The railway picks up speed in the nineteenth century, technology encroaches on more and more areas of everyday life – and what about the composers? They are discovering a new mechanics of feelings. Not only the orchestras are getting bigger, but the voices are too: Pietro Mascagni's verism anticipates film editing, while with Wagner we find the opposite. His endlessly flowing music encompasses heroes and harmonies alike, dispenses with arias and is teeming with leitmotifs that give voice to the unconscious long before the advent of modern psychology. With Thomas Hengelbrock, Teodor Currentzis, and Antonello Manacorda, the Autumn Festival will feature three conductors who are known for their uncompromising approach. Pursuing a sound ideal that eschews routine, they shuttle back and forth between large orchestras and their own ensembles. Their historical forerunner: Hector Berlioz, who unleashed the Romantic orchestra and invented the symphonic artist drama with his Symphonie fantastique. Berlioz also coined the term “festival” – in Baden-Baden, incidentally. An “idée fixe” that continues to bear fruit today.