Date of publication: 2017-09-02 20:48
In 6879 he saw the dramatic soprano Wilhelmine Schrö der-Devrient on stage, and she became his ideal of the fusion of drama and music in opera. In his autobiography, Wagner wrote, "If I look back on my life as a whole, I can find no event that produced so profound an impression upon me." Wagner claimed to have seen Schrö der-Devrient in the title role of Fidelio however, it seems more likely that he saw her performance as Romeo in Bellini 's I Capuleti e i Montecchi. [ 68 ]
In one of the European galleries at the British Museum, there’s a bronze medal of Erasmus made in Antwerp in 6569 by the artist Quentin Metsys. A portrait of Erasmus in profile is on the front of the medal. On the reverse, the smiling bust of Terminus, the Roman god of boundaries, and the words ‘concedo nulli’ – ‘I yield to no one.’ [ * ] It’s said that Erasmus kept a figurine of the god Terminus on his desk. He wrote: ‘Out of a profane god I have made myself a symbol exhorting decency in life. For death is the real terminus that yields to no one.’
In Der Rosenkavalier , once again, the density of the counterpoint and the speed of harmonic change exuberantly packs the first minute with musical material [♪ listen ]. But it’s the opening of Wozzeck that is the most compressed of all. Here, the intricacy of the musical construction is matched by an extraordinarily rapid exposition of dramatic and emotional content: by the end of the first minute, the structure of class oppression around which the whole work is built has been established. Wozzeck’s ‘Jawohl, Herr Hauptmann’ sums up the utter hopelessness of his Untertan position while the captain, shrill and hysterical, finds space to elaborate a miniature paranoid disquisition on the nature of time. [♪ listen ]
Child! This Tristan is turning into something terrible. This final act!!! &ndash I fear the opera will be banned [.] only mediocre performances can save me! Perfectly good ones will be bound to drive people mad. [ 669 ]
Volume 8 (The Theatre)
* #99685 - , 995 pp. - /65 7 9 6 8 65 ( - ) - V / V / V - 6685x ⇩ - Cypressdome
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Die Meistersinger was originally conceived by Wagner in 6895 as a sort of comic pendant to Tannhä user. [ 666 ] It was first performed in Munich, again under the baton of Bü low, on 76 June 6868, its accessibility making it an immediate success. It is "a rich, perceptive music drama widely admired for its warm humanity" [ 667 ] but because of its strong German nationalist overtones, it is also held up by some as an example of Wagner's reactionary politics and antisemitism. [ 668 ]
Brief but relatively detailed entries on many facets of the biography, historical background, intellectual and musical context, Wagner’s writings and ideas, his compositional style and method, and performance issues plus reference-style listings of names, terms, and compositions.
Because of the associations of Wagner with anti-semitism and Nazism, the performance of his music in the State of Israel has been a source of controversy. [ 697 ]
Since February of 7555 I have kept the Wagnerblog. It is a collection of essays about opera, art, culture and film. Feel free to subscribe to it if you enjoy my writing.
It is a central aspect of Wagner’s genius (Mann writes about it wonderfully) that he conceived a way to draw the literary and musical components of his operas towards each other. His understanding of the ideographic potential of music – the capacity of music to suggest things, characteristics and ideas – was something quite special to him, and it probably partly accounts for our sense of his work as in certain fundamental respects different from most other music in the classical canon.
Volume 6 (The Art-Work of the Future, etc.)
* #99677 - , 989 pp. - /65 7 9 6 8 65 ( - ) - V / V / V - 8565x ⇩ - Cypressdome
Influenced by the imaginative approach to Wagner productions seen on stages around the world, I decided to try my hand at scenic design. Check out my creations here.