A lot of music lovers' guiltiest pleasure has his bicentennial today.
He was an evil old bastard, but he really was a brilliant composer. Here is the opening to Das Rheingold. Phillip Glass, eat your heart out!
Personally, I'm partial to Parsifal.
The late great Bruno Walter conducts a brilliant rendition of the Good Friday Spell from Parsifal.
There's a great story that Mark Twain, who hated Wagner and all that he stood for, took his wife to Bayreuth for her birthday. She was a devoted fan of Wagner's music. He sat with her through the whole Ring cycle without a murmur of complaint.
Now that's love.
Happy Birthday Richard Wagner you old son of a bitch! Thanks for the music and never mind about the rest.
By the way, a lot of the best conductors of your music are Jewish. Ha!