The cornerstone of the Bayreuth Festival Theatre was laid in April However, his worries for the festival undermined his health. In the autumn Wagner travelled with his family to Venice, where he died in the Palazzo Vendramin in February His body was taken to Bayreuth and buried on the grounds of Wahnfried. Thereafter his wife Cosima ruled autocratically over his artistic legacy, assisted by his son Siegfried as festival director from At her death in she was buried along-side her husband.
Richard Wagner was the most forceful and controversial figure in the European culture of his day, a composer, poet, theorist, philosopher, ideologue and the first modern conductor. He was an operatic innovator of genius: In Rienzi Wagner created the foremost operatic spectacle of the romantic age. That same year he also read the novel Rienzi, the Last of the Tribunes, by the English politician and popular author Edward Bulwer Lytton He resolved to turn it into a grand opera: Then, on 9 July , he fled across the border to Russia and, after a bold and dangerous passage, reached Boulogne-sur-Meer.
There he contacted Meyerbeer, who kindly and patiently listened to the existing portions of the score. Despite imprisonment he continued to compose, completing the score on 19 November With no recommendation to assist him all his efforts proved useless, and Rienzi was turned down at the bastion of opera. Disappointed by Paris, Wagner wrote to the King of Saxony: Having received confirmation on 29 June that the work had been accepted for performance, Wagner and his wife arrive in Dresden in April Actually it is more reminiscent of Spontini and Auber while surpassing both.
Act I, at night: When they try to flee with the young woman Colonna and his followers block their path. The assembled crowd tries to separate the hated nobles, a feat that not even the papal legate Raimondo can achieve. Only when Rienzi appears do the nobles resolve to resume their fight before the gates of Rome. Raimondo pledges Rienzi the support of the church. Rienzi promises them liberty and peace: Remaining behind with Adriano and Irene, he tries to recruit the young Colonna for the liberation of Rome.
As Adriano and Irene pledge eternal love, the trumpet sounds. Citizens pour out from every building onto Lateran Square. The people praise him as their saviour and want to have him crowned. Messengers of peace approach the capitol. Colonna, Orsini and other nobles appear and offer greetings with feigned servility. Rienzi warns them to obey the law and magnanimously invites them to join the banquet. He leaves the offended nobles, who promptly resolve to kill him, for the populace will be powerless without him. The conspirators leave Adriano alone on stage, torn between love and filial devotion.
Meanwhile the banquet approaches its climax. Rienzi welcomes the ambassadors from Italy, Bavaria and Bohemia but affronts the German envoys with his demands regarding the election of the German emperor. Adriano warns Rienzi of the conspiracy, but Rienzi calmly displays his coat of chain mail. Dancers enact a symbolic depiction of ancient Rome. At the end of their dance the nobles surround Rienzi, and Orsini lunges in attack.
The banquet comes to an untimely end; the stunned populace withdraws. Guards and senators lead the nobles to a rear room where monks will prepare them to meet their death. Rienzi relents and, despite violent protests from the citizens, pardons the nobles. The relationships of the Ring to the German literary and dramatic tradition, from Goethe and Schiller to von Hofmannsthal. Sadly, Deryck Cooke died without completing this fascinating study, which is widely considered to be essential reading for anyone interested in the Ring cycle. After all , he wrote, the question is not, "What meaning can we find in The Ring?
Cooke believed that the overt meaning of each element in the drama must be accepted as what it is and what Wagner intended it to be , and not explained away or made to mean something else. An overview of the mythology, of the history of Bayreuth, a list of related characters in mythology, a bibliography, a discography, biographies of the cast, a diagram of the relationships between the characters and more. Sandra Corse's book is fascinating but also frustrating. Corse sets out to explore the influence of the ideas of Hegel and Feuerbach on Wagner before and during the creation of the Ring.
If anyone doubts that these thinkers provided key ingredients of the mix from which the tetralogy was baked, then little doubt will remain after reading this book. Corse does not deliver everything that she promises. Although she relates Wagner's thinking to key ideas in books that he is known to have read or at least tackled , it is not entirely clear that she understands either the originals or Wagner's understanding of them. This does not mean that we should reject her ideas, e. The book might have been better without the digressions into Marxist theories about language and society, which the author apparently thinks relevant because Marx, even more so than Wagner, was influenced by Feuerbach and Hegel.
Finally it is a little disturbing that an English teacher makes so many grammatical mistakes and that she persistently spells the name of a noted Wagner scholar as "Dalhouse"! The first four chapters are based on a series of intermission features on the Texaco Met Opera radio broadcasts of the Ring during the season. The last chapter was expanded from an article that appeared in Opera News. Some participants in hmcw find the title of this book an endless source of mirth. With musical examples, discography, videography and dictionary of musical and operatic terms.
One of a large series of opera guides. Some of the most interesting material in this useful and wide-ranging guide to the Ring is to be found in the appendices. Holman reviews production approaches to the cycle during the 20th century, with a portfolio of photographs. Strangely the name of Appia is not mentioned. For more information the reader is directed in the short but informative bibliography to Bauer and Osborne. Other appendices provide a a survey of the 43 occurrences of one leitmotif, Woman's Worth , which reveals that Wagner's technique is subtler than many have realised; b a summary of the possession of the ring; and c a description of the fate, if known, of each of 25 characters or groups who appear in the cycle.
The more substantial chapters respectively are concerned with background, story, music, characters and words. All of them are fascinating, although a few errors have crept in. The chapter on background begins by considering, all too briefly, Wagner's source material. Holman then provides an overview and a chronology of Wagner's life, with particular reference to the Ring. He gets at least two dates wrong: Opera and Drama could not have been published in February , since Wagner only began writing it the following October!
It was finished in late January and first published in November that year. Also, it was a prose version of Parsifal that Wagner completed in August , not the poem. The chronology also omits to make any mention of Wagner's drafts for the music of Siegfried's Tod. The chapter on story is more than a scene by scene synopsis; it amounts almost to a prose version of Wagner's Ring poems. Those who do not understand German will find it useful, although it is not a complete substitute for reading a good English translation. When Holman nods, it is probably the result either of relying too much upon the condensed stage directions given in the Schirmer vocal scores, or of confusing the ideas of producers with Wagner's own directions.
Thus in the introduction to Wi p. The chapter on the music consists of a brief introduction -- strongly influenced by Gutman and perpetuating his wrong-headed ideas about Wagner's Leitmotiven -- followed by a discussion of each of motives or complexes. This discussion is interesting, although it does not add very much to what the reader can find in Deryck Cooke 's articles and recordings. As well as being, like many American writers, influenced by Gutman's dreadful book, Holman is also keen on Donington 's Jungian interpretations of the Ring.
As a result the chapter on the music should be treated with more caution than the other chapters. The chapter on the major characters and groups is readable and accurate, although Holman might have said more about the influence of Greek mythology. The concordance lists the occurrences of "principal words". It is based on the "literal" English translations by Lionel Salter and William Mann, presumably because these can be found in the booklets accompanying major studio recordings.
It is not a concordance of the German poems. One might question the selection of "principal words"; Holman ignores key words such as "eternal" Ewig , "distress" Noth and "envy" Neid but includes words such as "eel", which appears once in the cycle. It might be objected that this book only engages with Wagner's text on a surface level of trivia, leaving its depths untouched.
Two professional philosophers, who are also amateur singers, offer their views on the Ring. The book does not, as its title might suggest, discuss the ending of the Ring ; nor does it examine the difficulties that Wagner experienced in deciding on an ending for the cycle. The ending referred to in the book's title is "das Ende", the outcome that Wotan seeks, even after he has given up all other objectives and ambitions.
Kitcher and Schacht do not presume to present a full-blown philosophical interpretation of the tetralogy but rather a philosophical excursion through it. They argue that the Ring is a work of philosophical substance and depth, even though Wagner was by his own admission not a philosopher. Although their discussion of the work is mainly concerned with ideas and concepts, it is illustrated by references to the words and music, and clearly based on a close study of Wagner's scores. It is the latter that they are exclusively concerned with, and they argue their case with style and passion.
Lucy Beckett, reviewing this book in the Times Literary Supplement , writes: The organization of the book, in short and coherent chapters which nevertheless take us through the complicated course of four operas, is exemplary; there is a helpful, detailed synopsis of the whole work; the discussion is concerned with profound questions, yet is readily comprehensible to a reader without specialist knowledge. It is difficult to imagine anyone interested in the Ring , from old Wagner hands to beginners attracted by bits of music, who would not gain much from reading this book.
This book would have been improved if the authors or their editor had gone through it deleting every other adjective. An edited transcript of interval talks. Lee views The Ring as evolutionary, both inwardly in terms of a soul in crisis and outwardly as the prevailing religious cosmos gives way to a higher level of ethical consciousness. This may be a doctrinal interpretation, but it is made as elegantly and persuasively as any Ring analysis. The 64 watercolour illustrations of scenes from the Ring that were first published with an English translation of the poems.
The author examines the historical origins of 19th century European interest in "Northern" myth, the relationship of the Ring to Sophocles' Oedipus , and the Ring as an allegory of the course of European history in the 18th and 19th centuries. Character studies in the dramatis personae of the tetralogy.
Each of the eleven chapters discusses a single character, starting with Alberich and ending with Wotan. With three appendices, dealing the sources of the cycle, the operas and the philosophy behind them; and a bibliography. An idiosyncratic interpretation of the Ring. Shaw's interpretation seems more misguided today than ever.
This is a little harsh. In at least two respects, Shaw was right. First, in drawing attention to the political dimension of the work. Although the Ring is not exactly the socialist parable that Shaw would have us believe it, in its initial conception the tetralogy was very much political. At the end of his Dresden years Wagner was preoccupied with revolution, not just affecting art and the theatre but society in general.
His world-view, although it was coloured by utopian socialism, was essentially anarchistic. This is reflected in the Ring by the rejection of laws and commandments, troubled treaties' treacherous bonds and custom's stern decree , as it was expressed by Wagner in the ending. Shaw played down the anarchism because he wanted us to see Wagner as a socialist; in reality his political outlook was both more naive and more complex than Shaw was willing to acknowledge. Compared to Das Rheingold , the last part of the cycle is indeed closer, in structure and forms, to operatic conventions than to the prescriptions of Opera and Drama.
An interpretation is presented in which Nietzsche's criticisms form the basis of a positive reading of The Ring. A musical analysis of Das Rheingold , drawing on Lorenz and Schenker. Darcy proves, at least to his own satisfaction, the unity of the Lorentzian periods which he calls "episodes" by demonstrating that they make Schenkerian sense. The first systematic investigation of Wagner's sketches for the Ring.
Von Westernhagen, taking each of the four dramas in turn, compares the sketches with the finished score. He shows how far the original inspirations were preserved, clarified or modified in the process of forging the Ring. Wolzogen is credited with inventing the term "Leitmotiv" and his analysis of Wagner's works is largely a guide to the Leitmotiven and their evolution. Many of the names given to these 'musical calling cards' by Wolzogen such as Inheritance of the World or Sea-motif have stuck, whether we like it or not. Its title varied as the Guide was republished.
Lewis looks at the ethics portrayed in the Ring by studying each portion scene by scene and expounding upon each point as it is presented throughout the cycle. A Jungian understanding of Wagner's Ring cycle. Bolen uses the characters and situations of the Ring as a starting point to discuss Jungian ideas, without casting much light on the Ring in the process. It is, after all, largely based on Jung's ideas about myth, which makes Jungian ideas fairly apt for reading a myth-based work like the Ring. Robert Donington is a Jungian true believer, who applies Jung's ideas with considerable ingenuity and interest.
Sometimes he will do anything to fit Wagner into the Jungian framework. For example, he reads the very male dragon Fafner as the mother in her devouring aspect. That is a pretty desperate reading: Fafner is nobody's female principle, and only someone with a strongly pre-determined agenda could try to make him one. Still, Donington is often insightful. Because, says Donington, Fricka is somehow representing Erda's wisdom in this appearance. Fricka may not seem wise but on this occasion she is right. This and a hundred other small insights makes this a worthwhile and constantly interesting book, which is also very good on Wagner's mythological sources.
Donington is right in thinking that the Ring is an endlessly complex and profound work; but probably wrong in thinking that Jung holds the key. While Donington's overall reading is eccentric and not entirely reliable, this is a very enjoyable and often an insightful book. Including colour illustrations of his costume designs for the first production of the Ring. A good behind-the-scenes account of an artistic collaboration, this book documents with wit and charm the successes and trials of the immense effort.
Moreover, by showing us how musical problems were faced and solved, Culshaw sheds much light on the meaning of The Ring itself. An account of the Hall and Solti production of the 'Ring' in Bayreuth. With 32 pages of photographs. Wagner in Rehearsal The Diaries of Richard Fricke Original title: George Fricke Publication date: W2 F Series: Franz Liszt Studies Series Volume: Notes by one of the Wagner's production team.
For a "critical score" there are too many misprints in the music. Compare with one of the recent critical scores. Some of the essays from various commentators including Donald Tovey and Alfred Lorenz are valuable. Chafe argues that Wagner's Tristan und Isolde is a musical and dramatic exposition of metaphysical ideas inspired by Schopenhauer. The book is a critical account of Tristan , in which the drama is shown to develop through the music.
This page study of Wagner's score is surely the most thorough analysis ever attempted of any of Wagner's works. North shows that behind the Leitmotiven that dominate the analyses of Wolzogen, Lorenz and others, the musical material of Tristan was developed from three simple figures, all heard in the Prelude. In the first edition there are many misprints in the musical examples; look for the second edition. Roger Scruton's new book is a thoughtful and perceptive study of a difficult but important work.
Scruton aims to vindicate the stature of Tristan , presenting it as more than just a sublimation of the composer's love for Mathilde or a wistful romantic dream. He argues that the drama has profound religious meaning, as relevant today as it was to Wagner's contemporaries. Scruton shows that the governing thought of the drama is a single idea, that of the consummation of love in death. Both philosophical and musicological, Scruton's analysis touches on the nature of tragedy, the significance of ritual sacrifice, and the meaning of redemption as the concept appears in this drama.
He provides a guide to Tristan while offering philosophical insight into the nature of erotic love and the peculiar place of the erotic in our culture. Reviewing this book for The Spectator , Michael Tanner wrote: This distinguished, characteristically contentious book sets a standard of Wagnerian commentary which it would be a great relief to see other writers attempting to follow. One of Wolzogen's thematic guides.
The book also provides an account of the literary background to the work. Relates the genesis and subsequent history of Tristan und Isolde.
Swinburne and the Sea, 3. The cataclysmic effect of Tristan on musicians, poets, novelists etc. Bowen's doctoral thesis Cornell. Bowen examines Wagner's use of his sources, including the technical details of the art of the Mastersingers, i. In the process the author explains many of the obscurities and subtleties of Wagner's poem. She also examines the origins of the story in relation to works by a tale by Hoffmann, a drama by Deinhardstein and a comic opera by Lortzing based on the former; and Wagner's quotations from and paraphrases of his main historical source, Wagenseil.
There is a short comparison of different versions of Wagner's poem. Finally the author examines the language of the poem, in which she variously identifies archaic words and forms, imitation of Hans Sachs' poetry and hints of Bavarian dialect. Rayner was one of the first commentators on any of Wagner's dramas to understand the importance of considering the music and words together, and to study the interaction between the poem and the score.
The book discusses the origins and development of Die Meistersinger and the final score. Appendices consider Wagner's sources. With 5 black and white plates. Not about Wagner's opera but a useful source of historical information about the real Nuremberg at the time of Hans Sachs. A concise treatment of Wagner's usage of J. Wagenseil's Nuremberg chronicle, Buch von der Meistersinger holdseligen Kunst.
Hadow , a book which is indispensable to all students of the subject. The first section of this volume, 'Performing Meistersinger', contains three articles commissioned from internationally respected artists - a conductor Peter Schneider , a stage director Harry Kupfer and a singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. The second section, 'Meistersinger and History', examines both the representation of German history in the opera and the way the opera has functioned in history through political appropriation and staging practice.
The third section, 'Representations', is the most eclectic, exploring, among other topics, the problematic question of genre from the perspective of a theatrical historian, the fashionable theory that there is an anti-Semitic subtext in this opera, and the claim that Beckmesser is a caricature of Eduard Hanslick.
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John Warrack traces the evolution of Die Meistersinger from plans for a light comic opera or "satyr-play", through all the drafts and literary influences on them, into the eventual comedy; he then presents an analysis of the music, and investigates what Wagner found in the historical Mastersingers and their music. Lucy Beckett contributes an insightful essay into the influence of Schopenhauer and the changes that this brought about in the work as it developed. She also explores the complexity of expression in the work.
Michael Tanner suggests new ways of interpreting the opera's inner and outer worlds. Patrick Carnegy provides a stage history. Includes a synopsis, bibliography and three appendices: A long-overdue, perceptive study of Wagner's Parsifal. For Bassett the message of this work is that human salvation is to be achieved not through the satisfaction of worldly desires but through compassion. Wagner shows Parsifal's inner journey towards enlightenment through compassion, in which he is able to ease the burdens of others. Bassett has looked at the relationship between Wagner's sources and his text, which is shown to owe more to those sources than many people suspect.
He limits his study to the medieval sources, however, overlooking the allusions in Wagner's text to contemporary literature. In contrast to the study by Lucy Beckett see below , Peter Bassett paints a balanced picture of the world-view behind Parsifal , taking into account Wagner's interest in Buddhism and the impact that Buddhist ideas had upon Wagner in general and this work in particular. Includes a synopsis, a prose translation of the libretto, a chronological table and a short bibliography. Since some commentators regard this book as definitive , it needs to be examined in some detail.
The book contains too many errors for them all to be discussed in this review -- but it is most at fault in what it omits and ignores. Lucy Beckett's full account of the reception history of Parsifal and Arnold Whittall's insightful comments on the score are the parts of this book that will be most useful to the reader, whether student, scholar or interested opera-goer.
Some commentators have found Beckett's discussion of Wagner's sources so incomplete as to be misleading, however, and there has been widespread scepticism about her claim that the work is a profoundly and exclusively Christian miracle play. Commentators on Parsifal are in general agreement that it is a religious drama, or at least that it concerns subjects that are generally considered to lie within the domain of religion, but are less likely to agree with Wagner's claim that his last opera was "Christian", or indeed that it is concerned with any specific religion, despite Wagner's use of religious symbols.
It is only through a highly selective reading of Wagner's text and its background that Beckett was able to make a case to support these claims. Although Beckett acknowledged the influence of "Schopenhauerian Buddhism" in the early development of Wagner's drama, she concluded that in its final form there are only remnants of Schopenhauer's influence. She takes literally Wagner's repeated assertion for example in his letters to Ludwig that Parsifal is a Christian work.
Wagner's idea of true Christianity was quite different, however, from anything Beckett would recognise as Christian doctrine. He said that he was a Christian without dogma ; he said that he did not believe in God although he did believe in divinity; and he was dismissive both of Christian scripture and of Church tradition. He wrote to Mathilde about his belief in reincarnation quoted on p.
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In spite of this, Beckett single-mindedly seeks the Christian message in Wagner's text. She identifies as the central subject of the work its hero's religious conversion p. She finds in it Wagner's sense of the central importance of incarnation p. Although the noun appearing most frequently in Wagner's libretto is "Heil", Beckett does not describe the work as being primarily about salvation. This might be one reason why Beckett repeats an error of earlier writers by over-emphasising the importance of Parzival -- a work of which Wagner was dismissive -- and other Romances in forming the ideality of Parsifal.
It is true that Wagner's hero is like Wolfram's hero to the extent that he is a young man who grows slowly wise but he is more than that: Parsifal is a sheltered youth who appears foolish but who despite appearances is capable of achieving perfect wisdom. Although both are knights errant, where Parzival achieves the chivalric ideal by an unorthodox path, Parsifal finds and follows the path that leads to salvation.
Wolfram's Parzival is about fidelity, not about salvation. Wagner's Parsifal is about salvation, or in other words about overcoming the world and the devil; some, although not Beckett, understand this to be his mission in a specifically Schopenhauerian sense which Tanner called Wagner's anti-transcendental redemptivist vision.
It is salvation that the hero offers to Kundry in act 2 and it is, according to Gurnemanz, salvation that he brings to the community in act 3. Beckett's analysis of Parsifal is inhibited by the incompleteness of her survey of Wagner's literary sources. She mentions none of the Indian texts -- many of them concerning another sheltered youth who achieved perfect wisdom -- that other authors such as Carl Suneson consider to have influenced Wagner in the creation of Parsifal.
Not only does she overlook the important Indian texts but also a medieval religious work Barlaam and Josaphat , present in Wagner's Dresden library, that was arguably of far greater importance than Parzival , at least for act 2 of the drama. The characters of this act are not found in Parzival where although the hidden sorceror is called Clinschor, he has nothing to do with Parzival. According to Wagner in , the nameless maiden who kissed the hero was not originally identified with the servant of the Grail herself a fusion, as Beckett correctly observed, of several female characters in Parzival , originally called by Wagner "Condrie" , who appeared only in the outer acts.
In the final version, of course, the temptress has had like the hero many names. There can be little doubt that much of the second act was based upon a passage in Barlaam and Josaphat , supplemented by Indian sources. In addition, the relationship between Barlaam and Josaphat was seen by Suneson as the model for that between Gurnemanz and Parsifal. Beckett missed this text and its significance entirely. It is not clear what primary sources Beckett had consulted. Obviously she did not examine the Wagner's diary, the Brown Book ; if she had done so, then she might have seen the importance of the Ramayana , another literary source that she does not mention at all.
Wagner had expressed in his diary his enthusiasm for this Indian poem, which he was reading, a few days before he wrote the first prose draft of Parsifal. Beckett found Parsifal to be inconsistent because of a perceived uneasy balance between Christian and pagan non-Christian elements.
If she was thinking of "pagan" elements of the Romances -- such as the Grail, the Spear and the Fisher King -- then the Christianized versions of these elements that are used in Wagner's drama could hardly conflict with any strictly Christian elements that appear in the drama -- indeed, Beckett writes of the Christian force of the Grail p. They can be at the same time both "Christian" and "pagan". One does not have to scratch these symbols hard before "pagan" prototypes appear: Despite the high visibility of Christian symbols, one does not have to look hard at the libretto to find non-Christian ideas there too: Beckett treats them as noise that distracts us from the Christian message.
This is the main fault in her analysis, leading to the weakness of her proposed interpretation , in which she fails to address issues such as the references to reincarnation, something that does not fit with her or Wagner's description of the drama as truly Christian. Even the baptism of Kundry, which Beckett claims as a specifically Christian reference, allows of a Buddhist interpretation. For Beckett, her baptism permits Kundry like Feirefiz in Parzival to be admitted to the Grail temple; but an alternative reading is that she is admitted to the temple by Parsifal's decision to allow women into the community.
This brings "Heil" also in the sense of "wholeness". The sign of the cross that the hero makes in act 2 replaced a gesture the Bhumisparsa Mudra made by the Buddha after overcoming Mara Wagner's Klingsor and his daughters Wagner's flower maidens. This is the other component in the origins of act 2, also missed by Beckett, who seems to have failed to understand its origins at all. Although Wagner's adaption of episodes from the life of the Buddha -- with Parsifal rather than Shakyamuni as the spiritual hero -- had been demonstrated over 80 years before Beckett wrote her book, there is no hint in the book about the parallels between scenes in Parsifal and events in the life of the Buddha.
Wagner had read many versions of the life of the Buddha; if Beckett had read just one, then she would have seen at least the most obvious of the many references to the Buddha's life and teachings in Wagner's libretto.
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Beckett acknowledges that Wagner wanted to write an opera about the Buddha. She addresses, briefly, the common origins of Parsifal for which Wagner made his first sketch in April and of Die Sieger , which did not progress much beyond the outline Wagner made in May ; and finds in them a common motivation, namely to achieve chastity. A central character in Die Sieger is Shakyamuni, who became the Buddha, although at the time of the action he is not yet fully enlightened.
Wagner stated that these dramas were related to each other; he said that the reason for abandoning Die Sieger was the difficulty in finding a dramatic treatment for the Buddha. In search of details for this treatment, Wagner read everything he could find concerning the Buddha, in the year between those dates; therefore it is hardly surprising that events in the life of the Buddha were part of Parsifal from its conception. Having failed to dramatize the Buddha directly and specifically, Wagner found that he could treat the subject in a more general way. If Beckett had looked at the conclusion of Die Sieger more closely, she might have seen that the future Buddha's acceptance of Prakriti -- the intuitive emotional experience that, in Wagner's treatment, enables Shakyamuni to proceed to the scene of his final enlightenment -- prefigures the admission of Kundry into the Grail temple, at the same time as the Grail and Spear generally considered to represent the male and female principles are united by Parsifal.
It might even be that Parsifal is not ready to enter the Grail temple or to become the king of the Grail before Kundry's tears have triggered the intuitive emotional experience that brings about his own final enlightenment, in the Good Friday meadow. For an understanding of what actually happens in Parsifal , that must be far more important than the pursuit of chastity that Beckett erroneously considered to be the common motivation of these dramas.
Her failure to consider the connections between the principal male characters of the two dramas was a missed opportunity that left a gaping hole in the centre of this book. As in the Romances, the key question was not asked: She describes its founding and asks to what extent the periodical reflected, or misrepresented, Richard Wagner's views on art and society as presented in his prose writings. The first, from and thus before the first performance of Parsifal , asserts that it is a metaphysical work of art. The second, from , offers a psychological approach, while the third, from , gives a mystical interpretation.
Each article, in a different way, discusses the regeneratory effect of the drama. It might be significant, in view of claims advanced by Zelinsky about an anti-Semitic agenda in Parsifal , that Cicora found no evidence that even the most orthodox Wagnerites had hit on the idea of interpreting it as an anti-Semitic work. With an extensive bibliography listing the many articles cited, relevant primary literature, literature by or about the Bayreuth Circle, literature dealing specifically with Parsifal and other secondary literature.
With an afterword by Fiona MacLeod. The description of Parsifal as guileless derives from an unfortunate choice made by Frederick Corder in his English translation of Wagner's libretto: Shaw commented on the difficulty of Irvine's arguments and the complexity of his sentences. He hailed him as, our first unquestioning apostle of the faith, calling the world, in greenclad volumes only to be interpreted by strenuous spirit wrestlings, to turn aside from the Jewish Jehovah and all other gods; from belief in creation; from subjection to the illusions of time, space, causation and death; above all, from indelicately wilful methods of perpetuating the species, to ideal manhood in Grail Castles of the fourth dimension.
His matter is mystic; but his manner is lively and concrete to the verge of obstruseness and often over it. Although at present only available in German, this book is essential reading for the student of Parsifal , the "work about overcoming the world"; which Kienzle regards as a parable of the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer.
While her analysis is persuasive, it is not complete. An understanding of Parsifal , it seems, was almost but not quite within her grasp. Although Kienzle devotes sixteen pages to a discussion of Kundry, she fails to interpret Kundry as a Schopenhauerian metaphor. Therefore Kienzle has not fully understood what Kundry represents. The latter book does not, however, contain the whole of Schopenhauer's philosophy, and Kienzle's analysis would have benefited from closer study of one of his essays on ethics, On the Basis of Morality , which holds some of the keys to the parable.
With the leading motifs in musical notation and illustrations of the scenes at the Metropolitan opera house. In Kufferath's interpretation of the drama, Parsifal is based on the ideas of "Schopenhauerian Buddhism". With 8 black and white plates, showing the scenery of the first production at the Metropolitan Opera, See the entry for the related book on Lohengrin. Winterbourne devotes many pages to the pursuit of this red herring. The reason is to be found in Nike Wagner 's assertions, not only that Weininger understood Kundry but also that Parsifal is a staging of Sex and Character , and that the latter explains the former.
Although open to Nike Wagner 's suggestions that the portrayal of Kundry is misogynistic, Winterbourne is sceptical concerning claims that she is an anti-Semitic figure. He notes that Wolzogen suggested to Wagner that Kundry was a female Ahasverus but overlooks the fact that already in the Prose Draft, Wagner had written that Kundry wanders in a manner reminiscent of the Wandering Jew.
Winterbourne also seems not to be aware that it was Heinrich Heine who first described his Dutchman as the Wandering Jew of the sea and whose influence on Wagner's dramas, including Parsifal , was more significant than Wagner was prepared to admit or Winterbourne appears to realise. He recognizes, however, that the sympathetic nature of her portrayal rules out any possibility of an anti-Semitic subtext. The references to paganism must relate to Lucy Beckett 's idea that there is in Parsifal a tension between Christian and non-Christian, or "pagan", elements.
While not dwelling on the Christian elements, Winterbourne seems to be confused about the nature and importance of the "pagan" elements. He makes some rather dismissive statements about Nirvana , a concept which deserves more serious attention than he is willing to give to it, and he obstinately refuses to see any character other than Kundry as based on Buddhist or Indian ideas. He considers and rejects the possibility that Kundry is a bodhisattva approaching enlightenment. It seems to me that he has misread Carl Suneson , who saw Parsifal, not Kundry, both as a Christ-figure and as one who finds and follows the path of the bodhisattva.
Despite the internal and external references to reincarnation, when Parsifal reveals that he has had many names, Winterbourne comments that this should not be read as a hint that he like Kundry, who also has had many names, has been reincarnated.
- Il diavolo sulle colline (Einaudi tascabili. Scrittori) (Italian Edition).
- Auf den Spuren des Fliegenden Holländers von Richard Wagner.
- You Are My Hiding Place, Lord: Finding Peace in Gods Presence;
- New Notion, A: Two Works by C.L.R. James.
- Pressing Forward Into Eternal Life;
Winterbourne's assumption that, in Wagner's original conception, she only appeared in the first act is untenable. The whole point of Wagner's original conception was that the restless Kundry of the first act was to reappear, much changed, in the third act. A Kundry who only appeared in the first act would have been pointless. Weininger, however, thought that she should have been allowed to die in the second act, on the grounds that she becomes superfluous when Parsifal is not interested in having sex with her. This too is untenable since, as Parsifal tells Kundry, he has been sent for her salvation.
Winterbourne would have done better to focus on some of those "pagan" elements in Wagner's redemption drama. Another of Wolzogen's thematic guides. The book also provides an account of the mythical and literary background to the work as it was understood not always accurately by Wolzogen.
Lecture for the centenary of Wagner's death, given on 13 February , in the Villa Wesendonck, now the Museum Rietberg. A classic analysis of Wagner's later stage works, in terms of simple forms such as the 'bar' and the 'arch'. Conductor Alain Altinoglu serves the justly famous overture with vigor and passion. The chorus of sailors is spot on with their masculine posing and stirring marches. In contrast, the chorus of village girls is alternately sweet and wan.
The well-known "Spinning Chorus" is expressive and deftly turn to mockery, as an antidote to Senta's dreamy romanticism. Anja Kampe sings the role with dedication, intelligence, and even a dollop of seductiveness. When she decides to pursue the Dutchman, she strips down to her nightgown and thereafter exudes pure voluptuousness. If this were a CD set, I would play it in my car. I give this Blu-ray a thumbs up. His presence is towering in any role he undertakes. The casting that surrounds him is nearly ideal, beginning with Anja Kampe as Senta, in radiant voice and totally secure in the Ballade.
To round out the singing, the Steersman and Erik are well above average, and the Zurich Opera choristers are superb.