So many aspects of the Wagner festival in Leipzig were gratifying that it is difficult to report on them all. The production level of all 13 performances was very high. The music-making by the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester was consistently brilliant. The city of Leipzig is very attractive and of heightened interest to music lovers – we had the opportunity to hear the Mass in B minor in one of...
Wagner at Home by Judith Gautier
Judith Gautier’s memoir, Wagner at Home, offers a charming and revealing perspective on life at Triebschen. Gautier, the daughter of influential French dramatist and journalist Theophile, was invited by Wagner to visit after publishing several complimentary articles on his work. Upon her arrival she was greeted enthusiastically by Wagner and introduced to “Frau von Bulow, […]
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 […]
The Devotion of Isolde Wagner (“née von Bulow”)
An article appearing in the current issue of Wagner Journal addresses a subject about which I had been completely uninformed. The lead sentence: Richard Wagner’s eldest daughter, Isolde, had the idea of celebrating his 67th birthday on 22 May 1880 by wrapping the pots of gift rosebushes with paintings representing each year of his life. […]
Hilarious Birthday Tribute
We forget that the author of Die Meistersinger could be a very funny guy. My sister, early on the Wagner curve but of a tenacious ear, sent me a 200th birthday tribute with its sophisticated tongue firmly in its cheek. Have good laugh on the Meister: Happy Birthday Tristan!