Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Kleinertz, Rainer. "Liszt, Wagner, and Unfolding Form: Orpheus and the Genesis of Tristan und Isolde." In Franz Liszt and His World, ed. Christopher H. Gibbs and Dana Gooley, 231-54. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2006.

Wagner's Tristan und Isolde illustrates how he attempted to avoid the conventional periodic structure of music. His solution was indebted to Liszt?s "unfolding form," suggesting that his encounter with Liszt's symphonic poems, particularly Orpheus, during Liszt's Weimar period (1847-61) played a decisive role in the formal idea of Tristan. It has been acknowledged that Liszt influenced Wagner with regard to harmony. Further influence by Liszt on Wagner involves structural aspects of musical form. Wagner's admiration for Liszt's symphonic poems, particularly Orpheus, is evident in his letter after Liszt conducted his Les Préludes and Orpheus in 1856. Liszt, in his symphonic compositions, provided an alternative form to the conventional sonata form, achieving an "unfolding form" in which small elements are repeated, developed, and varied into greater units. His avoidance of a closed form allowed Wagner to achieve the concepts of "poetic-musical period" and "verse melody" in his Tristan. His earliest sketches for Tristan in 1856 demonstrate how he solved the problem of traditional sonata form by linking his formal idea to Liszt's, suggesting the significance of his encounter with Orpheus.

Works: Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (245-50).

Sources: Liszt: Orpheus (234-41).

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Hyun Joo Kim

Except where otherwise noted, this website is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
Creative Commons Attribution License