In the (excellent) issue of The New Yorker Magazine dated January 18, 2021, music critic Alex Ross reports on an experiential encounter with Wagner that was provided by artist David Hockney. Ross got his hands on an auto route that Hockney had laid out, accompanied by segments from Wagner’s works that Hockney had selected, sequenced, timed and “curated.” The route began at the...
Magic Fire (1955)
Over Christmas I was sitting in front of the fire while my son fooled with the TV remote, flipping between two football games while checking his texts on the iPhone, and played with his two-year old daughter while offering enthusiastic and unsolicited advice about how cool Amazon Prime is. People my age ought to be […]
Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner….
Richard Wagner is not the only artist who has provoked controversy because of his non-artistic conduct. Many lovers of art have reviled the artist. We can think of Ezra Pound, Philip Larkin, Christopher Marlowe, George Gordon Lord Byron, Albert Speer, and Robert Frost among those whose art we are eager to teach our children, but […]
NY Wagner Society Honors Met Opera Orchestra
The Wagner Society of New York — the largest in North America — reserves its Anton Seidel Award for the rare artist whose achievements in Wagner’s music have reached historic status. Past honorees have included James Levine, Birgit Nilsson and Plácido Domingo. This week the Society has announced a new honoree: The orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera. And well-deserved...
San Francisco Ring Part II
In Act II of Francesca Zambello’s production of Die Walküre, Wotan instructs Brünnhilde concerning Siegmund’s selection to Valhalla by referring to a square of cardboard, about 2 x 2, bearing his photograph. Later, as the Walküres assemble in Act III, each is bearing a similar photograph, black-and-white, closely cropped and resembling the photos of “this week’s […]