Wagner in Vermont Festival – Day 3 Recap

TUNDI Productions has done a marvelous job of planning day-time activities and informative events to keep attendees and artists inspired and entertained.

On Wednesday, 24 August, I gave a short presentation called “Wagner’s Other Songs”, which I had discovered many years ago in a Dover publication which included about 20 songs in both German and French.

Of course, everyone who knows anything about Wagner is well-aware of his cycle “Wesendonk-Lieder” – 5 songs based on poems by Mathilde Wesendonk, the wife of one of Wagner’s sponsors, with whom Wagner was having an affair. Oh, those naughty, self-serving composers…but I digress.

Wagner composed another 15 or so Lieder (songs), in both German and French. The source material is based on Goethe’s Faust and several other sources. Frankly, only the Wesendonk-Lieder demonstrate Wagner’s melodic and harmonic genius. These “other songs” are somewhat trite at times and uninteresting, at least to me. But…for those of us delving into Wagner and his world, there is historical interest nonetheless.

Afternoons during the Festival are given over to concerts by the TUNDI artists. I reported earlier about my concert on Tuesday afternoon, presenting Mahler’s “Liebst du um Schonheit” and Korngold’s “Gluckwunsch”, wonderfully accompanied by Vladimir Odinokikh.

The highlights of Wednesday’s afternoon concert were Kirk Eichelberger’s beautifully sung selections from Mahler’s “Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen” (Songs of a Wayfarer), and Whitney Myers and Joel Edwards’ duet from Die Walkure, “Todsverkundigung”. Joel and Whitney are covering Siegmund and Sieglinde, and their duet was stunningly performed. Both of these performances were accompanied by Maestro Hugh Keelan.

My “hat is off” to TUNDI’s ingenious creators and artists, Hugh Keelan and Jenna Rae, for creating a Festival atmosphere filled with high art, love, and a sense of community among all participants.

Here are some photo of yesterday’s events – Hugh and Kirk taking a bow after Mahler’s “Song of a Wayfarer,” Joel and Whitney during their Walkure duet, and me and Hugh in the Wednesday morning presentation of “Wagner’s Other Songs”.


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