Berlin-based orchestras / Pelléas et Mélisande

Orchester und Chor der Deutschen Oper

Chain mail from Brandenburg 13th/14th century

Chain mail from Brandenburg 13th/14th century

© Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin

  • Duration 2h, one interval

Past Dates

19:00 work introduction

Perhaps Wagner’s “Parsifal” needs to be heard with Debussy’s ears in order to fully grasp why at least as many paths point the way to Modernity from this late work as from the apparently so much more radical, earlier “Tristan”. The programme, which British-born and Bayreuth experienced Donald Runnicles has put together with the Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin allows the listeners to make precisely this attempt. Debussy was a musician whose love of Wagner’s music was hardly blind and whose nationally motivated hatred against all things Wagnerian made him immune towards flat epigonism. It can therefore be assumed that his lyrical drama „Pelléas et Mélisande“, which was composed as an ambivalent reaction to Parsifal, reverberates on Wagner’s Bühnenweihfestspiel (a stage-consecrating festival play): on a work that Debussy takes one step further in floating symbolism, with a magic timbre and an interpretation of the fantastic that is conducted with psychological depth in an astonishingly consistent manner.

Claude Debussy [1862–1918]
Pelléas et Mélisande [1902]
Symphony arrangement by Marius Constant [1983]

Richard Wagner [1813–1883]
Parsifal, Act 2 [1877–82]
concert performance

Evelyn Herlitzius soprano (Kundry)
Klaus Florian Vogt tenor (Parsifal)
Seth Carico bass-baritone (Klingsor)
Nicole Haslett, Alexandra Hutton, Irene Roberts, Elena Tsallagova, Adriana Ferfezka, Ronnita Miller Flower maidens

Orchester und Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Donald Runnicles conductor
William Spaulding chorus master

A Deutsche Oper Berlin event
in collaboration with Berliner Festspiele/ Musikfest Berlin