No other composer of his time stands for such an amazing creation other than the artwork of Richard Wagner. Wagner not only composed the music for his operas but also wrote his librettos himself. In addition, he designed and sketched the stage decorations as well as the equipment including the clothes of the protagonists. Such main features in Wagner’s music are the use of leading themes. These are often selected to individual important figures or places and are regarded as a musical thread in Wagner’s operas. The opera focuses on the contrast between holiness and godless love compared to the salvation through love; a main motif which is drawn by many of Wagner’s late works.
At the centre of the plot Tannhauser is a mortal who has found the way to Venus’s star, the home of the goddess Venus. Tannhauser, however, is getting increasingly tired of the pleasure in believing more and more to have found his salvation in Mary. When Tannhauser calls the name of Mary, the world of Venus disintegrates.
After the reconciliation with the knights, he then took part in a singing contest with them, where he also asked Elisabeth/ Mary? for the hand in marriage. The famous march to the arrival of the guests in the castle is the background of the present transcription for wind orchestra. (Edition Symphonic Works)