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Tchaikovsky on Tristan und Isolde

Could anybody enlighten me on Tchaikovsky´s knowledge on Tristan und Isolde? He wrote to von Meck, I know, in 1882 about his first impressions of Tristan un Isolde in performance. But was he acquainted with the the work when he worked on The Maid of Orleans. I am of course hinting at the possible inspiration/influence he might have had from the love-duet: The duet between Joan and Lionel also uses the theme of light in the night as a metaphor for forbidden love. Did he perhaps study the score of Tristan? I thank you in advance for your informations.

Helle Eliasson

There are many works of previous composers in which Tchaikovsky relied as sources of inspiration; in "Swan Lake" the Lohengrin theme is treated to build the motto theme of fatality,which appears at least three times in the score, and so, motives of Bizet, Beethoven, Mozart, and also some popular tunes, gave him a clue to develop his wonderful creations.

I have not noticed any Wagnerian hint in "The Maid of Orleans"; the love theme is remarkably beautiful, as also Wagnerian love themes are, but each composer spoke of love in their own terms, and even if Tchaikovsky disliked Wagner, apparently, he was indeed seduced by this German master s romantic intensity.

Alberto Sáenz Enríquez

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