The score of Tristan und Isolde has often been cited as a landmark in the development of Western music. In this score Wagner uses a remarkable range of orchestral colour, harmony and polyphony and does so with a freedom rarely found in his earlier operas. The very first chord in the piece is the so-called Tristan chord, often taken to be of great significance in the move away from traditional tonal harmony since it encompasses not one but two dissonances:
Sample Music Files:
Opera: Tristan und Isolde
Ensemble: Fulda Symphonic Orchestra
Prelude to "Tristan und Isolde"