1831 Wagner Concert Overture No. 1 in D minor

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020

Wagner Concert Overture No. 1 in D minor 1831

Wagner, the teenage composer…

The Concert Overture No. 1 in D minor was composed between late summer and autumn 1831, about six months after Wagner had enrolled at Leipzig University to study music. You will read that he was a late developer, but that’s very misleading. As is true of Tchaikovsky, Wagner’s musical training was not consistent earlier. Most of his musical education was delayed, so the speed at which he developed once he got the help he needed was extraordinary.

Beethoven’s influence, also Carl Maria von Weber’s…

Wagner was hugely impressed by the music of Beethoven. He was born in 1813, and Beethoven died in 1926. His stepfather was strongly connect to Carl Maria von Weber, so that musical connection is also very obvious.

First heard on Christmas…

The piece was premiered on Christmas Day of 1831 in Leipzig, when it was probably conducted by Wagner’s new teacher, Heinrich Dorn.

Another unpublished work…

It did not appear in print until 1907, 24 years after his death. It is likely that Wagner thought the music was not original enough, or up to his later standards.

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