Wagner: Prelude to Tristan und Isolde

The South Birmingham Sinfonia will be performing this work (a linked double symphonic tone poem) as part of the Summer 2017 concert.

Tristan und Isolde was in some ways Wagner's breakthough work: it was the work in which he managed to find expression for the new style of harmony he had been working towards (the famous "Tristan" chord) and it was the work that allowed Wagner to break his block and complete the "ring". As stated in the Wikipedia, many composers see Tristan und Isolde as the beginning of the move away from common practice harmony and tonality and consider that it lays the groundwork for the direction of classical music in the 20th century.

The Wesendonck Lieder (performed in the same concert as this prelude) are clearly studies for Tristan und Isolde, and some themes are shared between these works.