In Tannhäuser and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Richard Wagner explores the world of the medieval Minnesänger and the 15/16th century Meistersinger. Poetry and music from historical masters such as Walther von der Vogelweide, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Neidhart von Reuental and Hans Sachs start dialoguing with romantic songs about the persona of Tannhäuser and Wagner’s colleagues. The text of the most widely known Minnesang ‘Unter den Linden’ was set to music by Frank Martin. The songbooks ‘Der verschwiegene Nachtigall’ by Edvard Grieg and Emil Sjögrens ‘Sechs Lieder aus Julius Wolff’s Tannhäuser’ also refer to the medieval repertoire of the Minnesang.
The narrative, that traditionally unfolds after a stereotypical description of nature coming into bloom, the so-called Natureingang, depicts themes such as fertility, courtly love and the idyll of springtime. Also philosophical reflections on the condition humaine and Weltschmertz, or moralising subjects, religious worship, pilgrimage, transitoriness and the memory of a beloved are topics of choice in the repertoire.
On their nostalgic trip, soprano Lore Binon and the musicians on lute, viola d’amore a chiavi, romantic guitar and pianoforte, blur the lines and distil the essence of the Zeitgeist and the custom of the Minnesang.
Lore Binon soprano
Didier François viola d’amore a chiavi
Petros Bakalakos pianoforte
Jurgen De bruyn lute, gittern, romantic guitar, vocals
Piet De Volder dramaturgy
In co-production with Opera Ballet Vlaanderen