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On Wagner & Schoenberg

Written By The Wagnerian on Wednesday 23 September 2015 | 8:05:00 pm

From: Carl E. Schorske: Fin-De-Siecle Vienna: Politics and Culture.

The nineteenth century saw itself generally as “a century of movement,” in which “the forces of movement” challenged “the forces of order.” Such was the case in music, too. Hence it was the century of the expansion of dissonance—the medium of tonal movement—and the erosion of the fixed key, the center of tonal order. In music as elsewhere, time moved in on eternity, dynamics on statics, democracy on hierarchy, feeling on reason. Richard Wagner, who was both a political and a sexual revolutionary, became Public Enemy Number One of traditional tonality, of key. In his Tristan und Isolde, Eros returns in surging rhythms and chromatics to assert its claims against the established political and moral order of the state expressed in rigid meter and diatonic harmony. Chromatic tones—half-tones—are all of a single value, and constitute an egalitarian universe of sound. To one accustomed to the hierarchical order of tonality, such democracy is disturbing. It is the language of flux, of dissolution. Of liberty or death, depending on your point of view.
8:05:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Free Online Course: The Modern and the Postmodern

Written By The Wagnerian on Monday 14 September 2015 | 10:23:00 pm

Delphin Enjolras. Evening Reading
Of possible interest to those with an interest in Wagner. While it doesn't seem to discuss Wagner himself it certainly seems to examine some who he knew, who knew him or simply had much to say about him. A two part course. It will require registration but we assure you we have tried the process and it is quick, painless and without spam. You can chose to pay a small fee if you wish. This seems to then provide a certificate.

The Modern and the Postmodern: Part 1

About this Course

This course examines how the idea of "the modern" develops at the end of the 18th century in European philosophy and literature, and how being modern (or progressive, or hip) became one of the crucial criteria for understanding and evaluating cultural change. Are we still in modernity, or have we moved beyond the modern to the postmodern?
Subtitles available in English
3-5 hours/week


“The Modern and the Postmodern Part I” covers the first half of a full semester course on European history, literature and philosophy. We begin with Immanuel Kant and Jean Jacques Rousseau and conclude with Friedrich Nietzsche and Charles Baudelaire and a very quick look at painting at the time they wrote. Although in the final week themes of postmodernism begin to emerge, a discussion of how modernism becomes postmodernism is at the heart of Part II of this course.

10:23:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Wagner's "Wedding March": Selling Wagner

Written By The Wagnerian on Friday 11 September 2015 | 5:10:00 am

"Then whore in the dark, you watery brood! (He reaches out his hand towards the gold.) Your light I’ll put out, wrench the gold from the rock and forge the avenging ring "(Alberich, Rheingold Scene 1) Spencer, Stewart; Millington, Barry (2013-03-04). Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung: A Companion

"Clever though be the many thoughts expressed by mouth or pen about the invention of money and its enormous value as a civiliser, against such praises should be set the curse to which it has always been doomed in song and legend. If gold here figures as the demon strangling manhood's innocence, our greatest poet shews at last the goblin's game of paper money. The Nibelung's fateful ring become a pocket-book, might well complete the eerie picture of the spectral world-controller." Richard Wagner,  Know Thyself, 1881

Some readers may have noticed a headline circulating about a "missing" Wagner Mss available to buy for only $3.5 million. No? Well, to bring you upto date, a company in the US, Moments In Time, is selling a piece of sheet music, in Wagner's hand, of Treulich geführt from Lohengrin (Or "Wagner's wedding march" as they are calling it), It was given as a gift by Siegfried Wagner a number of years ago, appeared at an auction in Sotheby's in the 1980s until its recent reappearance.

However, not got the odd $3.5 million to spare? Don't worry for Gary Zimet of Moments In Time, has, as he told us, "many more stellar offers" All of which are "far less expensive than the Wedding March"(sic). For example, "Ring mss. 95k ($) Lohengrin,  195k ($) Tannhauser 110K ($) Gotterdammerung 225k ($)Siegfried 175K ($)" (Visit "Moments In Time" for more details)

Of course, should you have a spare $3.5 million lying around, "burning a hole in your pocket", you could do something far more constructive with it then to buy a few pieces of interesting but ultimately moldy old paper. For example, what about sponsoring a Wagner production at one of our bravely struggling small opera companies, with a strong Wagner connection? Take For example Fulham Opera or Birmingham Opera Company in the UK as just two examples?

5:10:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

The Path Of Wagner’s Wotan

Written By The Wagnerian on Thursday 10 September 2015 | 2:32:00 am

A Phd Dissertation written in 2012, But don't let that put you off, it's actually well written. As to the argument? Well, we will leave that up to you. We have been reading, sometimes heated, discussion about Wagner, Schopenhauer and  Feuerbach for far to long to get involved in that discussion.

Author's description below. Click the link at the bottom to download the entire paper in PDF format. 

The path of Wagner’s Wotan

Solomon R. Guhl-Miller

2:32:00 am | 0 comments | Read More

Wagner Transformed

Written By The Wagnerian on Sunday 6 September 2015 | 5:12:00 pm

J. Peter Schwalm (born 1970, Frankfurt am Main) is a German composer and music producer, active in the fields of electronic music, ambient, radio drama, film, theatre and ballet. He is best known for his work with musician Brian Eno. He lives and works in Frankfurt.

As godfather of the cross-genre work of art, Wagner revolutionized the direction of theatre and operas into a modern multimedia experience. If Wagner were around today, how would he use the technical possibilities of modern studio technology and to what extent would he — once again — break away from conventions? In this new project, Wagner’s music is not retold but newly told, transporting his feeling for melody and dynamics into the modern age.

Wagner Transformed / J. Peter Schwalm, Brian Eno, Eiving Aarset, Christine SchutzeSchwalm / Schwalm / Eno / Schutze 
Release Date: 05/13/2014 
Label: Intergroove Catalog #: 122 
Number of Discs: 1
5:12:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More