Monday, May 29, 2017

Richard Wagner Birthday Concert

Wagner kitsch, Bayreuth, 2015

To a thoroughly charming concert yesterday afternoon, at beautiful St. Mark's on O'Farrell in San Francisco, celebrating the 204th birthday of the infamous composer Wilhelm Richard Wagner. There was no orchestra, just the two fine pianists William Wellborn and Steven Bailey. They presented a program of (mostly) Wagner transcriptions for the piano.

Wellborn's half of the program was done as a lecture-demo; he discussed the works, and either played them himself or put on a CD of a different pianist performing the work. So we got his knowledge, we got his playing, and we had bonus tracks by Leslie Howard and Ignace Paderewski! This covered the following works:

  • Wagner: Sonata in B-Flat Major (1831) III - Menuetto
  • Wagner-Liszt Senta's Ballad from The Flying Dutchman (Howard)
  • Lizszt - La lugubre Gondola
  • Liszt - Am Grabe Richard Wagners
  • Wagner-Liszt Spinning Chorus from the Flying Dutchman (Paderewski)

Then Bailey came on and did his thing, and quite a thing it was. The Tannhäuser transcription was nearly a half-hour long and included the Venusberg music!

  • Wagner-Liszt Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral from Lohengrin 
  • Wagner-Liszt/Moszkowski/Bailey Tannhäuser Overture "Paris" version
  • Wagner-Liszt - Isolde's Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde

And then together they played the delightful and very funny Souvenir de Bayreuth, Faure/Messager, after which we all repaired to the community hall and snacked on fabulous snacks, including cupcakes.


Anonymous said...

There's also the equally delightful and funny Souvenirs de Munich, Fantaisie en Forme de Quadrille sur les Thèmes favoris de Tristan et Isolde de Wagner by Chabrier.


Lisa Hirsch said...

I have heard it! Out there someplace is a page listing ALL the Wagner parodies, but can I find it? Maybe the Norther CA Wagner Society's blog has this.