For the Romantics, music is the perfect medium for expressing what the heart dares not say, the secret passions that lovers must keep secret from the world. Such is the case with Wagner's Wesendonck-Lieder. In 1857, Wagner, on the run from his creditors and politically banished from Germany, found refuge in Zurich with the family of a rich banker, Otto Wesendonck, whose wife Mathilde was an enthusiastic Wagnerian. The composer was in the throes of working on Tristan und Isolde. The adulterous couple of the two heroes of the legend was soon to be emulated by that of Wagner and his benefactor's wife! To Mathilde's poems, Wagner lovingly composed five Lieder heralding the heady and languid shadows of the music of his forthcoming opera, the absolute masterpiece of Romanticism.
Wagner's anticipatory shadow is also concealed in one of Mendelssohn's most poetic compositions. The main theme of this overture, based on the legend of the fairy Melusina in love with a human, will directly inspire the theme of the flowing waters of the river in Das Rheingold, the first part of the Ring, whose genesis is hindered both by composition of Tristan and the adventure with Mathilde.
And what of Brahms, you may ask? For the pastoral Symphony No. 2 seems far removed from the secret passions of Wagner and Melusina! But if this Symphony, composed in the Wörthersee countryside, is bathed in an idyllic, agrarian atmosphere, aren't the sombre impulses running through it a sign that a dark flame is also at work, kept secret by the composer's taciturn heart? Dorothea Röschmann and Marta Gardolińska reveal these secrets of love in a concert marked by the seal of passion.
Opéra national de Lorraine Orchestra
Felix Mendelssohn La Belle Mélusine, ouverture
Richard Wagner Wesendonck Lieder ( excerpts)
Johannes Brahms Symphony n°2 in D major, opus 73
€ 5 - 38