Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Don't be scared of Wagner
Daily Telegraph ^ | 5/20/2013 | Sameer Rahim

Posted on 05/21/2013 11:56:02 AM PDT by Borges

Wednesday marks 200 years since the birth of Richard Wagner, the most violently controversial musician in history. His Italian contemporary Verdi – born in the same year – is acknowledged as a genius for all time. But Wagner, though he has the more passionate advocates, also has the most determined detractors. Why, they complain, are his operas so heavy-sounding, so terribly long, so full of weird mythical figures? In short: why are they so German?

When I started going to the opera not so long ago, I was asked which work had drawn me to the art form. Perhaps people expected me to say a lyrical Rossini or delightful Mozart, because I got funny looks when I said it was Wagner’s final opera, Parsifal – the six-hour epic based on medieval legend, featuring the Holy Grail and a castrated sorcerer. “Oh,” said one woman I met, “don’t tell me you’re becoming one of those Wagnerians?” She could barely hide her distaste.

What I loved about Parsifal was that transcendent music was allied to superb drama. Parsifal, an innocent knight, battles his way into a sorcerer’s lair in order to rescue a holy spear. To succeed, he must reject the sexual temptation of the flower maidens who, like the Sirens of Greek mythology, send many a knight to his doom. It might sound a touch silly, but in an age when we’re happy to read deep meanings into fantasies such as The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, ­surely we can be open-minded about Wagner’s plots?

A bigger problem is the Nazi associations.

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS:
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-78 next last

1 posted on 05/21/2013 11:56:02 AM PDT by Borges
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: .30Carbine; 1cewolf; 1rudeboy; 31R1O; ADemocratNoMore; afraidfortherepublic; alarm rider; ...

Classical Ping


2 posted on 05/21/2013 11:57:34 AM PDT by Borges
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

For trivia buffs, Wagner died in the building that now houses the Venice Casino.


3 posted on 05/21/2013 12:01:00 PM PDT by rfp1234 (Arguing with a marxist is like playing Chess with a Pigeon.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

Truth be told, “Entry of the Guests” from Tannhauser is about as good as it gets.


4 posted on 05/21/2013 12:03:02 PM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (Blather. Reince. Repeat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colonel_Flagg

I have always liked Wagner, but then again, I am a sucker for sappy, sentimental music (according to my wife).


5 posted on 05/21/2013 12:05:48 PM PDT by Arkansas Toothpick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Borges

I’m weird.

I LIKE Wagner! LOL!

But I also like led Zeppelin, the Stones, Berlioz, Beethoven, Verdi, B.B. King, etc etc etc.

Many years ago, the Ring was broadcast on PBS for several nights running.

I watched EVERY minute of it! LOL!


6 posted on 05/21/2013 12:06:05 PM PDT by left that other site ((Ban the ubiquitous and deadly solvent, Di-hydrogen monoxide!!!))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Borges
Well for a start on Wagner, try

Anna Russell on 'Der Ring'

7 posted on 05/21/2013 12:06:36 PM PDT by eCSMaster ("God bless Planned Parenthood"- B.H.Obama, 2013)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: eCSMaster

“She’s his aunt!”


8 posted on 05/21/2013 12:07:32 PM PDT by eCSMaster ("God bless Planned Parenthood"- B.H.Obama, 2013)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Borges

I high school music class, we had to do a report on a composer. This was to be an oral report in front of the class.

I told the teacher I wanted to do Wagner, thinking his name sounded alot less foreign that the other composers, and I might be able to understand him. My teacher signed me up, without even correcting me on the pronunciation.

The little jerk was going to let me get up in front of the class as pronounce his name wrong. Luckily somebody corrected me before it got to that.

Anyway, I’ll never forget Wagner.


9 posted on 05/21/2013 12:17:06 PM PDT by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

To paraphrase a VW commercial years ago - “German composing is in the house!”


10 posted on 05/21/2013 12:18:09 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

As a former horn player, Sigfried’s theme, Til euilenspiegel, Tchaikovsky 4 (the opening), and the chorus from Mahler’s 1st, and any or the Gabrielli Canzoni, are near the tippy top of the musical food chain.....for french horn!

Yeah, left some stuff out, but the initial meme is Herr Wagner...

KYPD


11 posted on 05/21/2013 12:19:19 PM PDT by petro45acp (It's a fabian thing.....how do you boil a frog? How's that water feelin right about now?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

It has been said that Wagner would wear white gloves to conduct music written by Jewish composers, then remove them after the performance, throwing them on the stage to have them swept up later.


12 posted on 05/21/2013 12:20:02 PM PDT by windsorknot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges; a fool in paradise
In Before...


13 posted on 05/21/2013 12:20:21 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Arkansas Toothpick

Your wife thinks Wagner is sappy and sentimental?


14 posted on 05/21/2013 12:20:52 PM PDT by Borges
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Revolting cat!

http://www.johnspeedie.com/healy/lovely.wav


15 posted on 05/21/2013 12:26:02 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: petro45acp

French horn? Don’t forget the Largo of Dvorak’s 9th!


16 posted on 05/21/2013 12:29:11 PM PDT by mozarky2 (Ya never stand so tall as when ya stoop to stomp a statist!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Borges

Wagner’s genius has a lasting appeal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ll4qS4anGo

Excalibur’s symphonic ending


17 posted on 05/21/2013 12:33:16 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

“I’m told that Wagner’s music is much better than it sounds” - Mark Twain


18 posted on 05/21/2013 12:35:38 PM PDT by Hardastarboard (Buck Off, Bronco Bama)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mozarky2

Or Mozart’s Horn Concerto.

But back to Wagner, “Siegfried’s Funeral March” is awesome. John Williams borrowed heavily from Wagner for his “Star Wars” suite.


19 posted on 05/21/2013 12:35:44 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Arkansas Toothpick

“I love the sound of Wagner in the morning”

“Sounds like.....victory!”


20 posted on 05/21/2013 12:36:33 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: RedMonqey

“I love the sound of Wagner in the morning”

“Sounds like.....victory!”

Que in...

“The Ride of the Valkyries”


21 posted on 05/21/2013 12:38:28 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: petro45acp
As a former horn player

Me too. Did you ever play “Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral”? Unbelievable. Starts softly and the whole piece is one gradual crescendo. At the end you are blowing your heart out.

22 posted on 05/21/2013 12:46:52 PM PDT by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Borges; Revolting cat!
A bigger problem is the Nazi associations.

Isn't that like blaming the creator(s) of the good luck sign for Nazism and the "evil swastika"?

23 posted on 05/21/2013 12:47:19 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lacrew

Ask that teach if the president resides in the Vhite Haus.


24 posted on 05/21/2013 12:48:52 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Borges; Revolting cat!; Slings and Arrows
Wagner’s defenders are not helped by the vile anti-Semitism in the composer’s writings.

Didn't the Dixie Chicks movie Shut Up And Sing teach us ANYTHING? You aren't supposed to criticize or boycott an entertainer simply because of their politics or comments, no matter how offensive.

25 posted on 05/21/2013 12:52:25 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colonel_Flagg

Nothing was like the Bugs Bunny sendup “What’s Opera, Doc?”

It mixed in Fliegende Hollander, Die Walkure, and Tannhauser among others.

“Oh, Bwunhilde, you’re so wuvwy...”


26 posted on 05/21/2013 12:56:51 PM PDT by elcid1970 ("The Second Amendment is more important than Islam.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: elcid1970
“Oh, Bwunhilde, you’re so wuvwy...”

"Yes, I know it ... I can't hellllp it..."

27 posted on 05/21/2013 1:01:05 PM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (Blather. Reince. Repeat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise
Isn't that like blaming the creator(s) of the good luck sign for Nazism and the "evil swastika"?

It's more Wagner's book about the Jews than the fact that Hitler took him up. He wasn't quite "the Nazis favorite composer" -- plenty of Nazis were bored to death by the Bayreuth festival -- but he definitely had strong feelings against the Jews and certainly was a major influence on Hitler himself.

28 posted on 05/21/2013 1:02:04 PM PDT by x
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: elcid1970
Nothing was like the Bugs Bunny sendup “What’s Opera, Doc?”

Kwiww the wab-BIT!

Kwiww the wab-BIT!!
29 posted on 05/21/2013 1:03:49 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: left that other site

I like you.


30 posted on 05/21/2013 1:04:01 PM PDT by real saxophonist (If something is TRULY 'common sense', then a law about it is unneccesary.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Borges
Kill the Wabbit!!!


31 posted on 05/21/2013 1:13:39 PM PDT by DannyTN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges; mickie; oswegodeee; flaglady47; Bushbacker1; gonzo; hoosiermama; Chigirl 26; ...
Back in the day, my late husband was raised in a hard-working farm family in an era and location where music appreciation was relatively unknown and/or un-cared-for except for the pop hits of the day.

I decided to introduce him to live opera. I also decided NOT to introduce him to operatic music and drama via Wagner.

I bought tickets for a new and stunning production of "Madama Butterfly" at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago. It was the right move....he sat in his seat through all the acts as if mesmerized.

The Butterfly is a right choice for newbies to opera.....dramatic, melodic and colorful setting-wise.

I know if I brought him to a Wagnerian opera he'd never want to go again. I don't think he could have sat still that long...or could have sat through all the unmelodic recitatives.

The upshot of that lovely evening? He never asked to go to another opera again, anyhow....after all my planning and plotting.

Grrrr......

32 posted on 05/21/2013 1:14:50 PM PDT by MinuteGal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges
Although I love Parsifal more than any of the others, a couple of weeks ago I sent this in an email message to a friend:

After listening to the Act III finale of The Valkyrie, with the Magic Fire, over and over and over all weekend, I decided that Wagner was almost an addiction. I listen to the last 15 minutes, four times an hour, for hours on end. I am seriously worried about it. Perhaps no physical dependence, but there is definitely a psychological craving/dependence and tolerance--the more I listen, the more I crave to produce the same effect. It is even making music like Beethoven and Bach sound...plebeian. Now when it gets to that point, it's a pathology. I've always known that I was not quite normal, but this...has me worried.

33 posted on 05/21/2013 1:17:09 PM PDT by jammer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: left that other site

Those broadcasts care now available in DVD. I have the complete set.


34 posted on 05/21/2013 1:21:34 PM PDT by Publius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: RedMonqey
“Sounds like.....victory!”

It does sound like that, but...the Ring is, to me, quite the opposite of what is portrayed by Wagner's detractors. Even considering the ubermensch, Wotan is brought down by his own hubris and, ultimately for trading Freia for Valhalla.

35 posted on 05/21/2013 1:23:31 PM PDT by jammer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Borges

Do not like Wagner. Musician here. Music without cadences is like a run-on paragraph without punctuation.


36 posted on 05/21/2013 1:29:28 PM PDT by bboop (does not suffer fools gladly)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hardastarboard

Ha, I’m with Mark Twain.


37 posted on 05/21/2013 1:30:00 PM PDT by bboop (does not suffer fools gladly)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: bboop

It does have cadences. Just at the end of an Act of an Opera.


38 posted on 05/21/2013 1:31:57 PM PDT by Borges
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: jammer

Wotan was brought down by making shady deals with shady characters and not expecting to keep his end of the bargain.


39 posted on 05/21/2013 1:32:26 PM PDT by Borges
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: RedMonqey

“With my spear and my magic helmet!”

“Your spear and your magic helmet?”

“Yes...magic helmet! And I’ll give you a SAM-PLE....!!”

;^)


40 posted on 05/21/2013 1:42:13 PM PDT by elcid1970 ("The Second Amendment is more important than Islam.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: MinuteGal
I admit Wagner can be a bit thick(it is German, after all/s)but the only reason I got into it at the beginning because of it was a influence upon JRR Tolkien and his opus “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

Wagner was a gateway into the world of opera, I, like your husband, was raised in a rural area where Hank Williams was on the radio not Madame Butterfly.

Still, I ain't gonnin’ to see “Cats” no matter how good it is suppose to be/ lol

41 posted on 05/21/2013 1:48:43 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: elcid1970

(grins)


42 posted on 05/21/2013 1:52:34 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: jammer
It all in WHO is watching it.

Frankly some people hate just because they heard Hitler loved it or that Wagner was an anti Semite
Of these critics have a jaundiced eye towards it way before the opening of the first act.

It's their lost.

BTW The NY Metropolitan Opera did a great performance of the Der Ring des Nibelungen and the stage it was performed on almost outshone the actors. It, along with great lightening kept shifting like giant keys on a piano. Words fail me but one has to see it to appreciate the genius of it's workings...

If you like Wagner you gotta get a copy of this version of it.

43 posted on 05/21/2013 2:10:09 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Borges

I do love me some Tannhäuser.


44 posted on 05/21/2013 2:39:19 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Plan "B" is now Plan "A")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: left that other site
I’m weird.

Don't forget Leonard Cohen, Iron Butterfly & Queen.

45 posted on 05/21/2013 2:42:01 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Plan "B" is now Plan "A")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Revolting cat!

What was this thread about again?


46 posted on 05/21/2013 2:43:23 PM PDT by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: MinuteGal

I drug my ex to the HGO, she slept the first three years, then she got it.


47 posted on 05/21/2013 2:43:25 PM PDT by razorback-bert (I'm in shape. Round is a shape isn't it?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Borges

The Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde is brilliant...as is much his music. That he was a solid gold pr*ck is a separate issue.


48 posted on 05/21/2013 2:43:54 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: petro45acp

and the chorus from Mahler’s 1st”

Mahler’s 2nd, maybe (or 8th)?


49 posted on 05/21/2013 2:48:16 PM PDT by ConservativeDude
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: RedMonqey

That particular staging was shown in HD around the country at the cinema. I went to a few. Missed a few also, but will get the DVDs....


50 posted on 05/21/2013 2:51:53 PM PDT by ConservativeDude
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-78 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson