Skip to comments.Don't be scared of Wagner
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 Wagners 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, dont tell me youre 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 sorcerers 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 were 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 Wagners plots?
A bigger problem is the Nazi associations.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
For trivia buffs, Wagner died in the building that now houses the Venice Casino.
Truth be told, “Entry of the Guests” from Tannhauser is about as good as it gets.
I have always liked Wagner, but then again, I am a sucker for sappy, sentimental music (according to my wife).
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!
“She’s his aunt!”
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.
To paraphrase a VW commercial years ago - “German composing is in the house!”
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...
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.
Your wife thinks Wagner is sappy and sentimental?
French horn? Don’t forget the Largo of Dvorak’s 9th!
Wagner’s genius has a lasting appeal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ll4qS4anGo
Excalibur’s symphonic ending
“I’m told that Wagner’s music is much better than it sounds” - Mark Twain
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.
“I love the sound of Wagner in the morning”
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