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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…

Delvaux + Wagner + Williams

1957. Oil on canvas, 270 x 200 cm. Koninklij Museum voor Schone Kunsten A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (3 ed.), John Glaves-Smith and Ian Chilvers Here is a late piece by the one and only Bernard Williams from The New York Review of Books. (It’s easy to imagine the crass approach the regressive…

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

The Case Of Wagner: A Musician’s Problem

Chose your digital format of “The Case Of Wagner: A Musician’s Problem” made available by Project Gutenberg. Of course, one should also give a close listen to this version of Parsifal from Bayreuth 2016. And yet this other question can certainly not be circumvented: what business had he actually with that manly (alas! so unmanly) “bucolic simplicity,” that…

The Ring of the Nibelung 101

Roger stylishly and lucidly outlines the timelessness of The Ring’s significance — especially salient to our troubled current times. aestheticsconsciousnessDer Ring des Nibelungenfreedommusicpolitics and religionpolitics of faithpolitics of skepticismReligionRichard WagnerRoger Scruton

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,…