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...
A Study of Form in Wagner’s Compositional Technique
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...
More Analysis of the Final Ring Motif
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 I haven’t seen it since th 2012 Bayreuth production (since mercifully withdrawn) and I was happy to have another look during the recent Met revival of the boring and pretty Otto Schenck production.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 […]
Parsifal and Wagner’s Theology
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 […]