Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts Vol. 3 (Alessandra Marc/ Seattle Symphony/ Gerard Schwarz) (Naxos: 8.572769)
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Themes of love and passion dominate these orchestral excerpts from Wagner's music dramas. The legend of Tannhauser
contrasts the sensual allure of Venus with the ideals of courtly love and religious devotion. Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
pits an inspired but rash young singer against the traditions of the old masters in a song competition, with a beautiful girl as the prize. Tristan und Isolde
, based on one of the world's great love stories, is considered Wagner's most revolutionary work, seamlessly blending themes of love and death into a shattering apotheosis. Gerard Schwarz's other selections of Wagner excerpts can be found on 8.572767 and 8.572768.