Wagner in America - World Premiere

Is Richard Wagner's bicentennial triggering performances to the point of saturation? In Washington, D.C., the composer who is being celebrated all over the world this year was presented from a fresh angle last Thursday (May 30). The German Women's Jazz Orchestra brought on the world premiere of a new composition titled "Wagner in America" by the Polish-German saxophon player and band leader Angelika Niesquier. The musicl theme of the one-hour piece, which had been commissioned by the German broadcast service "Deutsche Welle," was Wagner's opera "Parsifal," with a special emphasis on the female character of Kundry. The soloist of the performance was classically-trained mezzo Magdalena Wor, whose Kundry parts were underlaid with sounds of jazz. The fact that the music of Johann Sebastian Bach swings has been known certainly since the 1960s, when the Swingle Singers or pianist Jacques Loussier rose to fame, but what about Wagner and jazz? That, too, seems to work, as Georg Hirsch reports.

Listen (in German)

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