Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Richard Wagner Turns 200 Today

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!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I so agree with you on Wagner as a man - but as a composer he has always taken my breath away.

Thanks for the music!