Glorious Music Ringing in My Ears
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  • WigWag

    The New York Times didn’t think much of Debra Voight’s performance (she’s usually brilliant). Anthony Tommasini called her singing “patchy and tremulous.” He said “her lower ranges continued to be a problem” and that her singing in the mid ranges often “wavered.” He attributes her shaky singing to the weight loss surgery she had in 2004.

    He acknowledged that the audience loved her and rewarded her with a rousing ovation. Perhaps Professor Mead can let his loyal audience know what he thought of her performance.

  • WigWag

    It might also be worth pointing out for those who are unaware of it that not only was Wager one of Hitler’s favorite composers, but that Wager (who died long before World War 2) was himself an anti Semite. He wrote a famous essay excoriating the influence of Jews on German culture and he bitterly resented the success of German Jewish composers, especially Felix Mendelssohn. Most music critics agreed at the time that of the two, Mendelssohn was the superior artist.

    The Ring Cycle is glorious but anyone who sees these operas understand immediately and intuitively what Hitler and his Nazi colleagues liked about them.

    • Corlyss Drinkard

      Presentism abounds.
      Wagner was a man of his times. For that matter Hitler was a man of his times as well, and truth to tell, given the preference for ethnic cleansing everywhere but in the “enlightened” west, he was pretty modern too. I don’t see what use it is to keep dragging Hitler’s fondness for Wagner up every time the latter comes up. It’s not as though we can raise the dead to make amends for acts we did not commit by rebuking Hitler and most of what he stood for.

    • TheCynical1

      Love the art, not the artist.

  • Corlyss Drinkard

    The image is worth more of a credit than it gets. It’s from Arthur Rackham’s marvelous illustrations to the Ring cycle. Dover has thoughtfully published the complete collection in one of their sturdy signature-sown paperbacks for a nominal price.

    I have to admit to only occasionally feeling in the mood for the Ring. I have the Furtwangler mono studio-live audience recordings, which to my way of thinking, is unsurpassed.But frankly I haven’t been in the mood since 1978. I much prefer Wagner’s Christian mystery operas.

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