A Level Music: Prelude to Tristan und Isolde by Wagner

HideShow resource information
When was this piece composed?
Late Romantic
1 of 42
What type of work is this from?
An opera
2 of 42
When was it first performed?
1865
3 of 42
What is the opera about?
It is a tragic love story that involves/ends in death.
4 of 42
Name the Resources
Large Orchestra: Woodwind (3 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, cor anglais, bass clarinet,3 bassoons), Brass: (4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones and tuba), Timpani, Strings (2 violins, viola, cello and double bass)
5 of 42
Would Wagner have used the entire orchestra at the same time?
Rarely - used specific instruments to create specific tone/textural colours. He sets his orchestra delicately to focus on each instrument group.
6 of 42
Which woodwind instruments have solos and therefore play an important role?
Cor anglais and bass clarinet: bars 101, 104
7 of 42
Does Wagner use the brass to its full potential?
No - used subtly. Trombone and tuba only play for 18 bars in whole piece, and trumpets barely play at all (only in bars 81-83).
8 of 42
Which brass instrument did Wagner particularly like?
Horns: produced a softer, rounded sound, song-like.
9 of 42
When is the timpani saved for?
The climax of the piece, and at tne end to create a sinister feel (fill in silence)
10 of 42
Which string instrument is particularly important?
The cello - represents the human voice, opens the whole piece. Plays beautiful, melodic lines.
11 of 42
Is the viola used effectively?
Yes, e.g. page 71. Has a shared melody with oboe and even plays higher than violin II in bar 42.
12 of 42
What is an essential part of the expression of the piece?
The tone of the instruments
13 of 42
Is there a lot of detail on the score?
Yes: bar 36, division of strings, bar 16: pizz and double stopping, bar 22: sul G (play on the G string - tone colour) and bar 77: tremolo
14 of 42
Describe the structure
There is no formal structure due to the tonality. Some people say its' in ternary form (loosest possible sense).
15 of 42
Explain carefully the structure
A section (bars 1-23), bridge passage (23-24), B section (25-65), A2 a climax to the A section (66-83) and CODA (84) which recalls the opening.
16 of 42
The piece uses melodic sequence - why and where?
To create a sort of structure, the opening in the cello parts
17 of 42
Is there lots of repetition and imitation?
Yes, bars 36-42 in viola and oboes
18 of 42
Is there note subtraction between parts?
Yes, bars 8-13.
19 of 42
What is the tonality?
Opens in A minor, yet difficult to establish tonality as there are no perfect cadences or A minor chords. In bar 3 there is a V7 chord in A min and bars 1-3 outline imperfect cadence.
20 of 42
Does the piece change to any other key?
Bar 7: C major (no raised 7th), bar 11: E major (dominant chord in E), bar 61: A major (climax of piece) with dominant pedal of E in bass in bar 63.
21 of 42
What is a tristan chord and where can an example of this be found?
Is it a chord associated with the character Tristan. Bar 1, chord 1 and bar 2 create a Tristan chord and bar 106 onwards the Tristan chord is in C minor. This chord has created much controvesy.
22 of 42
What is the Tristan chord made up of (above the root)?
Augmented 4th (tritone - devil's interval), augmented 6th and augmented 9th
23 of 42
Is there any dissonance?
Yes, the opening which is based on appoggiaturas causes dissonance.
24 of 42
Are perfect cadences rare?
Yes. There is an interrupted cadence bars 16-17.
25 of 42
Is there much chromaticism?
Yes - it creates intensity.
26 of 42
Are there many added/unresolved/diminished 7ths?
Yes, they create a peculiar sound and add to the chromatic writing.
27 of 42
Are there any other peculiar chords?
II7b and Neopolitan 6th (chord 2 in 1st inversion with flattened root) and an Augmented chord 6.
28 of 42
What is the metre?
6/8
29 of 42
Is the rhythm repetitive?
Yes
30 of 42
What does the rhythm do?
Deliberately obscures any sense of metre due to the slow tempo.
31 of 42
Is there a wide variation in rhythm?
Yes, ranging from demisemiquaver triplets to dotted minims. The note lengths are mostly quavers, yet in bars 22-24 there are many semiquavers.
32 of 42
Are there many rests?
Yes: silence is used effectively. Bars 10 and 11.
33 of 42
Is there an appogiatura rhythm?
Yes, it is: short, long and it features heavily: bar 3, and there is a 3 note rhythm that occurs frequently: bar 17, cello.
34 of 42
Describe the texture
Starts monophonic with only cello playing. A single line written in octaves: bars 14-15 (homorhythmic). Bars 63-83: contrapuntal. Broken chords in strings: bar 69 (romantic and classical feature), MDH: bar 12 in woodwind, 4-part writing: bars 11-12.
35 of 42
Texturally, where is there a quartet-like feel?
Bars 11-12 between 1st oboe, flute, clarinet and cor anglais
36 of 42
What is the 'leitmotif'?
The main feature of the melody: a reoccuring theme associated with a particular mood, feeling or character throughout an opera.
37 of 42
Name the 4 motifs:
1) Grief, 2) Desire, 3) Glance, 4) Love Potion
38 of 42
Grief Motif:
Chromatic and descending minor 6th, bars 1-2 in cello
39 of 42
Desire Motif:
Ascends chromatically, bar 2 in oboe
40 of 42
Glance Motif:
Ascending, quite sentimental, contains wide leaps, bar 20 where there is a minor 7th leap, bars 17-22 in cello.
41 of 42
Love Potion Motif:
An ascending phrase, slightly similar to Glance motif, bars 45-47. Retrograde occurs in bars 84-85.
42 of 42

Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What type of work is this from?

Back

An opera

Card 3

Front

When was it first performed?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is the opera about?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Name the Resources

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
View more cards

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Music resources:

See all Music resources »See all Developing Musical Understanding resources »