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Excerpts from Famous Operatic Love Scenes
The Station Orchestra
Conductor, Warwick Braithwaite
The origins of the tale of Tristan and Isolde (Iseult) are lost in legendry. Apparently it is an old Celtic romance. It was on the thirteenth-century version that Wagner based his great love-drama, a work which, in its kind. has never been surpassed.
The wonderful Prelude epitomises the transcendent, passionate love of Tristan and Isolde.
At the Court of the Landgrave of Thuringia. a tournament of song is being held. The prize is the hand of his niece, Elizabeth. It falls to the lot of the minstrel Knight Wolfram to be the first singer. He celebrates in his song the virtues of those he sees around him, and tells the wonder of a pure and holy love.
The Tempest of the Heart is sung by the wicked Count di Luna, who serenades the heroine by night, his intention being to abduct her.
The First Love Scene, Act II., Scene 2
King Dodon went out to fight the Queen of Shemakha, who was coming to invade his kingdom, but instead was conquered by her charms.
The first piece is an Orchestral arrangement of the song in which, under the guise of a Hymn to the Sun, she made love to the old King.
The Valkyries are war-maidens who bring to Valhalla the bodies of warriors from the battle. field, who shall serve to guard that home of the gods.
In this Prelude to the Third Act of the Opera we have a wonderfully vivid depiction of the galloping of the horses. There are few finer suggestions of elemental force in all music.
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