Tag Archives: classical music

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium 
Wagner’s Place in the Germanic Tradition
Part 2: The Story of Der Ring des Nibelungen

wotanfarewell133,462 words

Part 2 of 8

The Story of Der Ring des Nibelungen

For the uninitiated, I will now tell the story of the Ring, confining myself to essentials. Even the initiated would do well to read this summary, just to re-familiarize themselves with the story, as the account of Wagner’s use of the source material to follow will presuppose that one is well-acquainted with the events of all four operas. Read more …

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium 
Parsifal & the Possibility of Transcendence

hacker4,392 words

In 1878 Nietzsche sent a copy of his book Human, All Too Human to Richard Wagner. At the same time Wagner sent Nietzsche a copy of the verse for his opera Parsifal. Nietzsche was later to write that when received this text, “I felt as if I heard an ominous sound – as if two swords had crossed.”[1] Read more …

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium 
Wagner, Nietzsche, & the New Suprahumanist Myth, Part 3

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Part 3 of 3

IV.

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium 
Wagner, Nietzsche, & the New Suprahumanist Myth, Part 2

Wagner-Death-Mask-Syberberg-Parsifal2,373 words

Part 2 of 3

III.

Given the concept of “tendency,” it is easy to see an intimate relation between the work of Wagner and of Nietzsche. Read more …

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium 
Wagner, Nietzsche, & the New Suprahumanist Myth, Part 1

4,140 words

Richard Wagner, Gem. von Franz v.Stuck - Richard Wagner, Paint. by Franz v.Stuck -Part 1 of 3

“I simply said to you that Wagner was the greatest man who ever lived. I didn’t say that he was God himself, but I was tempted . . .”

– Pierre Louÿs (letter to Debussy)

“‘Let us look one century ahead, and let us suppose my attack against two thousand years of unnaturalness and the desecration of man should succeed. Read more …

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium 
Rage Against the Machine:
A Very American Ring Cycle

The great Wagner Machine--Siegfried and Brunnhilde in Goetterdaemmerung

The great Wagner Machine–Siegfried and Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung

2,427 words

It heaves and groans. It shimmies and clicks. One holds one breath during the best parts, hoping it will not malfunction and ruin the whole evening. One fears for the performers, halfway expecting it to devour them.

Read more …

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium 
My Wagner Problem—and Ours

1,880 words

wagner-nagano“Your themes — they almost always consist of even values, of half, quarter, eighth notes; they are syncopated and tied, to be sure, but nonetheless persevere in what is often a machinelike, stamping, hammering inflexibility and inelegance. Read more …

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium 
The Monster

Richard Wagner - New Pop Realism - Sebastian Krüger 1963 - Tutt'Art@1,717 words

He was an undersized little man, with a head too big for his body — a sickly little man. His nerves were bad. He had skin trouble. It was agony for him to wear anything next to his skin coarser than silk. And he had delusions of grandeur.  Read more …

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium 
Evil Genius:
Constructing Wagner as Moral Pariah, Part 4

A night at the opera: Adolf Hitler with Winifred Wagner, the daughter-in-law of Richard Wagner

A night at the opera: Adolf Hitler with Winifred Wagner, the daughter-in-law of Richard Wagner

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Part 4 of 4

Wagner and National Socialist Germany

Richard Wagner has long been reviled by Jews as the intellectual and spiritual precursor to Adolf Hitler who, according to William Shirer, once declared: “Whoever wants to understand National Socialist Germany must know Wagner.”[1] Read more …

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium 
Evil Genius:
Constructing Wagner as Moral Pariah, Part 3

Arno Breker, Bust of Richard Wagner

Arno Breker, Bust of Richard Wagner

2,360 words

Part 3 of 4

Wagner’s Music Dramas as Coded Anti-Semitism

T. W. Adorno and Wagner biographer Robert Gutman began a modern Jewish intellectual tradition Read more …

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