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A Love Meal with Richard Wagner

March 26, 2011 - 8:00 am


Conrad Susa, Professor San Francisco Conservatory of Music, will discuss the development of Richard Wagner’s choral writing beginning with Das Liebesmahl der Apostel  – The Love-Feast of Penticost and continuing on through the opera choruses in Lohengrin and eventually Parsifal.

Richard Wagner was still reveling in his sucess with the premiere of Rienzi in December 1842 and then a less successful debut of Flying Dutchman, both in Dresden.  Wagner was among the composers commissioned to write a works for a choral festival in Dresden.  He was asked to write a choral piece celebrating the Christian feast of Penticost, the birth of the Christian Church through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The work had it’s premiere on July 6, 1843 at the famed Dresdner Frauenkirche.  The performance was a massive event with 1,200 singers from all over Saxony and an orchestra numbering 100.  Although the concert was well received by the public, Wagner was disappointed, lamenting its “relatively feeble effect”.  The work is rarely performed but it gives clues into Wagners early inspiration for the works that followed.

Professor Susa will give a talk about this grand choral piece with musical examples from Das Liebesmahl der Apostel and other Wagner works.

Conrad Susa (b. 1935) was resident composer for the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and served as dramaturge for the O’Neill Center in Connecticut. He also has written numerous scores for documentary films and PBS television productions, choral and instrumental works and operas (Transformations, Black River and The Love of Don Perlimplín) commissioned by the Minnesota Opera Company, San Francisco Opera and Pepsico. His church opera The Wise Women, was written for the American Guild of Organists and The Dangerous Liaisons, for the San Francisco Opera.
Mr. Susa has served as staff pianist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and as assistant editor of Musical America magazine. He has won numerous awards, including Ford Foundation fellowships, National Endowment for the Arts grants and a National Endowment Consortium grant. He earned a B.F.A. from Carnegie Institute of Technology and received an M.S. from The Juilliard School, where he studied with William Bergsma, Vincent Persichetti, and P.D.Q. Bach.

Parking on-site $3.50 per hour  (max $15) or the $5 UCSF lot  or  street parking 

From the East Bay:  BART to Embarcadero and transfer to the MUNI #1 California line 





March 26, 2011
8:00 am

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