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Concert: Wagner, Baudelaire, and French Music!

Jeffrey Swann, piano; Jennifer Mondie - National Symphony Orchestra violist, viola; and WSWDC's Jim Holman(!), piano. Limited capacity; please register early.

Concert: Wagner, Baudelaire, and French Music!
Concert: Wagner, Baudelaire, and French Music!


May 12, 2024, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Arts Club of Washington, 2017 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA


Wagner’s stay in Paris 1860-1862 brought him to the attention of many important musicians such as Berlioz and Rossini, but most significantly the poet Baudelaire, who wrote about Wagner in rapturous terms. It was the beginning of Wagnerism as a movement that influenced Symbolism and Impressionism in art and music. 

This performance will explore French Wagnerism of this period, including a piano transcription of Tannhäuser’s Venusberg ballet by Liszt and Moszkowski, heavily edited by Maestro Swann, along with selections from Faure and Franck.

Click here to register:

Jeffrey Swann, piano; Jennifer Mondie - National Symphony Orchestra violist, viola; and WSWDC Chairman Jim Holman(!), piano  


Fauré:  Souvenir de Bayreuth (Fantasy in the Form of a Quadrille on Favorite Themes from Der Ring des Nibelungen)

Jeffrey Swann and Jim Holman

A satirical piece with Ring motives played by four hands; frequently performed by Fauré and his pupil (and co-composer) André Messager as a party piece.

Fauré:  Nocturne No. 6 in D♭ major, Op. 63 

Jeffrey Swann

Fauré wrote it after a six-year break from composing for the piano. Aaron Copland wrote that it was with this work that Fauré first fully emerged from the shadow of Chopin, and that "The breath and  dignity of the opening melody, the restless C sharp minor section which  follows (with the peculiar syncopated harmonies so often and so well  used by Fauré), the graceful fluidity of the third idea: all these  elements are brought to a stormy climax in the short development  section; then, after a pause, comes the return of the consoling first  page."

Wagner/Liszt/Moszkowski/Swann:    Prelude and Venusberg from Tannhäuser    

Jeffrey Swann

The Liszt transcription until the  Paris version starts, then segue into the Moszkowski Venusberg  transcription, with bridge and coda adaptations by Jeffrey Swann!  Jeffrey will discuss the birth of Wagnerism in France and the ensuing Bayreuth craze, followed by the difference between the 1845 overture and the 1861  Venusberg, and how it is reflected in the completely different  piano compositions of Liszt and Moszkowski.  


Franck:    Sonata in A Major for Viola and Piano

Jeffrey Swann and Jennifer Mondie

One of Franck's best-known compositions, and considered one of the finest sonatas for violin and piano ever written; also notable for the difficulty of its piano part. The viola part played by Jennifer Mondie is a transcription of the original violin part. 

Allegretto ben moderato


Recitativo - Fantasia:  Ben moderato

Allegretto poco mosso

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