Mastodon 2012 - The Wagnerian

Wagner Journal


Featured Book


Follow TheWagnerian on Twitter


Powered by Blogger.


 Twylah Fan Page

Updated: Complete Ring Cycles Productions: 2013

Written By The Wagnerian on Monday 31 December 2012 | 10:34:00 am

Rheingold, Bayreuth 1876

Only productions that have at least announced their principle casts have been included. As always, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any listing and recommend that you check with the box office before booking. We will attempt to add video and photos as time allows.  If you believe we have missed a production - and we have no doubt that that is the case -  please get in touch and let us know: where, when and who.

10:34:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

Contributors/Articles Wanted

Written By The Wagnerian on Friday 28 December 2012 | 10:20:00 pm

Over time, we have found some of our best articles, reviews,  monographs and academic papers  submitted by external sources. With that in mind, we would like to extend an official and open invitation to anyone who would like to contribute articles, papers, reviews, etc. In keeping with our rather idiosyncratic style - and the best interests of philosophical anarchist thought (one feels Wagner would have been pleased) - there are few rules regarding submission within the outlines explained below:

The item must relate to Wagner, his live, works, etc.
The item must be of interest to those with an interest in Wagner - even if only casually.
The item must be submitted in English.

Although all submissions will of course be read, we cannot guarantee using everything submitted - but will try our best.

Alas, the author will receive no monetary reward but will have our undying gratitude - and your name "in lights".

Submissions please to the following address:

10:20:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Watch Glyndebourne's Tristan und Isolde now & free.

Written By The Wagnerian on Wednesday 26 December 2012 | 5:48:00 pm

If  you missed our earlier article on this Glyndebourne's first Tristan und Isolde, it is now being streamed free live at the Guardian's website. Available till the 6 January 2013. We could think of much worse ways to spend a Boxing Day evening


Conductor: Jiří Bĕlohlávek
Director: Nikolaus Lehnhoff
Set and Lighting Designer: Roland Aeschlimann
Costume Designer: Andrea Schmidt-Futterer
Associate Lighting Designer: Robin Carter
Assistant Director: Daniel Dooner

Cast includes:
Isolde: Nina Stemme
Brangäne: Katarina Karnéus
Kurwenal: Bo Skovhus
Tristan: Robert Gambill
Melot: Stephen Gadd
King Marke: René Pape
Young Sailor/Shepherd: Timothy Robinson
Steersman: Richard Mosley-Evans

London Philharmonic Orchestra
The Glyndebourne Chorus
5:48:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

The Third Man? Both Barry Millington & Wagner Society Victoria reply

We have noted what has become in some quarters a rather "heated" debate about a Daguerreotype found by the Kaplan Collection which they believe maybe the earliest photograph of Wagner (at 30) so far found. We have also, noted the Wagner Society's (London) balanced analysis of the image and its history which can be found here. Now, Peter Bassett of the Victoria Wagner Society has published an article which seems to prove that the image in question could not possibly be that of Richard Wagner. Using close analysis and pursuing the historical records, Peter seems to prove that the image could not have been taken before 1855 - while Wagner was in exile in Switzerland. The full article can , and should in our opinion, be read here.

On a related note - but not connected to either of the analysis already cited - Barry Millington (editor of the Wagner Journal and author of a new book on Wagner and his works:  Wagner: The Sorcerer Of Bayreuth) has recently been in contact and made the following statement:

"For the subject of an anonymous daguerreotype to be identified with Wagner, you would expect as a basic minimum that there would be a facial resemblance. Albert Kaplan's picture unfortunately bears no resemblance to any known portrait or photograph of Wagner. He's not deterred, however, even by the dimple, but is there even any history of attribution to Wagner? Apparently not. Mr Kaplan acquired the picture and decided immediately that it was Wagner. What can one say? "

4:43:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

A Digital Christmas Card from the Wagnerian: Kirsten Flagstad, Eugene Ormandy,: Ah, Perfido (1937)

Written By The Wagnerian on Monday 24 December 2012 | 7:09:00 am

Yes, it's that time of year again, and as I hate wasting paper (all those poor trees) you, regular readers (and contributors, bloggers,  re-tweeters, artists, houses, etc especially) , get a digital Christmas card . From 1937, with Eugene Ormandy, conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra, the legend that is Kirsten Flagstad, sings Beethoven's lesser heard "Ah, Perfido" in a wonderfully clear recording. Yours to download free (courtesy of, as it's in the public domain. Well, you know how mean I am ).

Happy Christmas, and all that other hum bug!


The Festspielhaus while under construction

BEETHOVEN: Ah, Perfido!, Op. 65

Kirsten Flagstad, soprano
Philadelphia Orchestra
Eugene Ormandy, conductor

Victor 78rpm Album M-439 (14844, 1879)
Recorded October 17, 1937
Digital transfer by F. Reeder
Creative Commons license: Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0

Download by clicking here: - BEETHOVEN - Ah, Perfido 8.0 MB(MP3 Vbr) (hosted at

Found here

Lyrics (Not very christmassy I know, but hey!)

BEETHOVEN: Ah, Perfido!, Op. 65

Ah! perfido, spergiuro,
Barbaro traditor, tu parti?
E son questi gl'ultimi tuoi congedi?
Ove s'intese tirannia più crudel?
Va, scellerato! va, pur fuggi da me,
L'ira de' numi non fuggirai.
Se v'è giustizia in ciel, se v'è pietà,
Congiureranno a gara tutti a punirti!
Ombra seguace, presente, ovunque vai,
Vedrò le mie vendette,
Io già le godo immaginando.
I fulmini ti veggo già balenar d'intorno.
Ah no! Fermate, vindici Dei!
Risparmiate quel cor, ferite il mio!
S'ei non è più qual era, son io qual fui,
Per lui vivea, voglio morir per lui!

Per pietà, non dirmi addio!
Di te priva che farò?
Tu lo sai, bell'idol mio!
Io d'affanno morirò.

Ah crudel! Tu vuoi ch'io mora!
Tu non hai pietà di me?
Perchè rendi a chi t'adora
Così barbara mercè?
Dite voi se in tanto affanno
Non son degna di pietà?
Ah! You treacherous, faithless,
barbaric traitor, you leave?
And is this your last farewell?
Where did one hear of a crueller tyranny?
Go, despicable man! Go, flee from me!
You won't flee from the wrath of the gods.
If there is justice in heaven, if there is pity,
all will join forces in a contest to punish you.
I follow your trail! I am wherever you go,
I will live to see my revenge,
I already take my delight in it in my imagination.
I already see you surrounded by flashes of lightning.
Alas! Pause, avenging gods!
Spare that heart, wound mine!
If he is not what he was, I am still what I was.
For him I lived, for him I want to die!

Have mercy, don't bid me farewell,
what shall I do without you?
You know it, my beloved idol!
I will die of grief.

Ah, cruel man! You want me to die!
Don't you have pity on me?
Why do you reward the one who adores you
in such a barbaric way?
Tell me, if in such a grief
I do not deserve pity?

 Translation © Bertram Kottmann
(Please see here for more of Mr Kottmann's wonderful translations)
7:09:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

Wagner at the 30? The Wagner Society speaks

Written By The Wagnerian on Friday 21 December 2012 | 12:31:00 am

"In March 1844 Richard Wagner was 30 and living in Dresden. In his autobiography, Mein Leben, he recounts “no recollections of any importance in [early] 1844 other than two enterprises: the first to Berlin early in the year, for the production of my fliegender Holländer, and the other in March to Hamburg for Rienzi” Ken Sunshine: Wagner News 

We often receive many replies to articles published here (so much so that we are thinking of a producing a "letter to the editor page") but nothing seems to have stirred as many replies - or indeed controversy - as The Kaplan Collections proposed photo of a 30 year old Wagner, as reported here. We will publish more on this later but for now would like to draw your attention to a wonderfully lucid examination presented in the Wagner Society (London) "Wagner News" written by their Webmaster Ken Sunshine -  the opening of which is quoted above.

This has now been made freely available to none Society members and can be read by following the link below. Highly recommended.

Read the full article here:  Wagner at 30?
12:31:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

Is this the earliest photo of Richard Wagner?

Written By The Wagnerian on Saturday 15 December 2012 | 11:54:00 am

The Kaplan Collection have published the daguerreotype below -  taken in either March or April 1844. Making an not unreasoned argument, Kaplan suggests that this may well be the earliest photograph of Wagner found so far. Before dismissing it completely,  might we suggest you investigate the argument, evidence and a detailed examination of the daguerreotyp, its origin and restoration by visiting The Kaplan Collection where the publisher also seeks feedback

11:54:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

Watch act 3 of ROH Walkure internationally and on demand

Written By The Wagnerian on Wednesday 12 December 2012 | 8:27:00 pm

As part of the new partnership between the Guardian and the ROH, the Guardian website will broadcast Act 3 of this years Walkure - from multiple and unusual perspectives.

On January 7th 2013, visitors to the site will be able to view and listen to Walkure (recorded earlier this year) from one of 3 perspectives available on three separate but simultaneous streams: from cameras backstage, cameras following Antonio Pappano in the pit or cameras giving a wide angle view of the stage.

This will be included in a day of events on the Guardian's website starting at 10:30 and finishing at 9:00 pm (GMT).

8:27:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Johannes Debus to take the baton from Jiří Bělohlávek : Tristan und Isolde, Canadian Opera Company

Toronto – Canadian Opera Company Music Director Johannes Debus conducts his first Tristan und Isolde when he leads the COC Orchestra and Chorus this winter in the company’s production of Wagner’s epic masterpiece. He replaces Jiří Bělohlávek, who has regrettably withdrawn due to health reasons.

“Jiří Bělohlávek is one of the foremost conductors in the world and I regret that he will not be making his COC debut at this time. When my appointment to the COC was announced in 2008, Jiří was one of the first people to contact me about coming to work with the company, and he has an open invitation to conduct one of our productions in the future,” says COC General Director Alexander Neef. “I am very grateful to Johannes for agreeing to take over for Jiří, especially on such short notice. Tristan und Isolde is one of the most revolutionary and influential works in music history and it is the rare conductor who can command the piece with the necessary skill and musicianship. I look forward to watching Johannes lead his first Tristan on the COC’s opening night in January.”
8:01:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Trailer: Lohengrin - Teatro alla Scala 2012-2013

Written By The Wagnerian on Tuesday 11 December 2012 | 6:50:00 pm

11, 14, 18, 21, 27 December 2012


Lohengrin - Jonas Kaufmann
Elsa - Anja Harteros / Annette Dasch
Telramund - Tomas Tomasson
Ortrud - Evelyn Herlitzius
Heinrich der Vogler - René Pape
King's Herald - Zeljko Lucic

Conductor: Daniel Barenboim
Director: Claus Guth
Set Designs: Christian Schmidt 

6:50:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Wagner makes the front pages of the Italian media - again

Written By The Wagnerian on Monday 10 December 2012 | 5:53:00 am

"This choice is a smack for Italian art, a blow for national pride in a moment of crisis,"  Corriere della Sera

One hundred and fifty years after they helped forge their home nations' ideas of pride and patriotism, Wagner and Verdi have proved they can still provoke a bust-up between Germany and Italy.

As opera houses around the world gear up to celebrate the 200th birthdays of the composers – they were both born in 1813 – the decision by Milan's La Scala to seemingly overlook its local hero and instead open its season on Friday with Wagner's Lohengrin has sparked angry criticism.

The theatre's decision to opt for Wagner, whose pounding operas were the soundtrack for German unification, over Verdi, whose uplifting works inspired Italy's own Risorgimento, comes as Italians feel the bite of austerity policies they see as dictated by Berlin, a humiliation lightened only by Italy's beating of Germany in the European championships this summer.

"This choice is a smack for Italian art, a blow for national pride in a moment of crisis," Milan's daily newspaper, Corriere della Sera, declared, claiming there was disquiet in the orchestra at La Scala, where Verdi made his professional debut. "Would the Germans have inaugurated a Wagnerian year with a work by Verdi?" asked the paper.

Peter Conrad, the British author of Verdi and/or Wagner, a study of the lives of both men, agrees. "As La Scala's musical director and a Wagner specialist, [Daniel] Barenboim has put his tastes ahead of Italy's," he told the Guardian. "This reminds me of how a German banker paid for a bust of Wagner to go up in Venice at the start of the 20th century before the local town hall then shamefully put up one of Verdi next to it. Italy gets trampled on because it is not good at celebrating its own culture."

However, Stéphane Lissner, La Scala's general manager, pointed out that next year the theatre will stage five works by Wagner against eight by Verdi and open next season with Verdi's La Traviata, "which is chronologically exact, because Verdi was born in October, while Wagner was born in May," he said. "The rest is just stupidity and ignorance." Moreover, Barenboim – a Wagner expert – was only free this month, he added.

Barenboim has chimed in, saying: "What difference does it make inaugurating the season with one or the other when almost all the works of both will get performed?"

Continue Reading at: The Guardian

5:53:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

Dijon Opera announce new Ring Cycle in 2013 - in two days!

Written By The Wagnerian on Saturday 8 December 2012 | 1:04:00 pm

Dijon Opera have announced that in 2013 they will perform an entirely new, fully staged Ring Cycle in a festival lasting just two days! Each day will see performances of two of Wagner's Dramas: Rheingold and Walkure on day one followed by Siegfried and Götterdämmerung on day two.

In an laudable attempt to make Wagner accessible to more people, seats prices will range from 5 euros to 25 euros for a full cycle. Top seat prices at 150 Euros for a full cycle. What looks like a fine cast will include Daniel Brenna - a performer whose lyrical Siegfried we have enjoyed greatly on the past.

And the "concept and theme" that informs this cyclce? A very interesting one it would seem  In the words of Dijon Opera:

1:04:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Video: Jonas Kaufmann In Conversation

Originally brought to our attention by the always excellent Sounds and Fury. In English - despite the French titles. And if you have access to Spotify...

12:21:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Jonathan Harvey: 3 May 1939 - 4 December 2012,

Written By The Wagnerian on Thursday 6 December 2012 | 1:49:00 pm

Included below is both part of the obituary in yesterdays Guardian and his opera about Wagner's last few minutes - Wagner Dream. If you are in the UK in 2013 WNO will be performing Wagner Dream for the first time fully staged in the UK. More information here (Trailer below). Last year we also reprinted an explanation he gave regarding the composition of Wagner Dream - that can be found by clicking this link

The composer Jonathan Harvey, who has died aged 73 after suffering from motor neurone disease, was unique in the way he put digital technology and a strenuously rational approach to music at the service of a deeply spiritual message. In terms of international profile and honours, Harvey's status was almost on a par with his slightly older colleagues Harrison Birtwistle and Peter Maxwell Davies. While they have always been in the news, thanks to their pugnaciously unfashionable views and hard-edged modernism, Harvey's rise was so inconspicuous that even the musical world seemed not to realise just how eminent he had become.
1:49:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Wagner Spotify Playlist: Wagner Complete Operas (DG: 2012)

Written By The Wagnerian on Sunday 2 December 2012 | 5:01:00 am

We have already mentioned the DG "Wagner: The Complete Operas" If you are thinking of buying it but would like to listen to it first , or if you are like us and just wanted,yet another, quick Wagner playlist for your Ipod then the entire set is now available on Spotify (our apologies for a number of readers that do not have access to Spotify)

The other Wagner Box set that you might be interested in - Wagner's Vision" - is also available but alas, Spotify's meta-tagging is so poor we are struggling to collect it all. Once we have, we will make the playlist available to you.

But for now:

5:01:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

Available Again: Ring Resounding: The Recording of Der Ring Des Nibelungen (Preview)

Written By The Wagnerian on Thursday 29 November 2012 | 10:00:00 pm

Random House have reissued John Culshaw's 1968 book on the making of the Solti Ring. Available in both paperback and Ebook formats. Below, is one of Google Books generous previews.

Nothing in the history of recording approaches Decca's mammoth venture in producing Wagner's Ring complete for the first time. It was eight years in the making and this book tells the story of how it was made and the people who made it, written by the man who - as the recording producer - was in charge of the whole project.

Conducted by the great Georg Solti, Decca's recording has been voted the best recording ever made. All the celebrated Wagner singers of their age take their places in the story, including Birgit Nilsson, Kirsten Flagstad, Hans Hotter, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Gottlob Frick and Wolfgang Windgassen. The recording was made in Vienna with the Viennese Philharmonic Orchestra, and Culshaw displayed extraordinary dedication to Wagner's musical requirements and to putting into practice his own belief that a stereo recording could create a 'theatre of the mind'.

This is the story of how the recording evolved, and how it frequently almost came to grief. More than that, it is the story of how a new medium - recorded opera in stereo - reached fulfilment, and how this ground-breaking recording became seen as the highly influential gold standard for the future.
10:00:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Book Review: Richard Wagner’s Women - "We know no one crueller"

Originally published in Times Literary Supplement and made available by the author,  under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

In her book Richard Wagner’s Women Eva Rieger examines the presentation of feminine-gendered qualities in both female and male characters in Wagner’s operas. Her focus is on negatively construed feminine qualities, but in this TLS review I suggest that feminine characters like Isolde, Brünnhilde, and the ‘feminine’ figure of Hans Sachs all occupy the Lacanian position of the hysterical subject who sees that the irresolvable lack in their own character is reflected by the inconsistency of the big Other. Their rejection of the big Other’s limited range of ideological scripts makes them truly feminist characters, whose proposed solutions to the deadlock of modern sexual relations are so radical that we perpetually choose to cover them over with fantasies.

J. P. E. Harper-Scott

Review of Eva Rieger, Richard Wagner’s Women (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2011). Published in the Times Literary Supplement, 18 May 2012, p. 13.

In a vital sense, women were for Wagner the chief means of achieving revolutionary change. The most obvious artistic examination of the tension between the bourgeois fantasy of marriage and Wagner’s sympathy for revolutionary overthrow of existing economic and social structures takes place in what Rieger calls ‘the feminine realm of love’.
Reminding us that intellectual, moral, and political superiority is traditionally assigned to the masculine and inferiority to the feminine, in Richard Wagner’s Women Rieger traces the presentation of masculine and feminine qualities, in stage characters of both sexes, across the operas from Rienzi to Parsifal, as a way of demonstrating Wagner’s commitment to his society’s belief in the essential link between feminine gender roles and flesh-and-blood women. Time and again the role played by women tends towards ‘sacrifice, pain and negation’, with Senta (Der fliegende Holländer) and Elisabeth (Tannhäuser) being typical cases. By contrast, those women who seek a higher political or sexual status than their sex ‘essentially’ allows them conform to the misogynist stereotype of the harridan. ‘In the whole of history we know no one crueller than the political woman’, Wagner wrote to Liszt about Ortrud in Lohengrin. Certainly no female political leader who adopted such a ‘cruel’ Wagnerian mantle could do anything but bad for women’s political representation.
Men are typically represented by strident, masterly music, or else (as often with Wotan) music of great nobility. The strong, brassy orchestration and on-stage phallic props (swords and spears abound) add to the sense of their essential and natural domination of women – whose contrastingly drooping melodic lines and softer woodwind or string accompaniment Rieger frequently highlights. Men who adopt feminine qualities are either rejected as of little account (as Erik in The Flying Dutchman, whom Senta guiltlessly rejects in favour of the more thrusting and dangerous Dutchman) or else satisfyingly killed off (Siegmund ‘must die’ because he falls too deeply into the ‘feminine’ world of love). Conversely, the wickedness of men is excused so their predominance can be maintained. For instance, Siegfried’s betrayal of Brünnhilde is forgiven because he was acting under the influence of a magic potion.
All this is astute but, as may already be obvious, Rieger seems unwilling to conceive of positive expressions of feminine-gendered qualities, and it is this failing that prevents her from answering the excellent question she poses towards the beginning: how can we love Wagner’s music despite its apparent misogyny? The answer is that, just as he does with his anti-Semitism, Wagner subverts his insupportable message at the same time as he enunciates it. Specifically, it is the stereotypically ‘feminine’ figure of the hysteric who rejects the world whom later Wagner considers the greatest and most insightful figure of all.
The central character of Die Meistersinger, Hans Sachs, is one of the most interesting of Wagner’s hysterical ‘women’, and typical of his conception of the role of the ‘feminine’ in his later work (after Das Rheingold). Rieger notes that Sachs renounces his love for Elsa in order that the younger man, Walther, can win her in the song contest (like Freia, Isolde, and Brünnhilde before her, Elsa is in important respects just an exchange-value). But while she draws out the Schopenhauerian resonance of much of late Wagner’s renunciations – that of Tristan and Isolde being only the most famous – Rieger misses the more striking fact that Wagner’s great later characters do not renounce love as such but rather the delusion that existing templates for its acting-out, which build female subjection into their core, are a guarantor of universal human happiness (‘Wahn, Wahn, überall Wahn!’, ‘Delusion, everywhere!’, is Sachs’s characteristic reflection).
Two of the last of Wagner’s ‘women’ to accede to the fantasy of stable erotic union are Siegmund and Siegfried; their ends are, significantly, shaped not by choice but by force. Isolde, Brünnhilde, and Sachs, by contrast, achieve their radically different ends by their own volition. Isolde rejects life itself as the essential framework for human suffering, but Brünnhilde goes a step further. She returns the Ring to the Rhinemaidens from whom it was stolen in the form of primordial gold, and so reverses the process by which nature was metabolized into a surplus value that sustained male power – which is to say that she destroys the capitalist economy of her world. Since, in the Ring, women are merely something to be exchanged for gold (as with Freia) or lain defenceless on a rock to be raped and taken by the first man to find them (Brünnhilde’s own fate), they function as erotic commodities, valuable insofar as they are sexually desirable to more powerful men. Having relieved Wotan of his commitment to the pursuit of social power, Brünnhilde’s final act is to throw herself, the female erotic commodity, onto the fire along with everything else. It is therefore strange for Rieger to claim that Brünnhilde achieves nothing because ‘the love of women for their men is hardly going to create a new society. On the contrary, those same men, strengthened by love, can continue their dominance – a dominance grounded on the pursuit of power.’ The world of power mediated through commodity exchange and propped up by the faithful love of women is precisely what Brünnhilde has destroyed. There can be no return of the same.
Our reluctance to swallow Wagner’s vision entirely is perhaps best illustrated by Sachs himself. Although we, like the people of Nuremberg who hail him with the last words of the opera, recognize his greatness and probably even nod sagely at his diagnosis of universal delusion, in the closing minutes Walther’s gorgeous prize song and the final choral big sing bring us ineluctably back into the presence of the fantasies that he implores us to reject. We succumb again to the surreptitious promptings of perpetual, devoted marital love, the wisdom of youth’s erotic vision, and finally the smokescreen of social cohesion that smoothes over tensions within human society (the controversial final paean to the German spirit) – knowing full well that Sachs is right about its emptiness yet nevertheless wanting to retain the psychological benefits of the fantasy. Greater sensitivity to this kind of psychological ambivalence in Wagner’s music would have made this a much more satisfactory study.
As it is, readers dismissive of feminism will doubtless find the language of ‘phallocentrism’, ‘patriarchy’, and ‘gendering’ offensive, while readers who are at home in the discourse will find the arguments a little shallow. As an introduction to how music reflects cultural assumptions about gender this book has value, but as an examination of the ways that music can criticize of those assumptions, it lacks imagination.
7:22:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Salzburg Summer Festival 2013 to include Die Meistersinger and Rienzi,

Written By The Wagnerian on Tuesday 27 November 2012 | 11:49:00 pm

Better late than never? Blame an ailing memory.

Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
New production


2, 9, 12, 20, 24 27 August 2013


Hans Sachs - Michael Volle
Veit Pogner - Georg Zeppenfeld
Sixtus Beckmesser - Markus Werba
Fritz Kothner - Oliver Zwarg
Walther von Stolzing - Roberto Saccà
David - Peter Sonn
Eva  - Anna Gabler
Magdalene - Monika Bohinec

Conductor: - Daniele Gatti
Director: - Stefan Herheim
Set Designs: - Heike Scheele
Costumes:  - Gesine Völlm
Lighting:  - Olaf Freese


Concert performance


11, 14 August 2013


Cola Rienza - Christopher Ventris
Irene - Emily Magee
Stefano Colonna - Georg Zeppenfeld
Adriano - Sophie Koch
Paolo Orsini - Martin Gantner
Baroncelli - Benjamin Bernheim
Cecco del Vecchio - Oliver Zwarg

Conductor - Philippe Jordan

Full Details: Salzburg 2013
11:49:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Full Wagner drama to be performed for the first time in the Middle East - 2013

The Lebanese Al Bustan Festival brings the first Wagner opera to the Middle East for its 20th Anniversary

Artistic Director Gianluca Marciano and president Myrna Bustani celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Al Bustan Festival by bringing a stellar lineup of soloists and ensembles to Lebanon including Anna Tifu, Gautier Capuçon, Boris Berezovsky, Paco Pena, Nino Surguladze and Khatia Buniatishvili. 2013 will mark the 200th anniversaries of Verdi and Wagner and the Festival is celebrating by inviting the Russian company Helikon Opera to perform Das Liebesverbot, the first performance of a Wagner opera in the Middle East.

The major festival is held annually in the Emile Bustani Auditorium and the Crystal Garden conservatory at Al Bustan in Beyt Meri, just outside Beirut. It delivers more than thirty performances each year spanning opera, dance, orchestral and chamber music, not to mention the education and workshop programmes for the Beirut Conservatoire. The Festival has a history of commissioning contemporary composers such as John Taverner, Naji Hakim and Roxanna Panufnik.

The programme for the 20th anniversary opens on Tuesday 19 February with young Italian violinist Anna Tifu and Russian cellist Boris Andrianov performing the Brahms double concerto, Brahms Violin Concerto and Elgar Cello Concerto. They will be joined by the Al Bustan Festival Orchestra, conducted by Gianluca Marciano. Brahms will also be represented in a concert of chamber music by the Wiener Kammersoloisten on Tuesday 26 February. Their programme includes Bach and Mozart Fugues and the Mozart Quintet K 581. Other highlights include Boris Berezovsky performing a recital on Monday 18 March and two performances of Verdi’s Requiem on Saturday 23 March and 25 March including sinders Nino Surguladze and Askar Abdrazakov. The Festival closes with a special gala concert on Thursday 28 March also including Nino Surguladze, Joyce El Khoury and Christina Nassif.

Richard Wagner’s early opera Das Liebesverbot was largely forgotten and only performed twice in the composer’s lifetime due to the shambolic first and second performances. The first was poorly attended with the lead singer forgetting their words and the second had to be cancelled after a fist fight between the prima donna’s husband and a leading tenor. The piece deals with many themes of restrained sexuality and erotics, something which Wagner would explore further in later operas, and is a comedy with the conclusion being an orgiastic riot at curtain fall. It is often known as the ‘forgotten comedy’, falling in shadow behind his later 1868 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. The Russian company Helikon Opera, a group specialising in unconventional productions, will give the Al Bustan Festival performance on Friday 8 March. The company have a long-standing relationship with the Festival, having performed a total of 12 operas since 1996.

Founded by former Lebanese MP Myrna Bustani in 1994, the Al Bustan Festival has enjoyed twenty years of the highest quality music making. Over the years, the Festival has invited artists such as Maria Ewing, Angelika Kirschlager, Evelyn Glennie, Helikon Opera, the Jacques Loussier Trio, Irek Mukhamedov, June Anderson, the Labeque sisters, Sumi Jo, Gautier Capuçon, Antoni Wit and the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. The Festival’s Artistic Director is Italian-born conductor Gianluca Marciano.

11:17:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

DW to celebrate Wagner Bicentennial on Internet, TV and DVD

Deutsche Welle (DW) is celebrating the upcoming 200th anniversary of German composer Richard Wagner's birth on May 22, 2013 with the TV and DVD production The Colón Ring and with a special multimedia project.

"The 200th anniversary of the artist's birth is one of the defining cultural events of 2013 - and therefore it is also at the center of the German international broadcaster's cultural reporting," said DW Director General Erik Bettermann.

To mark the anniversary, Latin America's biggest opera house, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, is putting together a unique project. A world premiere of Wagner's monumental music drama The Ring of the Nibelung will be staged for the first time in one day, in a seven-hour shortened version - an adaptation by Hamburg musicologist Cord Garben. The production will be directed by Valentina Carrasco from Argentina. In some sequences, she sets the Colón Ring in the 1970s, during the military dictatorship in Argentina. Carrasco took over as director in October of this year. She replaced Katharina Wagner, the great-granddaughter of the composer, who was the original artistic manager and director of this ambitious project. The orchestra of The Colón Ring will be led by the Austrian conductor Roberto Paternostro, who has been musical director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra since 2010.

A 90-minute documentary film and multi-camera recording

The DW production The Colón Ring consists of a multi-camera recording and a documentary film. DW shows the unusual making of the production in a 90-minute documentary film directed by Wagner expert Hans Christoph von Bock, and documents the performance at the Teatro Colón in a multi-camera production.

"This project is the latest in a series of spectacular classical productions we began in 2006," added Bettermann. At that time, the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin, conducted by Kent Nagano, recorded the six-part series Classical Masterpieces. The concert recordings and documentary reports won numerous international prizes, as did The Beethoven Project (2010) and The Promise of Music (2009).

The documentary film The Colón Ring - Wagner in Buenos Aires will be shown on Deutsche Welle's international TV channels in spring 2013. A DVD is also to be released on the C Major label. It will contain the film itself, as well as the multi-camera recording.

The Teatro Colón boasts a Wagner tradition stretching back nearly 100 years. Opened in 1908, it is now Latin America's biggest music theater. Early on, it hosted the annual 'German Season', during which Wagner's work attracted great interest. The first performance of the complete Ring, directed by Felix Weingartner in 1922, has become legendary. And 90 years later the shortened version is having its world premiere in the same venue.

Multimedia special Wagner200

DW's multimedia special Wagner200, available at, celebrates the anniversary in other ways, as well. Users combing the website for more information about the TV documentary can find workshop reports, background material on the Teatro Colón, biographies of the theater's artists and producers, and much more.

Wagner200 is available in four languages: German, English, Spanish and Russian. The website will be regularly updated until the end of 'Wagner year'. After 2013, it will offer a unique, multilingual online archive on the topic.

"With this project we hope not only to address Wagner fans worldwide, but also to provide all viewers and Internet users who are interested in culture with a state-of-the-art way of accessing Wagner's complete works," commented DW Director General Bettermann.
11:04:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Very Much Off Topic: The Last Remaining Blue Whale

Written By The Wagnerian on Monday 26 November 2012 | 8:50:00 am

We hope we can be forgiven just this once (it won't become a trend we promise) but we are "fans" of both Rutger Hauer and the Blue Whale. And we suspect Wagner would have approved.

From the editing suite of Rutger Hauer and Sil van der Woerd comes a wonderfully solemn short film that subtly points the finger at the whaling industry. The morose blue whale, the last one left, glides gracefully through the air displaying upon its body the torment that it and its kinfolk have been subjected to. The man watches on as the whale meets its final match and although their is pain in his eyes he just cannot stop himself…

The last remaining blue whale comes eye to eye with its only enemy; mankind.

The film was directed by Rutger Hauer & Sil van der Woerd, who felt an urge to bring attention to the ongoing whaling.
8:50:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

In Discussion with Barry Millington: "A kind of Damascus experience on the road to Southend pier"

We recently had the opportunity to spend some time with one of Britain's – and perhaps the English speaking worlds - most well known Wagner scholars: Barry Millington. During that time we discussed his highly recommended new book "Wagner: the Sorcerer of Bayreuth", what started a life long interest in Wagner, The Wagner Journal – which he founded and edits – and next years London based Wagner 200. 

TW: Barry, first let me thank you for taking the time to talk to us out of what I know is a very busy schedule at the moment.  Before discussing your new book could you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

BM: Well, I earn my crust as a journalist, writing about Classical music and opera for the Evening Standard. I've been with them for about ten years and before that I was with The Times for over twenty years.

But Wagner’s always been a particular interest: there always seem to be new angles to explore.

TW: When did you first “discover” Wagner?

BM: I was brought up in Southend-on-Sea, within easy commuting distance of London, and I used to come up to Covent Garden and Sadler’s Wells on a regular basis. It didn’t cost an arm and a leg in those days. At a fairly early stage Wagner stood out as something special and I started listening to recordings and reading books. By the time I went to university – I read Music at Cambridge – I was pretty immersed in the literature and remember surprising my director of studies that I was already familiar with Donington.

Unlike many people, I don’t recall any particular epiphany with regard to Wagner. I’d like to say there was some kind of Damascus experience on the road to Southend pier, but there wasn't really. I've always been rather amused by those hyper-sensitive young French composers – Chabrier and the others – who would sob and swoon at performances of Tristan. I used to think it would be rather impressive to faint at a performance of Tristan, but I've never quite managed it.

TW: You and I both. Although his work does have a rather “odd” effect I have not found elsewhere, but thankfully not as “extreme” as found among some or those you mention. Perhaps neither of us are “swooners”?

Nevertheless, you have dedicated a large part of your career and life to Wagner. What is it about his work that has led to this?

BM: As I've already suggested, I’m slightly averse to the idea of ‘dedication’ in this context, but it’s true I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time listening to and working on Wagner over the years.

The music certainly is incomparable: the more I listen to it, the more I marvel at it. But I think it’s also the heady brew of ideological and philosophical issues that’s attractive to me, and of course its unique psychological penetration. I’m hardly the first to point out that Wagner seems to connect with very fundamental human feelings and instincts. His mythical world provides a terrain on to which deep psycho-sexual desires can be mapped.

TW: Absolutely.. What made you decide to start the Wagner Journal? 

BM: I've always been interested in presenting scholarship in a way that’s intelligible to an intelligent lay audience, and it seemed to me that there was scope for a publication that did just that. I had also become very frustrated at the ever-decreasing amount of space made available to the arts in newspapers and the corresponding lack of seriousness in much of the coverage. I wanted to provide a forum where specialists could discuss the issues of Wagner in performance – conducting, singing and stage production – at a length that allowed them to make well-informed and properly nuanced judgments, rather than in the sound-bites that my colleagues and I are forced to resort to these days in the daily press. And when I read the contributions of some of our contributors – David Breckbill’s supremely authoritative CD reviews come to mind – I feel that we’re providing something that simply isn't obtained anywhere else on that level.

TW: I would agree – I am an avid reader. Have you encountered any obstacles in its production? 

BM: There have been no obstacles; in fact, I’m astonished by the constant flow of messages from readers, saying how important it is to them and to keep up the good work. We have high production standards and it’s important to me that the journal is an aesthetically pleasing object to look at and read. We also have an unusual business model, in that the journal is published independently, that is by a small company called The Wagner Journal. We raise just enough money in revenue from sales (both subscriptions and a handful of retail outlets, including Covent Garden and the Met) and a few advertisements – plus the occasional generous donation – to cover our costs. It’s an ideal situation not being beholden to publishers, commissioning editors, trendy designers and the industry in general. I’d recommend it to anybody wanting to publish serious work.

TW: Your latest Wagner book may be the most thorough book written about Wagner and “Wagnerism” to date. Could you tell us how the idea first came to you 

BM: Over the last 20 years or more there’s been some very interesting scholarship done on various aspects of Wagner and I thought it might be helpful if I were to try to transmit the fruits of that scholarship to a wider audience. I’ve also long felt that certain received opinions about Wagner were wide of the mark: they’re rather lazy, stereotypical views that seem to get endlessly recycled. The bicentenary was imminent and it seemed a ideal opportunity to attempt a reappraisal of the man and his work based on the best scholarship of recent times.

TW: It is not a biography in the style of Ernest Newman or Derek Watson, etc. Instead it is more a series of interlinked "essays" roughly in chronological order of Wagner's life. While I am glad that you did (I enjoy the format) why did you style it in this fashion and how did you select the topics for inclusion?

BM: I knew from the start that I didn't want a straightforward biography; nor would it be primarily a commentary on the music. My original idea was to present it as a series of rooms through which one walked, rather like in an exhibition, each devoted to a particular aspect of the subject. But the publishers felt that the book industry would be confused by such a format and maybe they were right. So what I did instead was to retain the thematic organization but to present the material as more conventional chapters. Thames & Hudson have always specialized in beautifully illustrated books and since I have at my disposal a large archive of illustrations, much of which has been built up over the years since I started the journal, we were all very keen for the pictures to tell their own story. Many of the pictures will be unfamiliar to most readers and I think they really do throw fascinating light on what one is trying to say. Then there are the documents – such as the police reports on his revolutionary activity, or the description of his drastic hydrotherapy treatment, or the simply breathtaking descriptions of his silk wardrobe and furnishings – which are also vital for providing context. I tried to select documents that were lively, poignant or humorous in some way, and the chapter on silks and satins is a good example: there’s a hilarious account of Nietzsche on a shopping expedition in Basel looking for a pair of silk underpants for Wagner. But I also tackle the question of the relationship between Wagner’s silk fetishism and penchant for cross-dressing and his music.

TW: You dedicate very little time to Wagner’s first stay in Paris - which I consider of long term relevance and influence to his future life and work. Can I ask why you made this decision? I would have been more than keen to hear of your knowledgeable thoughts on this period. Or do you perhaps feel it is not as important?

BM: I don’t disagree that the Paris period was important for his artistic – and also psychological – development. But I’m not sure that it would have warranted a whole chapter of its own. I felt that it was important to do justice to the Dresden years and then to the Zurich period, when so much was taking shape in his creative imagination. Then of course there’s the Bayreuth project, so inevitably not everything could be treated at the same length.

TW: Was it for similar reasons that you do not provide as much attention to Wagner's early works as you do to his later work? I was looking forward to seeing how your thoughts on Die Feen, etc had developed – if at all. And I feel your usual detailed analysis would have benefited those new to Wagner. 

BM: To be honest, I haven’t done much work on the early operas in recent years, so I’m not sure I would have much new to say. There’s a fair bit about the music of the later works, but it’s not primarily that kind of book. One critic wondered why it didn’t have plot summaries, but I thought that would be a terrible waste of space when you can get those so easily elsewhere these days.

TW: I would have to agree with your decision not to include plot summaries. They would have taken valuable time away from other areas you so elegantly investigate. And in the age of the internet are incredibly easy to find.

Your analysis of Wagner’s latter work  tends to follow the trend started , at least in academic Wagner literature , by Adorno; wherein Wagner’s work is perceived to be populated to some degree, by anti-Semitic caricatures - Mime and Klingsor come readily to mind. You then appear to continue your analysis of Parsifal with thoughts very close to those of Gutman. With this in mind, how important do you believe it is to find anti-Semitism in Wagner’s works and have your views changed over the years? 

BM: There’s no doubt in my mind that Wagner’s anti-semitism is woven into the fabric of his works, into the text and music. Since I first wrote a paper on the subject, with regard to Beckmesser in Die Meistersinger, twenty years ago, I've seen no reason to change my mind. On the contrary, the thesis has been confirmed, as far as I’m concerned, by a succession of scholarly books and articles. I think it’s true to say that there’s something of a consensus on the subject now, though there are still dissenting voices – in one or two cases belonging to people for whom I have a lot of respect. But I think it’s become possible to see things in a broader perspective now. I wouldn't want to insist, for example – and in fact I never have – that Wagner’s works are exclusively or even predominantly defined by antisemitism. They’re far richer and more interesting than that.

TW: I would agree with your thoughts on their richness of ideas and sources, although, and trust me I am not closed minded to the issue, I have always found Wagner's, elsewhere highly evident antisemitism conspicuous by its absence in his dramas – but perhaps I have simply not looked hard enough? Personally, apart from Schopenhauer, Buddhism and the “other usual suspects” I have always found Wagner's interest in what Cosima calls in her diaries “heretical Christianity” and the German Christian mystics far more in evidence yet sadly less discussed – especially in Parsifal. 

But yes, I agree that we should not define his work by Wagner's antisemitism any more than we should define Bach's work by its far more evident textual antisemitism in Johannes-Passion, as one example – but neither should we ignore it if it exists. And for those that have not read your book yet I would have to point out that you are clear to make this point in your book. Unlike much “lazy” writing on Wagner you point out this is only one of a large number of influences on his work

However, and while not wishing to linger to long on this one facet of Wagner’s character (which is only a small part of your book I must add), this does bring me to a related thought: we are both aware of Wagner’s equal “distaste” for French culture (only Wagner could have written and found funny “Eine Kapitulation“), the Jesuits and to some degree Russians.

Do you feel that his thoughts on these subjects (and related negative racial/cultural caricatures) can also be found within his work? And why do you think this has not also been analyzed - and helped “inform” Wagner productions - as his “association” with the Nazis has? Or do you think his work will always carry the taint of his family members, undeniable, association with - and support of - Hitler?

BM: Yes, it’s true that Wagner was equally antipathetic towards the French, to Jesuits, to critics and others. All that could be, and sometimes is, legitimately projected in productions too. I’m sure you’re right that the taint of Hitler and the Holocaust bears much of the responsibility for the way Wagner is perceived by many people. It’s another of those stereotypical, one-dimensional views I mentioned. I’m more interested in trying to understand how Wagner’s antisemitic prejudice became a vital ingredient in his works: the grit in the oyster. Without that streak they would not be the works they are. But we don’t need to be defensive about that. It’s better to have an honest debate about it and try to understand how the ideology informs the art. It makes the works all the richer and more fascinating in my view.

TW: The book is beautifully illustrated. I have said the best illustrated book on Wagner that I have come across - and it deserves to be on everyone’s shelves for this alone. Could you tell us a little about the process that went into compiling these images? 

BM: I’m glad you have appreciated the pictures, because a lot of care went into their selection. First, as I have said, I have a growing archive of Wagner images which I have been compiling from various sources. Second, Thames & Hudson allocated a brilliant freelance picture researcher, Imogen Graham, to the project and she tracked down for me the pictures I did not have. Illustrations should never be simply decorative: they should be there for a purpose, because they can tell us things that can’t be described in words – rather like the music in the operas. But they can also give aesthetic pleasure and the publishers have enhanced that pleasure by printing them on quite sumptuous, creamy paper. It’s the same paper they used for the very successful book Romantic Moderns by Alexandra Harris and for Martin Gayford’s interviews with David Hockney and Lucian Freud. It makes the book a pleasing aesthetic object in its own right, which I think would have appealed to the hedonist in Wagner!

TW:  Finally, you are organizing Wagner 200 next year . What can you tell us about this? 

BM: Wagner 200 is a London-based celebration of the bicentenary of Wagner’s birth co-ordinated and co-directed by myself and Mark Eynon. The programme of events is an ambitious one running from the birthday on 22 May through to December. The launch will be a high-profile event at the Royal Festival Hall: a Wagner concert including the whole of Act 3 of Die Walküre with Susan Bullock and James Rutherford, plus the Philharmonia Orchestra under Andrew Davis, and a starry cast of Valkyries. But that's just the start. Our festival also includes screenings of Wagner operas (we hope free of charge, because they’re aimed at a new audience for Wagner), a curated Wagner film season at the Barbican, a series of concerts at Kings Place, symposia on Wagner in Performance and Wagner the Writer, lectures, exhibitions, masterclasses, a reading of the Ring (in English) and more besides. Many of these events are partnerships with flagship organisations such as Covent Garden, ENO, the Barbican, the Philharmonia and the British Library, but the Kings Place events are our own promotion.

We’ll be announcing all this formally in due course, but anyone wanting to be kept posted should go to where they can join the mailing list.

Barry Millington's new book: "Wagner: the Sorcerer of Bayreuth", is available now 
More Information about the Wagner Journal can be found at the following Website: The Wagner Journal
(Images from: Wagner: The Sorcerer Of Bayreuth (2012) Barry Millington)
4:01:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

Tristan to finally make its Florida premiere: Florida Grand Opera 2013-2014

Written By The Wagnerian on Saturday 24 November 2012 | 1:31:00 pm

Susan Danis, FGO's General Director
Announcing its 2013-2014 season, Florida Grand Opera  have confirmed that they will be mounting a production of Tristan und Isolde - what is believed to be for the first time in Florida. Cast and dates to be announced.

As announced in the South Florida Classical Review, they will also  be mounting  the Southeast premiere of Mourning Becomes Electra by Marvin David Levy

Said Levy: "“I really am thrilled and very grateful that FGO is going to do Mourning,” said Levy. “I’m especially glad that it’s going to be done in my adopted hometown.”

Susan Danis, FGO's new General Director noted: “Miami is a great international city that deserves a great opera company presenting exciting productions with world-class singers and thought-provoking repertoire and realizations of the operas,”

More at Florida Grand Opera

Florida Grand Opera

1:31:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Cambridge University Press to reprint Newman's 4 volume "Life Of Richard Wagner"

Written By The Wagnerian on Saturday 17 November 2012 | 1:46:00 am

Perhaps the most complete biography of Wagner ever written; Ernest Newman's four volume "Life of Richard Wagner" will be made available once again by  Cambridge University Press. All four volumes will be republished on January 1st 2013. Present list price between £32 and £42 per volume (Paperback).

Ernest Newman's four-volume Life of Wagner, originally published between 1933 and 1947, remains a classic work of biography. The culmination of forty years' research on the composer and his works (Newman's first Study of Wagner was first published in 1899), these books present a detailed portrait of perhaps the most influential, the most controversial and the most frequently reviled composer in the whole history of western music. Newman was aware that no biography can ever claim to be complete or completely accurate: 'The biographer can at no stage hope to have reached the final truth. All he can do is to make sure that whatever statement he may make, whatever conclusion he may come to, shall be based on the whole of the evidence available at the time of writing.' In this aim he triumphantly succeeds.

1:46:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

Book Overview & Preview: Hermann Levi: From Brahms to Wagner

Available in print and electronic format. Alas, it is presently sitting in a  pile of very interesting books to be read. However, once we have manged to get to it we will provide a review.  There is a generous google preview included below.

June 2012
Pages: 296
Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
By Frithjof Haas
Translated by Cynthia Klohr

Jewish conductor Hermann Levi strove for excellence and recognition as a composer and conductor of classical music in 19th-century Germany. He unerringly devoted himself to the orchestral performance of works by the two major figures of the time: Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner. In spite of the anti-Semitic atmosphere, Levi saw the conducting of Wagner's works as a major calling: one that pinnacled in the premier performance of Parsifal in Bayreuth.

1:15:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

Nicholas Wroe in conversation with Semyon Bychkov

The engagement diary of a leading conductor can reveal many things: musical taste, status, popularity with players, administrators and audiences. But rarely has a schedule acted so neatly as a potted biography as Semyon Bychkov's does this month. November's concerts have included performances in St Petersburg (where he was brought up and trained as a musician), Vienna (where he arrived in 1974 with $100 to his name as a Jewish exile from the Soviet Union), the US (where he made his home and established his musical reputation), Tel Aviv and London (where he has recently been awarded honorary positions with both the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Academy of Music). "I wish I could say it was all a magnificent design," he shrugs, "but there was no design. However, when the pattern was pointed out to me, the symbolism was unmistakeable."

That Bychkov's 60th birthday also falls this month adds to the seeming import of these trips down his personal memory lanes. "It is interesting that all this comes around the time of an apparently significant birthday, when it is common to look both forward and back," he says. "Over the years I have played music I have often felt that my relationship with time is a little strange. The past and the present do sometimes come together in the most unexpected ways."

The day after he arrived in Vienna in 1974 Bychkov found himself standing in front of the Staastsoper watching the audience go in to see a new production of Wagner's Lohengrin. Thirty years later to the day, he was the conductor of a new Staatsoper Lohengrin. His prize as an outstanding student in Leningrad was to conduct Rachmaninoff's second symphony with the Leningrad Philharmonic, but his application for an exit visa ensured that the authorities stopped the concert. On his first return visit to his conservatoire in the city 35 years later, this was the piece he conducted.

Continue reading

12:31:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

Another Wagner Box Set: Wagner's Vision: Bayreuth Heritage

Written By The Wagnerian on Sunday 11 November 2012 | 9:01:00 am

They really are coming "hard and fast", but this one is a little different to the others so far -  with a few real "treats".

Wagner's Vision: Bayreuth Heritage
Documents: 233618

This 50-CD set is released to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Richard Wagner, and is an outstanding sound document of the history of the Bayreuth Festival during the first half of the 20th century. The collection includes music from all operas authorised by Wagner for performance in Bayreuth.

To complement the edition, scenes and solo titles out of the decades of the festival direction of Cosima, Siegfried and Winifred Wagner are included. They go back to the festival summer of 1904 and communicate impressions from important and famous performances until 1943. Recordings from New Bayreuth of the Wagner grandsons Wieland and Wolfgang lead to the newest era of the festival.
9:01:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

New Wagner Box Set: "The Other Wagner"

The Wagner boxsets just keep coming and the newest one is the aptly titled "The Other Wagner" - just released by EMI. In a break from the usual selection of Wagner's dramas, this 4 CD boxset concentrates on his orchestral, lieder and piano music output - and its not that bad from the very brief listen we have managed so far. You can pick-up a copy for around £8 pound if you look around

We supply as much information as we can below. No easy thing considering how poorly EMI tends to press release its classical output.  And should you have Spotify, you can listen to the entire set below.  At the very least this will provide you with a full track listing.

Faust Overture, WWV59
Der Tag erscheint, WWV 68B
An Webers Grabe, WWV 72
Siegfried Idyll
Trauersinfonie, WWV 73
Das Liebesmahl der Apostel, WWV 69
Symphony in E: Allegro con spirito
Christoph Columbus: Overture
Huldigungsmarsch, WWV 97
Kaisermarsch, WWV104
Großer Festmarsch (Centennial March) for the centenary of the independence of the USA
Wesendonck-Lieder (5)
with orchestra
Ankunft bei den schwarzen Schwänen (Arrival among the black swans)
Piano Sonata in A flat
Elegy in A flat
Siegfried Idyll
arr. for piano
Wesendonck-Lieder (5)
with piano
Selected lieder

8:36:00 am | 0 comments | Read More