Dr Takt is very familiar with the work and reveals to us its special moments.
Dr Takt on Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser/ Act II, 9th and 10th bar after figure 43
This is the 22nd episode in our series of videos with Dr Takt
After Tannhäuser confesses to having been in the Venusberg, the other singers are accusatory. Wagner creates a sense of this with fluctuating ascending and descending melodic arcs, sung alternatingly by choirs and soloists, and reinforced in the orchestra with a means of composition that only truly became more prevalent in the late 20th century: The tonal repetitions in the viola and cello notes are successively accelerated and slowed. Wagner notes these movements to the detail. He begins with a syncopated quarter-eighth figure, gradually accelerates it to hemidemisemiquavers, and then returns to the starting point. At the same time, he glides between the recurring single notes and the sound of a sustained tremolo here and there, providing support to the movement of the accusation against Tannhäuser. —