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CLASSICAL  July 2001

CLASSICAL July 2001

Subject:

Wagner in China and in Me

From:

Rudolf Tang <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 4 Jul 2001 12:40:40 +0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

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How I hope that I know German, so I can apprecaite the rhythm and admire
Wagner the great librettist!  I am fully aware that I am not within the
position as well as the authority to give an introduction of Wagner in
China.  It is a shame and an utter disappointment that up till now only Der
fliegende Hollander has been performed in Shanghai(other cities I do not
know), not to mention the poor casts and orchestra.  China seems not to
have a proper venue to stage gorgeous oparas like Wagner.  Most people,
yet, not seem to have been well prepared for such intellectual works
psychologically.  If we treat every grand opera like the way we do with
Aida several months ago in Shanghai in a stadium, then there is no point
enjoying classical music anymore--people do not go there for music, bel
canto or art, people go there for fireworks and circus insead.  Opera nuts
find it easier to indulge in Madam Butterfly, Tosca, La traviata, Carmen.
German operas, I have to admit, have been neglected.  I study at TongJi
University, which is the most famed one in China for its German education.
Thus I can get more about German culture than others.  I have to say that
German culture is not such a strong tide as American or Japanese tides in
China.  However most classical music lovers are German-dominant.  I once
asked some pop fans whether they like German culture or not.  I was
replied"I have never heard more unbearable pop music than German ones."
Maybe the modern German tend to find a sophisticated balance between their
abundant musical heritage and Bach-influenced creativity.  Some friends of
mine are insane Wagner fans.  One of them shut himself from others in his
own room, listening to Ring at a stretch for a week.  I do not remember
when I became to show interest in Wagner.  I think it is quite natural.
First you are attracted by lyrical melodies like To Alice and Moonlight by
Beethoven, then the epics of the Fifth and the Ninth Symphony.  Then you
turn to both sides--backward to Mozart, Haydn and Bach..., forward to
Mendelssohn, Brahms, Schumann and finally, inevitably, you come to Wagner
Mahler and Bruckner.  So far Wagner is prohibited in Isreal but not in
China.  Somehow it always occurs to me that to some extent we are among the
most endurable races in the world.  Never there has been a people suffering
so much as we Chinese,even the Jews--Qing Dynasty government's corruption
first, imperialists occupation then, the Japanese's War followed, which
bear uncurable wound in our minds.  Yet for the time being the Japanese
culture is the most popoular and admirable chic in China.  I like Wagner.
I love his operas.  They are all reflections of human beings.  Vanity,
lust, carnal desire, loft, materialism and moneterilism, actually every
facet of mankind whatever good or evil, can all be deceived in his opera,
especially in Der Ring des Nibelungen.  But recently the struggle towards
power in Bayreuth among those Wagners appears to be even more dramatic
cloak and sword than operas.  Those Wagners are besmirching their family
names.  I originally tended to go to Salzburg this summer for a ten-day's
trip.  But because I did not do well in my final exam, my mother refused to
fund me.  I'd better stay at home and modify my webpage.  Would you provide
some firsthand information about either the Bayreuth or the Salzburg
Festspiele? Danke shone!

Rudolf Tang
http://www.classical.net.cn
http://klassik.yeah.net

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