Thursday, July 31, 2008
Nasty Brilliant Old Wagner
I don't consider myself a Wagner fan, but I think this is pretty magnificent. It's the Prelude to Act III of Lohengrin. Yes, Hitler was an enthusiastic Wagner fan, but so were WH Auden and Thomas Mann.
I've known some enthusiastic Wagnerians in my time, and they were all Jewish. Incidentally, the conductor of this performance, Otto Klemperer, was Jewish. Perhaps there is some justice there.
Alas, moral goodness and aesthetic success are two completely separate and unrelated items. Ezra Pound was the greatest modern American poet. He was also a traitor, and in wartime. The greatness of his art does not pardon his crime, nor does his crime diminish his art.
Sorry about the sappy pictures on the YouTube post. These days, Wagner's music makes me think of the grand expansive work of an artist like Anselm Kiefer.
Posted by Counterlight at Thursday, July 31, 2008