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Wagner The Ring: A Synopsis In Prose, Images And Music

Written By The Wagnerian on Sunday 29 December 2019 | 6:11:00 pm

Just wonderful. Comic Strip art by William Elliott. Originally published at the now long gone, - at least the comic strip was.

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A Happy, Melchiorian Christmas/Yuletide

Written By The Wagnerian on Monday 23 December 2019 | 8:24:00 pm

Its that time of year again and we wanted to say we have, once again, enjoyed your company, whether as emails, twitter, facebook comments, etc. It's always nice. We hope, you all have a happy holiday and a wonderful new year.

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Heroic Voices. London July July 4 2020

Written By The Wagnerian on Tuesday 10 December 2019 | 7:18:00 pm

Heroic Voices
Wagner, Strauss and the rise of dramatic song

Laure Meloy dramatic soprano
Lee David Bowen heldentenor
Kelvin Lim pianist

Rising heldentenor Lee David Bowen and dramatic soprano Laure Meloy join Wagnerian specialist repetiteur/conductor Kelvin Lim in a programme exploring music for dramatic voice. Scenes from favourite Wagner, Strauss, Puccini, and Verdi operas (including Brünnhilde and Siegmund’s duet from Act II of Die Walkure), along with other repertoire by late Romantic composers illustrate the rise of the heroic operatic voice at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries.

Event Details
Doors Open at 6:30PM
Starts at 7:30PM
1901 Arts Club, London, SE1 8UE

Ticket price
£22.00 - £25.00*
*booking fee applies

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HEROIC VOICES Wagner, Strauss, and the rise of dramatic song. London July 2020

Written By The Wagnerian on Monday 9 December 2019 | 1:09:00 pm

Rising heldentenor Lee David Bowen, and dramatic soprano Laure Meloy join Wagnerian specialist repetiteur Kelvin Lim in a programme exploring music for dramatic voice. Scenes from favourite Wagner, Strauss, Puccini, and Verdi operas (including Brünnhilde and Siegmund’s duet from Act II of Die Walkure), along with other repertoire by late Romantic composers illustrate the rise of the heroic operatic voice at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries.

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How Wagner Influenced The "Club Scene"

Ok, it's only loosely connected to Wagner, but a fascinating article, about a fascinating exhibition, of a fascinating subject with wonderful images. 

"Female performers made a significant contribution to the Cabaret Fledermaus, which opened in Vienna in 1907, as a realisation of the concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) proposed by the composer and theatre director Richard Wagner."

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Wagner And Theology

Written By The Wagnerian on Sunday 8 December 2019 | 11:48:00 pm

A fascinating resource, audio lecture and article series by Professor Richard Bell. Richard is investigating Wagner's theological, ethical, and artistic interests. We think the video below provides an excellent introduction as to what you might expect.

A major outcome of the project will be a two-volume work exploring the theology of the Ring cycle, exploring Wagner's work and its relationship to Christianity.

The link below to the full series of lectures and articles. An invaluable resource. 

From section one:

Wagner was one of the few composers to read avidly in the areas of Theology and Philosophy. He was especially interested in German Idealism but he was always creative in appropriating the thought of figures such as Hegel, Feuerbach and Schopenhauer.

It includes audio lectures that include:
The humanization of God in Wagner’s Ring Cycle: The composer’s appropriation of the theology and philosophy of Ludwig Feuerbach.
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Death and the Master: Original obituaries and reports from Richard Wagner’s death in 1883

Not too sure who but we would be interested in this but we thought you might be too.  The description below is from the publisher.

This exceptional collection features 22 contemporaneous, original obituaries, personal recollections and news reports following Richard Wagner’s death in 1883, taken from 17 separate publications in six countries across the world. The accounts, gleaned from the archives of music journals, magazines and newspapers, such as The New York Times, Le Figaro, Berliner Tageblatt and The Times of London, amount to more than 45,000 words. They allow the reader to gain a unique perspective of the controversial composer and to understand how the world regarded him at the time of his death. It is the immediacy of that perspective, and what it tells us of the context in which Wagner lived and died, that makes this compilation such an engaging and distinctive read. Each account is packed with many fascinating insights into the composer’s tumultuous life and the complex, powerful personality of the flawed genius who revolutionised classical music. In his foreword, Simon Heffer, the esteemed columnist on Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, hails Death and the Master as a “riveting collection” and a fine addition to the long list of books on Wagner. He writes: “The appreciations… make the perfect introduction to him and his art: reading them will give one a clear idea of his context and his stature. Not only should they serve to welcome many new listeners to his music, but they will intrigue seasoned ones, too.”

10:15:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

New Issue Of The Wagner Journal Published

Always exciting. Of particular attention, I feel, is the article ‘Knappertsbusch in Bayreuth’, which reveals the full story of the maestro’s machinations to ingratiate himself - unsuccessfully as it turned out - with the Nazi regime. I think that many who hold him in high regard for his legendary Wagner interpretations will be shocked when they read this.  Highly recommended.

The November 2019 issue (vol.13, no.3) of The Wagner Journal has been published and contains the following feature articles:

• ‘Knappertsbusch in Bayreuth’ by Hans Rudolf Vaget

• ‘In Wagner’s Eyes: Casting Light on a Disputed Portrait‘ by Michael Trimble, Dale C. Hesdorffer, Robert Letellier and Gordon Plant

•’Ernest Newman in ‘’Naziland‘’: In Search of Otto Strobel‘ by David Cormack

• ‘Report on the Production of Tannhäuser in Paris’ by Richard Wagner (translated by Niall Hoskin)

plus reviews of: Tannhäuser at the Bayreuth Festival, Das Rheingold at Longborough and Grimeborn, Die Meistersinger by Fulham Opera, Die Walküre in Kassel, Götterdämmerung in Würzburg and Lohengrin in Nuremberg; the Bernstein Tristan und Isolde (Munich, 1981) on DVD; CDs of the Hallé Siegfried and of Lise Davidsen in Wagner and Strauss
10:02:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Alex Ross' Video of the day: F**k Wagner

Not safe to be played at work - most likely. This is going to upset people. And perhaps only in German popular culture would it have relevance.  Worth mentioning, not the title of Mr Ross' long waited for Wagner book - we hope.

As an aside should you decide to google an image to use for this article we recommend you don't - at least at work or with your dear grandmother in the room.

3:49:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

The Day Berlioz Shared A Pineapple With Wagner

Image: François Lopinot / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA
From The Boston Musical Intelligizer. Written by Ralph Locke

In 1860, Richard Wagner was in Paris, trying to arrange for the Opéra to give the world premiere of the revised version of Tannhäuser. In a letter probably written in May of that year, Hector Berlioz invited him to come over to dine. The various guests that evening, he promised, will share “a very lovely pineapple” direct from Brazil. And, after everyone else leaves, he and Wagner “will have the freedom to spend time together in my study.” Presumably, he meant that the two would talk about topics of common interest, such as the Parisian musical world or the recent activities of their mutual friend Franz Liszt. Berlioz’s pineapple letter has now been published for the first time, in the book under review (pp. 548–49). It was apparently written later than any other that survives between Berlioz and Wagner. (They did meet again two months later at the home of Pauline Viardot—the renowned mezzo-soprano and composer—for an advance hearing of parts of Tristan und Isolde.)

Earlier that same year, Berlioz had written a sharply disapproving newspaper column about Wagner’s musical style. Still, the friendliness evident in this letter shows him interested in maintaining an active relationship with Wagner based on an open exchange of views. The pineapple letter will, I hope, lead commentators to be more cautious when they—or we, for I am as guilty as anybody in this—write or tell students, about a supposed sudden and complete breakdown in the relationship between these two bold spirits during the last decade of Berlioz’s life.

3:30:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

Umberto Eco On The Parsifal Legend

The following is the complete chapter about Parsifal, and more specifically its imaginary landscapes, from his book "The Book of Legendary Lands". This is the fourth book he has published with Rizzoli Ex Libris. It's not, we think, the strongest of the series - that would be "On Beauty and "On Ugliness". However, it is still more than worth your time. The chapter on Parsifal is fascinating and we think of special interest to readers here. Chapter made available by Rizzoli Ex Libris. Any copyright will be theirs.

3:13:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More