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Bayreuth 2021

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Forty years after reporting on my first visit to Bayreuth, the city in the time of Covid is, in many respects, eerie.  Familiar shops and restaurants have gone out of business from the cancellation of last year’s Festival, and the reduction of this year’s visitors by half meant an unsettling lack of queues.  From the yellowing paper in the window of the closed wine store Süsse Quelle on the...

Stephen Gould’s Master Class Free on YouTube

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The Wagner Society of New York recently offered a pay-for-view Masterclass conducted by renowned American heldentenor Stephen Gould.  Now that film is available for free on the Society’s channel on YouTube and it is unmissable. Perhaps his generation’s Siegfried, Gould works with three young artists (themselves of phenomenal talent and skill) to assist with the interpretation and...

Roger Scruton’s Posthumous Volume on Parsifal

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The late philosopher Roger Scruton wrote two valuable studies of Wagner’s mature works:  Death-Devoted Heart: Sex and the Sacred in Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde (2004) and The Ring of Truth: The Wisdom of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung (2016).  At the time of his death on January 12, 2020, Scruton had completed but not published his third and final Wagner study, Wagner’s...

A Study of Form in Wagner’s Compositional Technique

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Most students of Wagner are aware of the work of Alfred Lorenz, who studiously (some might say tediously)  argued that Wagner’s compositional techniques were recognizably in bar (AAB) or bogen (ABA) form, albeit on a mammoth scale.  Many contemporary scholars consider Lorenz’ conclusions to be tortured.  This conclusion is sometimes placed in context with Lorenz’ participation...

Tristan Act II — Goerke, Gould, Groissböck and Gubanova

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On November 17, 2019, the National Symphony Orchestra offered a concert presentation of Tristan und Isolde Act II in a loud, enthusiastic and splendid performance at David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center.  Conductor Gianandrea Noseda  led a virtuoso sprawling group of fine musicians, but with his back to the soloists and creating a sound that was unmitigated by an orchestra pit.  As a result the...

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The Wagner Blog is a forum for discussion of contemporary themes arising from the works of Richard Wagner. Discussions relating to Wagner’s musical, literary, theatrical, philosophical, political and theoretic work are all appropriate for this forum.

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