"Richard Wager’s Siegfried Idyll has such a wonderful quality. It’s a work I’ve conducted many times and there are elements that appear in his opera Siegfried, which I’ve also conducted. I love conducting it with a smaller number of string players. This brings the piece closer to how it was first composed for solo strings and performed in Wagner’s home for his wife Cosima on her birthday. Can you imagine receiving a birthday present that’s a new 18-minute piece by Wagner?" (Edo de Waart)
Wagner had organised for about 15 players to secretly rehearse the piece, and arrange themselves on the stairs leading to Cosima’s room. The whole family was so delighted by the work that it was performed twice more throughout the day. Inspired by his love of Cosima, his domestic happiness and Tribschen, the home they had built together in Lucerne, Switzerland, this work is certainly an intimate portrait.
Recorded 10 November 2017, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington by RNZ Concert
Producer: David McCaw
Enginner: Graham Kennedy