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How come Rienzi is rarely mentioned in these defenses of Wagner? I think it's because the opera has some disturbing parallels and resonances.
 

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Wagner's "anti-Judaic" attitude is closely connected to antisemitism (a term developed later).
"Closely connected" is meaningless. And the specific topic of my comment was Parsifal, not Wagner's antisemitism as such. Try addressing the statements to which you're responding.

This applies perfectly to the controversy surrounding the premier of Parsifal. Do you actually condone this?
What controversy surrounding the premiere? Condone what? What are you talking about?


If you want a source, copy paste and google it yourself. I'm not doing work for you.
[/QUOTE]
 

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"You've never met anyone..." Seriously? Are you kidding me? :lol:
That is vapid argumentation designed to invalidate my earlier Woody Allen posting and defend the "other side."

I thought this was supposed to be a serous discussion, not a campaign to support the "policing" of the forum.

I understand the sentiment of "nationalistic fervor of protecting the forum" (so to speak) which seems to be permeating responses to my posts, but could we revert back to the topic or simply avoid vapid comments if there is no more to say? It would be desirable to keep this thread open.
Your posts get the responses they merit. What would be desirable is for you to say something that shows an understanding of - or an interest in learning about - what you're talking about. If this thread is closed - which has become a tradition here - you will once again have done far more than anyone else to bring that about.
 

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How come Rienzi is rarely mentioned in these defenses of Wagner? I think it's because the opera has some disturbing parallels and resonances.
These "defenses" are attempts to attain understanding despite the truckloads of second- and third-hand cliches that egotistical know-nothings dump into every discussion of the composer and his work.

Please, please tell us all about Rienzi's "disturbing parallels and resonances." I'll supply the popcorn.
 

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August Kubizek, a boyhood friend of Adolf Hitler, claimed that Hitler was so influenced by seeing Rienzi as a young man in 1906 or 1907 that it triggered his political career,
and that when Kubizek reminded Hitler, in 1939 at Bayreuth, of his exultant response to the opera
Hitler had replied, "At that hour it all began!"

It is known that Hitler possessed the original manuscript of the opera, which he had requested and been given as a fiftieth birthday present in 1939. The manuscript was with Hitler in his bunker; it was either stolen, lost or destroyed by fire in the destruction of the bunker's contents after Hitler's death (the manuscript of Wagner's earlier work Die Feen is believed to have met with the same fate).

If you want a source, copy paste and google it yourself. I'm not doing work for you.
This is solid historical data, but what does it have to do with the thread topic?
 

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I think the paucity of comments on Rienzi comes more from the fact that it’s a rather dull opera apart from Allmächt’ger Vater.
 

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I think the paucity of comments on Rienzi comes more from the fact that it's a rather dull opera apart from Allmächt'ger Vater.
Indeed. It was the young Wagner's attempt to break into the opera world with a Meyerbeer-style grand historical opera, and it did earn him a reasonable success and recognition, but it doesn't represent his mature art, had no influence on later music, and gets few performances now.

It was his next opera, The Flying Dutchman, in which he "found himself" artistically (although his very first opera, Die Feen, suggests, in its use of fairy tale subject matter, what was to come). In Dutchman we have a dark, Romantic legend presenting themes of alienation, wandering, and redemption by love that imbue his later works.
 

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I knew that!:lol:
 
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"Closely connected" is meaningless.
No, it's not, since anti-Judaism is a form of antisemitism, according to the definition.

What controversy surrounding the premiere?
Wagner's desire to have Levi convert to Christianity.

Condone what?
Making Jews convert to Christianity & be baptised, as both Mahler and Schoenberg did.

What are you talking about?
The thread topic, "Was Wagner Religious?", and I think the answer is yes.

MIICMM
 

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Your posts get the responses they merit. What would be desirable is for you to say something that shows an understanding of - or an interest in learning about - what you're talking about. If this thread is closed - which has become a tradition here - you will once again have done far more than anyone else to bring that about.
What happened to the discussion? Is this a discussion or an attempt to 'police' the forum for content that is deemed 'counter-productive?'
I'm discussing. If you don't agree with me, then state your case.
 

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So here we ago again, another Wagner and anti-Semitic thread.

The reality is Wagner's music has always stayed in the canon repertoire. So deal with it.

The reality is Wagner's music has always been controversial. Deal with it if you think the composer was a pig. Good luck banning his music.

I'm sure someone will quote this post and word by word analyze it to death with scorn. That doesn't change reality with Wagner's music. I'm sure there are singers and orchestras right now practicing for another sellout Wagner opera program. Long may that continue.

As for Hitler, even if Wagner never wrote a single note of music, I'm sure Hitler would have done what he and the Nazi party did.

Was Wagner religious? From what I have read, I think the answer was probably yes. But that doesn't mean he was a Saint.
 

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Well yes, if I see a pretty girl winking at me I'll very likely not move on it. If that's not maturity in the face of a cheap thrill then what is?

Even if its at a party and there's talk and and I know for a certainty that it's a done deal, I'll still know that it's a fruitless activity in every way. It's maturity to know yourself and the situation and that relationships are not built that way, and experience helps but hopefully you don't have to do what Wagner did and write a melodramatic 4 hour opera about your lust and then go have a handful of affairs.

The hope is that you have enough experience under your belt early on so that by your mid or late 20s you're ready to find a wife and have the previous experience not to want to cheat.
:lol: Nothing better than a banned member previously writing sanctimonious posts. I'm glad the individual got banned.
 

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How come Rienzi is rarely mentioned in these defenses of Wagner? I think it's because the opera has some disturbing parallels and resonances.
I'm hoping to see (on video) a very good Rienzi someday soon. I think it's a fascinating opera that deserves more productions. I can't seem to find many options on video right now.
 
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I think the paucity of comments on Rienzi comes more from the fact that it's a rather dull opera apart from Allmächt'ger Vater.
Whew. I'm glad someone finally said that, and that it wasn't me. That it was a favorite of Hitler's strikes me as a trivial point. I've read Hitler favorite opera was The Merry Widow. It has some great tunes, but I'm not about to sit through that one at the opera house either. I have heard performances of these operas on the radio.

It seems to me axiomatic that music or any art must stand or fall on its own merits, though we may need to learn something about the era and cultural environment in which they were created, if it is not our own.

If one has some fundamental need to attack Wagner's music, one could say that most people these days do not want to sit through a four-hour opera, or to pay the ticket prices that must be charged to support the expense of producing such operas. Instead, one more commonly hears Wagner overtures and preludes, or the climactic scene from Tristan and Isolde, without the rest of the opera. This isn't Wagner's fault, but because we are no longer living in the 19th century.

As for Christian or political operas, isn't Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites, that many consider his masterpiece, a Christian opera, in a decidedly political setting? If conservative Christian fundamentalists began to praise that opera as a depiction of righteous Christians martyring themselves in defiance of the advance of evil secularism, would it be time to declare open season on Poulenc around here? That right wing [email protected] Also, one of the greatest geniuses of modern music. Which is leftist. I'm so confused.
 

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Discussion Starter · #197 · (Edited)
How come Rienzi is rarely mentioned in these defenses of Wagner? I think it's because the opera has some disturbing parallels and resonances.
I think the paucity of comments on Rienzi comes more from the fact that it's a rather dull opera apart from Allmächt'ger Vater.
It may not be Wagner's masterpiece, but I quite like Rienzi. I wouldn't call it dull at all. It's basically four hours and forty minutes of catchy melodies, and I can understand why it was popular.

As for the plot, my reaction was that Rienzi's leadership over Rome was only a short-term benefit because really he was setting himself up like a tyrant, so the people weren't really better off with him. I can see how people would draw parallels to certain things, but I think this has less to do with Wagner and more to do with the genre of French grand opera which to my understanding often had historically based plots involving politics and struggles between groups of people. Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots has similar themes, though I'm not as familiar with that opera.

Why is it never brought up? From my reading, there are various reasons. A certain person who loved this opera probably scarred it regardless of it's merit; it's overshadowed by Wagner's later more Wagnerian works; it's a big deal to perform because of the large scale of it; and French grand opera isn't popular anymore.

In short, I don't know that Rienzi has much relevance in these discussions anyway because it is basically an imitation work.

Edited to add: The book Wagner based the opera on was apparently very popular at the time. I found an old 1904 copy at a used bookstore nearby and saw one in the library of a historic house now museum. This is across the Atlantic too. So the choice of plot would seem to be another way for Wagner to capitalize on current fads.
 

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This is solid historical data, but what does it have to do with the thread topic?
You said Wagner was not antisemitic but "anti-Judaic," and anti-Judaism is a form of antisemitism, according to the definition.

This is a form of religious bias (see thread title Was Wagner Religious). The controversy surrounding the premiere of Parsifal, and Wagner's desire to have Levi convert to Christianity. Making Jews convert to Christianity & be baptised, as both Mahler and Schoenberg later did, was the prevailing German Christian attitude.

This bias certainly agreed with Hitler's attitudes toward "the Jewish problem." If readers don't know what I mean when I said that Wagner emerged from a 'flawed Germanic cultural matrix, then perhaps this will give them food for thought.

Popcorn, anyone?

Post #185:
Woodduck said: These "defenses" are attempts to attain understanding despite the truckloads of second- and third-hand cliches that egotistical know-nothings dump into every discussion of the composer and his work.


Could we revert back to the topic or simply avoid chiding other members if there is no more to say? It would be desirable to keep this thread open.
 

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I think a far more interesting question is what made Wagner have anti-Semitic views/an anti-Semitic person? Why were there such views in Germany at that time (and before)? And more importantly from a musical viewpoint, how much did that influence Wagner's creative thinking in shaping the Wagnerian way of writing new Romantic, German music? (Wagner's operas are distinctively German and Romantic, as compared to his great contemporary Verdi).

I'm not Jewish. I can enjoy Wagner's music. I don't believe Wagner's music makes one convert to being racist against any race. Great composers are not moral gods, they are musical gods.
 

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So here we ago again, another Wagner and anti-Semitic thread. The reality is Wagner's music has always stayed in the canon repertoire. So deal with it. The reality is Wagner's music has always been controversial. Deal with it if you think the composer was a pig. Good luck banning his music. I'm sure someone will quote this post and word by word analyze it to death with scorn. That doesn't change reality with Wagner's music. I'm sure there are singers and orchestras right now practicing for another sellout Wagner opera program. Long may that continue. As for Hitler, even if Wagner never wrote a single note of music, I'm sure Hitler would have done what he and the Nazi party did. Was Wagner religious? From what I have read, I think the answer was probably yes. But that doesn't mean he was a Saint.

What happened to the discussion? Is this a discussion or an attempt to 'police' the forum for content that is deemed 'counter-productive?' I'm discussing. If you don't agree with me, then state your case.

I understand the sentiment of "nationalistic fervor of protecting the forum" (so to speak) which seems to be permeating responses to my posts, but could we revert back to the topic or simply avoid vapid comments on the possible intent of the members' postings if there is no more to say? It would be desirable to keep this thread open.
 
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