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In the Penal Colony

My favourite Kafka story improbably realized as an opera. But since it’s Glass, it’s not that much of a surprise. As is the case these days, things are vulgarized by the obligatory push for “relevance”. Ho-hum!     Franz KafkaIn the Penal ColonyJeff JanisheskioperaPhilip Glassphilosophical literature

Solti’s Parsifal

Below is Stephen Follows’ entry for Solti in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Solti, Sir Georg (1912–1997), conductor, was born György Stern in Vérmezö utca, in the Buda district of Budapest, on 21 October 1912, the younger of the two children of Moricz (later Móric) Stern, a businessman originally from Balatonfökajár in southern Hungary,…

David Murray

I was lucky enough to have had David Murray as one of my tutors at Birkbeck who I’ve only just discovered, died two years ago (I don’t think I’d any idea that he was originally a Canuck). Here is his obituary in the FT and Toocool2betrue along with a squib from the Edmonton Journal, and so far as…

Discovering and Engaging Wagner

Born on this date. It’s worth giving a listen to this curated bunch of podcasts presented under the auspices of the BBC’s “Composer of the Week” series. As the one and only Bernard Williams wrote: “You can have a well-formed, deep relation to Western music while passing Wagner’s works by, finding them boring or not…

Wagner and German Idealism

Scruton, Grayling, Janaway, Tanner and Deathridge each present a short episode on the philosophical influences on Wagner.   anthony graylingchris janawayClassical musicGerman Idealismmichael tanneroperaRichard WagnerRoger Scrutonromanticism

Williams on Wagner & Politics

New York Review of Books November 2, 2000. My point here is not to reinstate the distinction between the work and the man, which I have already said is not a helpful device in Wagner’s case. The point is just that one cannot decide in advance, either positively or negatively, what facts about the man,…