Last year, conductor Christian Thielemann and the Staatskapelle Dresden gave this electrifying performance of Wagner’s Rienzi Overture. Take a moment and listen:
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I love the way this overture grows out of a single trumpet call. The music slowly awakens, searching for a direction forward. Then, suddenly it opens up into one of Wagner’s most noble and majestic melodies (1:19).
Premiering in Dresden in 1842, Rienzi was Wagner’s first big hit as an opera composer. Seeds of his more mature works can be heard here, as well as the influence of Carl Maria von Weber (Overture to Euryanthe). In 1859 Franz Liszt wrote a Fantasy on Motifs of Rienzi for solo piano.
Learn more about Rienzi and read the synopsis here.