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CLASSICAL  April 2007

CLASSICAL April 2007

Subject:

Re: My First Live Ring Installment

From:

Anne Ozorio <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 23 Apr 2007 19:59:09 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (37 lines)

Christopher Webber wrote:

>Roger, but isn't this "updating" precisely what Wagner himself was doing
>to Norse and German myth?

The original legends were handed down through oral tradition, thus
existed in many variations.  Moreover, Wagner certainly had no intention
of following them faithfully.  It's not even an issue in Wagner studies.
He saw them more as a symbolic framework on which to hang and develop
completely original ideas.  It's important to remember Wagner was a
political revolutionary.  In 1848, while Schumann ran away, leaving his
kids alone woth a teenaged maid in beleagured Dresden, Wagner was out
on the barricades.  That's why he was exiled and why he moved to
Switzerland.  Throughout the Ring run themes which subvert power, the
pursuit of material gain, the corruptiuon of power, misuse of authority
and so on.  Everyone who tries to possess the Ring is doomed and in no
uncertain terms.  Then on top of this the usual Wagner themes of love,
redemption, etc.  etc.  That is why Mitch's comment on seeing political
bigwigs in the audience is so meaningful.  Maybe they don't understand
a bit of what's really going on.  Neither, clearly did politicians in
the 1930's!!

Moeover, Wagner himself emphasized the importance of ideas and meaning
in his work.  He believed in challenge.  It was Cosima who introduced
stultifying convention.  Someone else remarked on why right wingers like
opera.  True.  So many of them like "traditional" conservative settings
that steer well clear of deeper meaning.  The "image" of opera as rich
man's pablum doesn't reflect what really happens in Wagner.

Anne
[log in to unmask]

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