Classical Music Forum banner

Did Wagner Revolutionize Modern Music?

101 - 120 of 132 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,962 Posts
Not really. Most of the classical music we listen to was supported, and written for, the aristocracy or church from the 14th-19th centuries. The popular music of the day was made by itinerant performers, essentially folk music.
Dependence on aristocracy or church gradually waned; much of the 19th-century music that forms the core of today's classical repertoire was written for the concert hall. And opera had become popular entertainment while still in its first (17th) century.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,463 Posts
it is not a matter of 'generation' or whatever false notion 20th century ideologies have spawned in order to make believe that mass opinion counts.

art has always been intended for elites, that is for the few and not many, so its main point is create new realities the masterpieces to which must convey messages, symbols and meanings that will shape a new world, besides providing artifacts for the worlds to come, just in case there be a need for great ideas.
Nobody need be an 'elite' (what does it even mean in this context) to enjoy 'art'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
635 Posts
Decades ago a friend and I used to dream about a film of the Ring utilizing all the techniques available, and we wondered why it had never been done. It would be expensive, of course, but I think it could be a surprise hit and would open many people's ears to opera and classical music. There are plenty of videos of staged productions, some of which are interesting, and there is the very strange and controversial Syberberg film of Parsifal, but no attempts, as far as I know, to take Wagner's own conceptions seriously and use the resources of film to realize them. I think it's a major cultural oversight.
Well, in 2010 a film adaptation of "Der Freischütz" was made. (also available on dvd/blu-ray)
Filmed in the style of modern movies.

If this can be adapted, Wagner should be also possible.

trailer =>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,169 Posts
Wagner didn't revolutionize music, he killed it. It's hard not to regard Wagner as the absolute zenith of Western music. Before him, music was enslaved to form, after him, music loses its way in the trappings of atonality and we see the rise of disposable "popular music" in response. With Parsifal, music has seemingly served its purpose, and suffers a slow death, its fatal dying gasps can be heard in Cardi B's "WAP".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Wagner didn't revolutionize music, he killed it. It's hard not to regard Wagner as the absolute zenith of Western music. Before him, music was enslaved to form, after him, music loses its way in the trappings of atonality and we see the rise of disposable "popular music" in response. With Parsifal, music has seemingly served its purpose, and suffers a slow death, its fatal dying gasps can be heard in Cardi B's "WAP".
Hey Couchie- I couldn't agree more. I said the exact same thing to a cellist I know and I think she thought I was hyperbolic at best- idiotic at worst. I stand by that statement. In Act 3 of Parsifal music all but ceases to exist. He killed it. Thank you for that post. I generally avoid these types of online discussions if possible but I had to log in just to back you up. Wagner wasn't love at first hearing, but I was and am continually humbled by Wagner's musical insights.

I recommend studying his scores.

PS- I just re- read that post and wanted to say that I would give it 100 likes if I could.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Couchie

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,952 Posts
Discussion Starter · #109 ·
Wagner didn't revolutionize music, he killed it. It's hard not to regard Wagner as the absolute zenith of Western music. Before him, music was enslaved to form, after him, music loses its way in the trappings of atonality and we see the rise of disposable "popular music" in response. With Parsifal, music has seemingly served its purpose, and suffers a slow death, its fatal dying gasps can be heard in Cardi B's "WAP".
Raise it one bar further: Wagner was the absolutist demigod of music. :p
 
  • Like
Reactions: Couchie

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,169 Posts
Hey Couchie- I couldn't agree more. I said the exact same thing to a cellist I know and I think she thought I was hyperbolic at best- idiotic at worst. I stand by that statement. In Act 3 of Parsifal music all but ceases to exist. He killed it. Thank you for that post. I generally avoid these types of online discussions if possible but I had to log in just to back you up. Wagner wasn't love at first hearing, but I was and am continually humbled by Wagner's musical insights.

I recommend studying his scores.

PS- I just re- read that post and wanted to say that I would give it 100 likes if I could.
It's never hyperbolic to adulate Parsifal. Hyperbole is impossible where the infinite is concerned. All music is foreplay and denouement to Parsifal. What is Parsifal but the the Holy Grail itself? Most look upon it with bewilderment, but to those select few called to its service, it nourishes and perfects the soul.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Music Snob

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,463 Posts
Wagner didn't revolutionize music, he killed it. It's hard not to regard Wagner as the absolute zenith of Western music. Before him, music was enslaved to form, after him, music loses its way in the trappings of atonality and we see the rise of disposable "popular music" in response. With Parsifal, music has seemingly served its purpose, and suffers a slow death, its fatal dying gasps can be heard in Cardi B's "WAP".
Tonal music continued to thrive following Wagner, so your assertion must be wrong. Clearly, you are merely stating an opinion.

And Parsifal (based on Act I) isn't, to my ears at least, anything like as harmonically adventurous as the Tristan Prelude.

Cardi B's music is hardly representative of the diversity and quality of modern popular music; it's difficult to imagine her music gaining as much interest if it weren't for her use of sexually charged images.
 

·
Banned
Bernd Alois Zimmermann
Joined
·
595 Posts
Those pregnant pauses, that unerring hum, an undertow of impending doom, cleaved from Der fliegende Holländer through to Parsifal…

These chasm-spanning paradigm shifts of a Goddam Germanic Genius…

Chapeau, Richardinho! 🎩
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,507 Posts
He certainly did something unique. And he wanted to be a radical (albeit for an unpleasant ideology). But how do you decide whether a composer was a revolutionary or a great composer (necessarily with a distinctive voice)? Is it down to whether many followed in his footsteps? If so, who followed Wagner? Debussy perhaps (and a good few followed him)? It's a nice story, Wagner and Liszt the revolutionaries and Brahms to conservative but it's just spin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
Wagner didn't revolutionize music, he killed it. It's hard not to regard Wagner as the absolute zenith of Western music. Before him, music was enslaved to form, after him, music loses its way in the trappings of atonality and we see the rise of disposable "popular music" in response. With Parsifal, music has seemingly served its purpose, and suffers a slow death, its fatal dying gasps can be heard in Cardi B's "WAP".
Old post, but I feel compelled to note that atonality was basically the antithesis of Wagner's aesthetic style that involved the tension created by the ambiguous, androgynous suggestion/co-existence of multiple possible keys and tonalities. The profound, impassioned yearning in much of Parsifal and in the opening theme/motif of Tristan is built from that tension. Atonality eliminated this tension by eliminating tonality altogether. You can't have tension without tonal hierarchies and the expectations those tonal relations create. Atonality, despite what some may say (including the atonal theorists) was not a logical progression from Wagner's ambiguous tonalities, it was a complete destruction of everything Wagner himself tried to achieve with his tonal innovations.

FWIW, I don't hate atonality myself and think many great works came from it; and tonality continued to flourish after Wagner as well with all the composers who chose not to buy into the dogma of the 2nd Viennese School and theorists. Plenty of composers continued to tread middle grounds between tonality and atonality, or alternative grounds altogether like Mahler, Scriabin, R. Strauss, and Messiaen. Plus, even if all atonality ever gave us Wozzeck I think the entire movement would've been worth it.

Also, as an aside, WAP is a novelty song. There have been dozens/hundreds of such songs that achieved temporary popularity and quickly faded from public consciousness. Musically it's just a typical Trap song; completely uninteresting if it wasn't for its scandalous sexual lyrics, which, IMO, are more funny than anything else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,770 Posts
Alex Ross's 2020 book Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music says so. Among other things he says:

"... interior monologue and stream of consciousness, considered modernist literary innovations, can be traced back to Wagner’s operas, as can the modernists’ use of repeating literary elements, similar to leitmotifs ... The composer came to represent the cultural-political unconscious of modernity—an aesthetic war zone in which the Western world struggled with its raging contradictions, its longing for creation and destruction, its inclinations toward beauty and violence. Wagner was arguably the presiding spirit of the bourgeois century that achieved its highest splendor around 1900 and then went to its doom."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
I don´t want to discuss with some posters. Just read the following statements:

Bernstein called Tristan und Isolde “the central work of all music history, the hub of the wheel

Barenboim: "Beethoven sonatas are something else for me after directing Tristan".

Stravinsky: " How powerful this man must have been to have destroyed an essentially musical form [opera] with such energy that fifty years after his death we are still staggering under the rubbish and racket of the music drama! For the prestige of the Synthesis of the Arts is still alive."
 
101 - 120 of 132 Posts
Top