Wagner's composition of Tristan und Isolde was inspired by the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer , as well as by Wagner's affair with Mathilde Wesendonck. Widely acknowledged as a pinnacle of the operatic repertoire, Tristan was notable for Wagner's unprecedented use of chromaticism, tonal ambiguity, orchestral colour and harmonic suspension.
The opera was enormously influential among Western classical composers and provided direct inspiration to composers such as Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg, and Benjamin Britten. Other composers like Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Igor Stravinsky formulated their styles in contrast to Wagner's musical legacy. Many see Tristan as a milestone on the move away from common practice harmony and tonality and consider that it lays the groundwork for the direction of classical music in the 20th century. Both Wagner's libretto style and music were also profoundly influential on the symbolist poets of the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Tristan - Wolfgang Windgassen
Isolde - Brigit Nilsson
Brangane - Christa Ludwig
King Mark - Martti Talvela
Kernvenal - Eberhard Waechter
The young fisherman - Peter Schreier
Orchestra and Chorus of Bayreuther Festspiele
Karl Bohm - conductor
PHILIPS (LIVE 1966)