A Musical Journey: GERMANY • ITALY
A Musical Visit to Bavarian Palaces and Italy’s Southern Tyrol
Music by Richard Wagner
The Places • Ludwig II of Bavaria followed family precedent in undertaking an
extravagant building programme during his relatively short reign from 1864 to 1886.
The castles constructed on his orders included the romantic Neuschwanstein and
the magnificent Schloss Linderhof, with its elaborate formal gardens, grottoes
and fountains. The tour ends with a brief glimpse of the mountainous Southern
Tyrol in winter snow.
The Music • Richard Wagner’s innovative and immensely influential music dramas
were largely based on older German legend, notably on the Nibelungenlied, the
basis of his tetralogy The Ring. Ludwig II was fascinated by Wagner and by his
operas, on subjects that had long been dear to him. These include the opera
Lohengrin, which Ludwig first saw in 1861, the beginning of his preoccupation
with Wagner, and the earlier opera Tannhäuser. The music chosen also includes
an overture by Heinrich Marschner to an opera based on the old Bohemian
legend of Hans Heiling, son of an Earth Spirit.
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