Wagner

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Wagner

Postby Apollonius » Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:38 pm

How to hear the hate in Wagner's music - David P. Goldman, PJ Media, 12 January 2015
http://pjmedia.com/spengler/2015/01/12/ ... epage=true





A few years back Tinker mentioned Goldman's need to intellectualize everything. There's a currently running thread callled 'Catholic mass and agnosticism' where the general consensus seems to be that a person would be unwise to attempt to always try to analyse and explain to yourself, much less others, why you do or do not like something.


I'm no real musician, but I do appreciate good music. Though I don't listen to modern music all that much, I just felt like contradicting those who find Wagner boring or even hateful (which is quite simply absurd).



The trailer from a spectacular production stage in comemoration of the two-hundreth anniversary of the composer's birth and available as a four part DVD set:


Der Ring des Nibelungen (trailer) - Richard Wagner (1813-1883) ; various soloists ; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra directed by Robert Lapage



Wagner's Ring presents the ultimate challenge for any opera company, and the New York Metropolitan Opera's new production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, unveiled between 2010 and 2012 and starring some of the greatest Wagnerian singers of today, is among the most ambitious Ring stagings ever mounted.

Already seen by over a million people in the theatre and at cinemas around the globe, the Met Ring was filmed live in high definition and is now being released on both DVD and Blu-ray to launch Deutsche Grammophon's celebration of the composer's bicentenary year in 2013.

With Bryn Terfel, widely acknowledged as one of the finest bass-baritones of our age, performing his first complete cycles as the embattled god Wotan and American soprano Deborah Voigt making her role debut as his disobedient warrior-daughter Brünnhilde, alongside international stars Jonas Kaufmann and Eva-Maria Westbroek as the incestuous Siegmund and Sieglinde, and last-minute stand-in Jay Hunter Morris -- a thrilling new tenor from Paris, Texas -- saving the day as the fearless but ill-fated hero Siegfried, the New York Times declared the cast "as strong a lineup of vocal artists for a Wagner opera as I have heard in years".

To complement the complete Ring cycle on both DVD and Blu-ray, Deutsche Grammophon is releasing two related titles: Twilight of the Gods, a 2-CD compilation of audio highlights from the Met Ring -- featuring all the major stars of the production and such famous extracts as The Ride of the Valkyries, Wotan's Farewell, the Magic Fire Music, Siegfried's Rhine Journey and the concluding Immolation Scene -- and Wagner's Dream, a frank and revealing documentary about the five-year making of the Met's new Ring that has already been acclaimed as "simply the best documentary about the Met ever made" (Film Journal), "a must-see for any creative soul" (Cinespect) and "destined to be one of the classic documentaries about opera" (Philadelphia Inquirer).
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Re: Wagner

Postby Apollonius » Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:49 pm

Although I seldom listen to the romantics anymore, I still love Wagner, possibly at least in part because like so much of baroque opera Wagner's stories take on mythological themes, even if, in keeping with typical romantic style and in opposition to the baroque, the stories end tragically.


Das Rheingold (trailer) - Richard Wagner (1813-1883) ; various soloists ; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra directed by Robert Lapage



Robert Lepage's visionary Met Opera staging of Wagner's epic Ring Cycle begins - in astounding HD.

In the Ring Cycle's first opera, the gods of Valhalla clash with underworld dwarves and giants. The evil Alberich (Eric Owens) forges a ring of unimaginable power out of stolen gold from the Rhine. When this is stolen by Wotan (Bryn Terfel), king of the gods, Alberich places a curse that guarantees misery for whoever wears it. But Wotan's unwillingness to part with the ring sets in motion a chain of events that will end in his own destruction. This landmark production of Wagner's Ring Cycle astonished audiences when it was staged at the Met Opera. The amazing spectacle has as its centrepiece a vast machine comprised of giant planks that move independently to create the opera's settings. It's a suitably elegant, jaw-dropping solution to the staging of this most challenging of operatic works, which requires characters to fly and swim underwater.







There is a magnificent two volume set of books which include the entire libretto to Der Ring des Nibelungen, complete with stage directions and scene descriptions for the four operas profusely illustrated by Arthur Rackham, one of the greatest illustrators of children's literature of all time, which appeared in limited edition of one hundred signed copies issued in German in 1910 and 1911. I wonder how many of these originals are still around?


Image

From Das Rheingold: Alberich steals the gold.
Last edited by Apollonius on Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Wagner

Postby Apollonius » Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:52 pm

David P. Goldman is certainly not the only columnist who manages to make a colossal fool of themselves in public:


Lord of the internet rings - Maureen Dowd, New York Times, 9 October 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/opinion/10dowd.html



... All of these mythic twists and turns in "Das Rheingold" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York were a revelation to me. I'd never seen the Ring cycle. I didn't even know what it was about. I loved everything about Peter Gelb's $16 million production: the shape-shifting, high-tech stage, the mermaid sopranos dangling from wires, the magnetic Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, who plays Wotan, the weak ruler of the gods who tries to renege after bartering his gorgeous sister-in-law for construction of a gorgeous castle. (The moral of the story: Never mess with your contractor, the contractor always wins.)


But as I watched the opera, my mind kept flashing to the "The Social Network," another dazzling drama about quarrels over riches, social hierarchy, envy, theft and the consequences of deceit. A Sony executive called "The Social Network," the David Fincher-Aaron Sorkin movie about Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his circle of ex-friends and partners, "the first really modern movie." Yet the strikingly similar themes in Wagner's feudal "Das Rheingold" - the Ring cycle is based on the medieval German epic poem "Das Nibelungenlied," which some experts say helped inspire J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" - underscore how little human drama changes through the ages. '




I was really astonished, flabberrgasted to the point of disbelief of what I was reading when I read that here's a supposedly sophisticated writer, someone whose columns are syndicated throughout the U.S., admitted that she didn't even know what the Ring cycle was about. Then she goes beyond illiteracy and descends into brain dysfunction by claiming that "some experts" say Wagner helped inspire Tolkien's Ring. Some? Like anyone who has ever read it. How much do you want to make a bet that she never has?
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