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The time has come. I must now come out of the closet and reveal myself as a Wagner fan.

To my mind, Wagner is the most fascinating figure in all of classical music. Is there anyone else who creates as much heated, irate debate as Wagner?

No one has a lukewarm opinion about Wagner.

Why? A few people will get into the value of his music but most of it stems from Wagner’s personality and anti-Semitism.

Regarding Wagner’s personality, let’s put it this way, Nietzsche couldn’t stomach him.

Early on Nietzsche looked to Wagner as a father figure.

Nietzsche was obsessed with living a life with the aesthetic and grandeur of a Greek tragedy. His first book, The Birth of Tragedy lays this out clearly.

He saw in Wagner’s operas the potential for reviving Greek tragedy.

There is no doubt that Wagner was an anti-Semite. He wrote about it.

His book Judenthum in der Music, Jewishness in Music, was an attack on Jewish musicians, particularly Giacomo Meyerbeer.

After his political exile from Dresden, Wagner tried his hand in Paris and perceived Meyerbeer to be blocking his success. This was mostly the creation of Wagner’s megalomania. Meyerbeer had been a big supporter of Wagner’s first successful opera, Rienzi.

What fascinates me about Wagner is that as a personality he is selfish and disgusting.

As a composer, he is divine. There are moments in Wagner’s operas that I consider to me more powerful and beautiful than any other music.

Every single Wagner opera is about redemption.

I can’t apologize for Wagner. I will say that I enjoy the grotesque imbalance of his personality and his art.

After writing "Contra Wagner", Nietzsche had this to say about Wagner's finale opera Parsifal,

"I will not deny it, other really good music, which I have at other times heard and loved, seems, as against this, a misunderstanding! "

I will be writing about Wagner every so often because his music and his personal life are fertile and largely unexplored by the general music lover.

Conclusion of Parsifal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-UEar-WYEc&feature=related

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Comments

nan shartel Jan. 12, 2011 @ 8:30 p.m.

crap!!!

Wagner!!!

i was hoping against hope we were a lonnnnnnnnnggggg long way from Wagner!!!

do we have ta???

lolol

my favorite Wagner Opera is Tannhauser...not the Paris version

the French can be such frogs!!!

the ballet is so bacchanal...real...as unsophisticated as an impetuous party should be

i think Wagner tinkered with Tannhauser over most of his life


i particularly like this one because of the horns

then we could get into who has the superlative voice quality to even sing Wagner well

many more paragraphs would need to be written about that

as u said Pavarotti never did

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nan shartel Jan. 12, 2011 @ 8:44 p.m.

the ballet is impeccably beautiful!!!!


it makes me want to kick myself for never becoming a dancer!!!

i missed the performance here in San Diego in 2008

did u sing in that chorus???

i know i know...many have a less then stellar attitude about the plot of Tannhauser...but i love it!!!

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Garrett Harris Jan. 12, 2011 @ 9:43 p.m.

I love Tannhauser. I did sing in the chorus in 2008. I've done Dutchman, Lohengrin, and Tannhauser. They are all fantastic shows for the chorus.

While I was in college I worked for the school district cleaning classrooms in the summer. I listened to Tannhauser twice a day for two weeks. It worked out because that meant my 8 hours were over!

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nan shartel Jan. 13, 2011 @ 3:35 p.m.

very cool...the twice a day Tannhauser...i guess it hadn't been done here for many many years in San Diego

u must have a strong voice for Wagner....my friend who sings with the Berlin Opera was picked to sing there because he could sing chorus in Wagner Operas...he's moved on to more elevated roles now

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