Wesendonck Lieder

October 23, 2019, 6:34 PM · Hello all!

I am hoping someone has some experience with Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder for singer and orchestra (the version arranged by Felix Mottl). I am wondering about a couple things...

1. In "Der Engel", there is a solo voice in the first violins. The solo is played without a mute, the tutti parts with mute. Does the concertmaster just play the solo and sit the rest of the parts out, or does s/he play as much of the other part as possible, taking the mute off and putting it back on at various moments?

2. In the music for Träume, there is a solo violin (or flute) part that is an exact copy of the solo voice part. I know it was arranged for solo violin and orchestra at a later date...but one does not play that solo in a normal performance of Mottl's version of the Lieder, no? (...but why is the solo violin part included in the parts? there are actually 3 parts for first violins for this movement...First violin, pt. 1, first violin, pt. 2, first violin, solo...)

I appreciate the helpful responses I am sure I will receive!

Replies (2)

October 24, 2019, 5:07 AM · I can't answer the first question, but looking at the score at IMSLP for the Mottl arrangement, I think the solo violin is meant to be played along with the vocal for the tone color of combining the voice with the violin (obviously the violinist has to be careful not to drown out the singer). The parts are identical except for the last note of the vocal line -- the singer's final note ends on beat 3 while the violinist is supposed to hold it through beat 1 of the following measure. Then 3 measures later the solo violin part has some notes on its own. Those differences indicate to me (as a conductor) that the solo violin part is to be played along with the singer.
October 26, 2019, 5:36 AM · Thanks for your thoughts! I appreciate your perspective as a conductor.

How funny, Wagner...

Anyone have any thoughts re. what the concertmaster should do while the not playing the solo part?


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