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...
Roger Scruton’s most recent book, The Ring of Truth, is densely packed with insight. His discussion, very early into the book, of the influences of J.G. Fichte in the moral and philosophical world in which Siegfried struggles for “freedom and individuality” were entirely new to me and very much valued. Among the many helpful analyses […]
My brother Paul, of blessed memory, hated Tannhäuser. He said there was “too much Jesus in it.” I haven’t seen it since th 2012 Bayreuth production (since mercifully withdrawn) and I was happy to have another look during the recent Met revival of the boring and pretty Otto Schenck production. Tannhäuser is the second of the three […]
After just an unconscionably long time, I have finally got to page 319 of Richard H. Bell’s fine study, Wagner’s Parsifal: An Appreciation in the Light of His Theological Journey. I am very grateful to Mr. Bell for his discipline and erudition, and for shedding light on both the splendid final work of this master […]
I have a special relationship to Daniel Barenboim’s music-making. It was Barenboim’s ka-jillion-LP set from which I learned the Beethoven piano sonatas in 1972 or so. It was Barenboim who conducted Tristan in my first visit to Bayreuth in 1981. It was Barenboim who was at the podium for the Harry Kupfer Ring, and who continued […]