital recording from the early 1980s features a good, experienced cast. Rene Kollo is nearing the end of his effective career, but turns in a workmanlike performance, while Margaret Price sounds fresh and young. During his career, Maestro Kleiber has not competed with Herbert von Karajan or Georg Solti in the number of his recordings, but the quality of his output has always been among the best, and here he offers an exceptionally delicate orchestral reading.


Tristan: René Kollo, Isolde: Margaret Price, Brangäne: Brigitte Fassbaender, König Marke: Kurt Moll, Kurwenal: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Melot: Werner Götz, Seemann Eberhard Büchner, Hirte: Anton Dermota, Steuermann: Wolfgang Hellmich, Dresden Staatskapelle, Leipzig Radio Chorus

Dame Margaret Price was persuaded to sing Isolde for a recording under German conductor Kleiber. The result, made up from several takes, is one of the most outstanding recorded Isoldes. Efforts to tempt Price to do Isolde on the stage, however, never came to anything. "I'm not a long-distance runner," she insisted. "I'll sing it to my dogs" The Guardian

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Libretto/Lyrics/Text/Testo:

Mild und leise
wie er lächelt,
wie das Auge
hold er öffnet ---
Seht ihr's, Freunde?
Seht ihr's nicht?
Immer lichter
wie er leuchtet,
stern-umstrahlet
hoch sich hebt?
Seht ihr's nicht?
Wie das Herz ihm
mutig schwillt,
voll und hehr
im Busen ihm quillt?
Wie den Lippen,
wonnig mild,
süßer Atem
sanft entweht ---
Freunde! Seht!
Fühlt und seht ihr's nicht?
Hör ich nur diese Weise,
die so wundervoll und leise,
Wonne klagend,
alles sagend,
mild versöhnend
aus ihm tönend,
in mich dringet,
auf sich schwinget,
hold erhallend
um mich klinget?
Heller schallend,
mich umwallend ---
Sind es Wellen
sanfter Lüfte?
Sind es Wogen
wonniger Düfte?
Wie sie schwellen,
mich umrauschen,
soll ich atmen,
soll ich lauschen?
Soll ich schlürfen,
untertauchen?
Süß in Düften
mich verhauchen?
In dem wogenden Schwall,
in dem tönenden Schall,
in des Welt-Atems wehendem All ---
ertrinken,
versinken ---
unbewußt ---
höchste Lust!

English Libretto or Translation:

Mildly and gently,
how he smiles,
how the eye
he opens sweetly ---
Do you see it, friends?
Don’t you see it?
Brighter and brighter
how he shines,
illuminated by stars
rises high?
Don’t you see it?
How his heart
boldly swells,
fully and nobly
wells in his breast?
How from his lips
delightfully, mildly,
sweet breath
softly wafts ---
Friends! Look!
Don’t you feel and see it?
Do I alone hear this melody,
which wonderfully and softly,
lamenting delight,
telling it all,
mildly reconciling
sounds out of him,
invades me,
swings upwards,
sweetly resonating
rings around me?
Sounding more clearly,
wafting around me ---
Are these waves
of soft airs?
Are these billows
of delightful fragrances?
How they swell,
how they sough around me,
shall I breathe,
Shall I listen?
Shall I drink,
immerse?
Sweetly in fragrances
melt away?
In the billowing torrent,
in the resonating sound,
in the wafting Universe of the World-Breath ---
drown,
be engulfed ---
unconscious ---
supreme delight!

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