A to Z of Wagner: H is for Hitler | Music | The Guardian
In , the year of Hitler's accession to power, the fiftieth anniversary of the Hitler felt a deep connection to Wagner, and as early as claimed that his. The association with Nazi anti-semitism taints Wagner's music for many. try to make The Guardian sustainable by deepening our relationship. Born years ago, Germany's most controversial composer's music is cherished around the world, though it will always be clouded by his.
Hitler and Wagner
From Sydney to London, New York to Berlin, Melbourne to Seattle, Milan to Bayreuth, his work — which is not exactly neglected in other years — is at the forefront of programming everywhere. Brand new complete Ring Cycles, gala concerts, debates, discussions and documentaries are all scheduled, many with stellar casts.
Guilty by association The conflation of Wagner and Hitler has always posed difficulties for any principled listener, Jewish or otherwise. And in what circumstances can Wagner conscionably be performed by or for Jews? No easy answers ensue — but some facts stand.
It is incontrovertible that, like many Germans of his day, Wagner was virulently and unapologetically anti-Semitic. If the stock market crash and attendant agricultural crisis of the mids further poisoned the climate against Jews and their supposed economic liberalism, Wagner had already made his monstrous sentiments clear, beginning with his infamous treatise On Jewishness in Music. But another fact is equally inescapable: Wagner was not, as we understand the term, a Nazi.
Wagner died in Turn off the cell phone! Verena Wagner, Richard Wagner's last surviving grandchild. Images of Hitler at Bayreuth The moving pictures belong to the estate of another grandchild, the late Wolfgang Wagner, who filmed them himself as a year-old.
Depicted are scenes on and offstage at the Bayreuth Festival. The Hitler salute with outstretched arms is offered and reciprocated. It's not that simple Those expecting sensational new revelations at the symposium were disappointed, however.
The complex subject is to be illuminated in its various aspects in coming seasons of the lecture and discussion series titled "Discourse Bayreuth," a new corollary program of the annual month-long Bayreuth Festival.
That the subject is far from exhausted becomes clear when statements come up like "Poor Wagner isn't to blame" or "All the dirt piled up around Wagner - better to just ignore it. The Australian director with Jewish roots has Richard Wagner himself appear onstage as an anti-Semite - the first time that had ever been done in Bayreuth. The "Mastersingers," with its invocation of "Holy German art," was particularly favored by the Nazis and was the sole opera on the program in Bayreuth during the war years and In her lecture "'Hitler's Court Theater': Thomas Mann's Confrontation With Bayreuth," she explained that the author, then in American exile, had turned down a request to serve as honorary president of a proposed foundation for the re-establishment of the politically discredited Bayreuth Festival, at least "until everything regarding Bayreuth's sins is on the table.
Wolfgang Wagner's vast estate was turned over to the Bavarian State Archive in and will take years to analyze. Other sources are perhaps missing. Would a staging like Kosky's have been possible just after the war? Some have called that just another way of forgetting the past. Whatever the style of its stagings, "New Bayreuth" attracted interest worldwide and visitors from abroad, notably from France, including Jews who had survived the Holocaust and remained passionate Wagner fans.
This issue was addressed at the symposium in the lecture titled "Despite Hitler and his Bayreuth: The hateful side of Wagner's musical genius In a creative artist, said Brumlik, exist "pre- and subconscious processes that enter into his work, whereby more is expressed than its creator intended.
How much Hitler is there in Wagner?
The Nazis' appropriation of Wagner and the Bayreuth Festival's ingratiation of Hitler are often described as a historical misunderstanding, or having been relativized by the passage of time. Wagner died inand it was 40 years later, inthat Richard Wagner's son-in-law Houston Stewart Chamberlain and his daughter-in-law Winifred Wagner hailed Hitler as a modern-day Parsifal and Germany's savior. Two years later, in - a full eight years before the Nazis assumed power - the Bayreuth Festival became a political event with Hitler in attendance.
His racist theories were grounded in a purported superiority of German music. This central question was only skirted at the symposium, which in its first year seemed to give a preview of the many issues that need to be explored in the future.
BBC - Culture - Is Wagner’s Nazi stigma fair?
It is known that Wagner's pamphlet "Judaism in Music" helped to make anti-Semitism acceptable in intellectual circles in the 19th century. It is also known, though, that the composer sometimes praised and admired Jews, once remarking to his wife Cosima, "They are the noblest of us all.
In continuing the Wagner tradition, how selective was her memory?
Why did she choose some of his many contradictory statements and ignore others? When she made Bayreuth a breeding-ground for German nationalists and xenophobes in the name of Richard Wagner, had that been his express wish and his goal?
Are the characters Alberich, Mime and Beckmesser in his operas deliberate Jewish caricatures, stereotypes - or has that been read into them? All these are subjects that will hopefully be addressed in symposiums to come at the Bayreuth Festival.
Peek inside Richard Wagner's newly restored house The villa Wagner called home "Where I found peace from my delusions" is a very rough translation of Richard Wagner's neologism "Wahnfried" - "Wahn" meaning delusion and "Fried" peace.