RICHARD WAGNER (1813 - 1883)
Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg
Shortened text version by Carel Alphenaar,
arranged for 5 singers and ensemble by Henk de Vlieger, 2018
Photo: Emelie Schäfer
The IJ-Salon is a casual Saturday afternoon series, an institution at Amsterdam's Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. It is a musical laboratory, in which musicians of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and friends playfully push the boundaries of chamber music. Side trips to all kinds of genres, unusual instruments and special guests like actors, dancers, choreographers or performing artists, make every IJ-Salon concert a delightful experience.
The music of Richard Wagner does not need a megalomaniacal performance to touch. With this idea in mind Carel Alphenaar, regular dramaturge of the IJ-Salon, and arranger Henk de Vlieger created a chamber version of Wagners opera Tannhäuser, entitled Tannhäuser light. With maintenance of Wagners original texts, Alphenaar designed a considerable shortened libretto for only five singers. The roles of Venus and Elisabeth are united in a single character, and four male singers (Tannhäuser, Walther, Wolfram and Landgraf) represent the pilgrim choruses as well. De Vlieger reduced the orchestra into an ensemble of eleven players and took care of supple transitions between the fragments. The whole performance (without intermission) takes about 100 minutes.
Carel Alphenaar designed the scenary and directed the first performance, which was given on May 26, 2018. The vocal parts were performed by Aylin Sezer, Gustavo Peña, Erik Slik, Michael Wilmering and Jan-Willem Baljet. The ensemble of musicians of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra was conducted by the inventive initiator of this project: Michael Gieler.
Ensemble: Oboe (doubling English horn), 2 Clarinets (2nd doubling bass clarinet), Bassoon, Horn, Harp, 2 Violins, Viola, Violoncello, Double bass.