Daniel Barenboim and Elīna Garanča with Wagner’s “Wesendonck Lieder”

Daniel Barenboim (photo: Peter Adamik)

Richard Wagner paid tribute to her with his Tristan: Mathilde Wesendonck, the composer’s adored muse and the author of five poems which Wagner set to music in his Wesendonck Lieder. The work, heard with two prominent artists in this performance – Daniel Barenboim and mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča – features texts full of yearning and dreams, for which Wagner found a new, insistent harmony. César Franck was deeply impressed by Wagner and virtuosically combined his style with an unmistakable French tone – for example, in his most important work, the late Romantic Symphony in D minor.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Daniel Barenboim conductor

Elīna Garanča mezzo-soprano

Gabriel Fauré

Pelléas et Mélisande, Orchestral Suite, op. 80

Richard Wagner

Wesendonck Lieder (orch. by Felix Mottl and Richard Wagner)

Elīna Garanča mezzo-soprano

César Franck

Symphony in D minor

Dates and Tickets


Daniel Barenboim

At the age of eleven, Daniel Barenboim saw Edwin Fischer conducting from the piano. It was immediately clear to him: “That's exactly what I want to do!” And so it happened that the young master pianist, who had already performed in public in his native Buenos Aires at the age of eight, also embarked on a conducting career – as the youngest member of Igor Markevitch’s conducting class. Daniel Barenboim made his conducting debut in 1967 and in the following years took on leading positions with the Orchestre de Paris, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and La Scala in Milan before becoming artistic director and general music director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in 1992. Together with the Palestinian-American literary scholar Edward Said, he founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which represents tolerance and international understanding more than any other ensemble. In 2015, he also founded the Berlin Barenboim-Said Academy, which nurtures outstanding young musicians from the Middle East. Since his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker as a soloist in 1964 and his conducting debut in 1969, Barenboim has enjoyed a decades-long artistic partnership with the orchestra, which appointed him an honorary member in 1992 and honorary conductor in 2019: “Even as a child, the Berliner Philharmoniker were a model for me of how an orchestra could and should sound. Their unmistakable sound blew me away even then.”

Elīna Garanča

Does she post selfies? “I hate selfies!” Instagram, Facebook, social media? “I don’t like this part of the profession. But as soon as I go on stage, sing, hear music, this smell in the theatre – then I say to myself: No, I don’t want anything else.” Elīna Garanča likes to concentrate on the most important thing – the music – and her repertoire ranges from the Baroque to Wagner. “Only a mere handful of singers,” The Daily Telegraph wrote, “combine beauty of voice, technical excellence and searching musicianship alongside that indefinable magic called charisma or star quality – but among that supreme élite Elīna Garanča must surely have a high place.” The Latvian mezzo-soprano – today one of the greatest stars of the classical music world – began her career at the Meiningen Theatre and the Frankfurt Opera. Engagements in Vienna, London, New York, Baden-Baden and Munich followed, as well as the most renowned festivals worldwide. Elīna Garanča also appears in concerts with leading orchestras and conductors. She made her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in June of 2008 and has been a frequent guest since then, most recently at the Europakonzert in Liepāja, Latvia, in 2022. In April of 2021 she celebrated her long-awaited debut as Kundry in a new production of Wagner’s Parsifal at the Vienna State Opera, where she has sung in more than 160 performances in 18 different roles since her first appearance there in 2003.

Elīna Garanča (photo: Deutsche Grammophon)

Love’s Kiss

Richard Wagner adored Mathilde Wesendonck. About a fateful encounter