Interesting that you seem to be making a case for AH’s anti-Semitism to have developed later in his life rather than something he believed in as a teenager.
Of course, there was another Jewish person involved in AH’s family life, the physician Dr. Bloch:
Perhaps we can agree that RW was a flawed person who, in spite of his personal issues, managed to create music worthy of its still being performed 200 years after his birth. Perhaps that concept even gives hope to the rest of us…
Would you care to add any definition to your use of the term ‘crazy’? Surely, being born into the Wagner family alone presents issues most of us don’t have to confront, for good or ill. But then, is this the ‘crazy’ of someone thinking outside the box who is on a mission to correct misperceptions, or is this the ‘crazy’ of someone truly disconnected from the real world?
I recently experienced the Met HD Live Stream of the McVickar production of Giulio Cesare with Natalie Dessay as Cleopatra, and was alternately curious and dismayed at what I can only call its ‘over-production’. There was so much to look at, the music was almost left in the distance. So I decided to simply listen to Ms. Dessay, rather than being concerned if she was going to wrinkle her brow while emoting (an 18-year-old Cleopatra wouldn’t have done that) or how many hours of yoga (she talked about this during the break) it took for her to acquire such nicely toned arms. In that respect, this CD does not disappoint. In fact, after listening to it a number of times during the past week, I can comfortably say that, though purists may with justification complain that not all the arias of Cleopatra are included in the CD, or that Ms. Dessay may at times seem to do almost as much improvising as ornamentation, that this is a pleasure to listen to. Ms. Dessay has a lovely and agile voice that handles the range and nuances of these Baroque arias with grace, and at times breathtaking, eloquence.
“German conductor Christian Thielemann, the Bayreuth Festival’s unofficial musical director, contends in his own recent book entitled “My Life with Wagner” that music is per se non-political and that a “C-major chord is just a C-major chord”.”
That may be so, but is beside the point when the music has been used and represented as a political vehicle, not to mention, when the composer himself is so wrapped up in false thinking that one can argue whether or not anti-Semitism was deliberately injected, not into the music, per se, but into the operas.
With all due respect to CT, I think he (still) has his head in the sand…
Are you implying that RW’s anti-Semitism did not apply to the arts? That is surely not impossible, but what exactly are you referencing as a source?
Ironically, AH’s anti-Semitism seemed to have taken a back seat to his love of Wagner’s music, in that he had nothing negative to say about Mahler’s conducting of Wagner’s works.
Plus, AH and GM happened to be in the same place at the same time on May 8, 1906, when AH attended a performance of T+O at the Vienna Opera with Mahler conducting. It is doubly ironic for me, in that May 8 is my birthday….
With all due respect, to many of us, “Never Again” means far more even than Wagner’s music. If only all the Wagner descendants embraced Gottfried’s position. But they don’t.