AH had nothing negative to say about Gustav Mahler’s conducting…

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:



The real Gottfried Wagner? SD reply…

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?


Just wondering…:-)

Mini-review on Amazon of Natalie Dessay’s CD Cleopatra arias from Giulio Cesare by Handel

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.



Only a C-Major chord? CT on RW’s music…sd reply…

“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

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….


Conflicting aspects of Richard Wagner as told by Gottfried Wagner…sd reply…

Gottfried Wagner is a breath of fresh air. It takes courage to be in the middle of the Wagner family and yet stick to his own principles, especially in public. I imagine some of the other Wagners are just cringing at his honesty.

I have come to love Wagner’s music in spite of myself. For many years I refused to have anything to do with it because of Wagner’s anti-Semitism and the connection of his music to Hitler and the Third Reich. But his music to me transcends even the horrific connection, and some productions, such as the recent Francois Girard Parsifal at the Met, can help Wagner’s music to be understood in a timeless and universal manner.


A plug for Bill Eddin’s new governance model…reply to SD blog…

With all due respect, the organization needs a new business model. The guarantor/patron model has failed; that seems to be faily evident to just about everyone.

Bill Eddins has proposed a governance idea that might actually work, and could give the players the involvement they need to have a say in every aspect of the orchestra. The next challenge would be to determine how to make a transition from one model to the other. There might need to be a group or organization to oversee the transition.



MO lockout — who ‘demonized’ whom first — players or MOA? SD reply…

With all due respect, graeter, the players were ‘demonized’ first. This created a slanted field, so the players have fought back. In the long run, it looks like taking that stance has also backed them into a corner.

Overall, it seems to me the support is with the players, because they are the ones who were sandbagged and have been put at a disadvantage, even though everyone tacitly acknowledges that the MOA may think it is trying to keep the organization afloat. Nothing the players can say about MOA can possibly equal that imo.