Jeff Smith 2:30 p.m., June 26
One Hit Wagner
This next one hurts a little.
Richard Wagner is a pivotal figure in the history of music. We can almost divide the entire history of music into pre-Tristan and post-Tristan. The “Tristan Chord” from the prelude of Tristan und Isolde changed music forever.
Wagner also wrote The Ride of the Valkyries and that’s how many of us know him. From Elmer Fudd’s, “Kill duh Wabbit” to Robert Duval’s air cavalry raid in Apocalypse Now, The Ride of the Valkyries is Wagner’s most popular music.
His funeral march from Gotterdammerung got some play in the 1981 fantasy movie Excaliber but no one wants to admit to seeing that film.