Author Topic: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition  (Read 6429 times)

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #60 on: May 16, 2017, 12:10:54 PM »
I'm generalising but yes, it was more common than sliced bread.

Now you're generalising the generalisation.  ;D
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Offline Todd

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #61 on: May 16, 2017, 12:12:36 PM »
Wagner just isn't special or unique in that regard


He's kind of special:

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Offline opaquer

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #62 on: May 16, 2017, 12:19:42 PM »
Now you're generalising the generalisation.  ;D

Sure, but you're generalising the proposition that the intention of my generalisations are to generalise to get away from my point  ;)

Offline opaquer

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #63 on: May 16, 2017, 12:22:08 PM »

He's kind of special:



I'm pretty sure everyone that knows Wagner's name knows about that already but what can I say, that's probably generalising too  >:D

I'll respond later

Offline Todd

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #64 on: May 16, 2017, 12:27:30 PM »
I'm pretty sure everyone that knows Wagner's name knows about that already but what can I say, that's probably generalising too  >:D

I'll respond later


The point is that not everyone wrote anti-Semitic screeds like Dick.  That takes real commitment.  I love his music, but he was a real piece of shit.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #65 on: May 16, 2017, 12:54:32 PM »
At first I really liked Wagner, but then he screwed my wife.

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #66 on: May 17, 2017, 09:58:34 PM »
At first I really liked Wagner, but then he screwed my wife.

That is just "expanded" fidelity.

Expanded tonality = expanded fidelity.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 07:32:33 AM by Monsieur Croche »
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #67 on: May 17, 2017, 11:32:55 PM »
With Wagner the question is whether (some of) his music is connected to e.g. antisemitism. Some people have claimed that the portrayals of Mime and Beckmesser contain elements of contemporary Jewish caricature/antisemitic archetypes. Be that as it may, I don't think there is an overall ideology in Wagners works. They are too diverse and e.g. in the case of the Ring it can be argued that the "ideology" contained developed from a quasi-Marxian (at least "left-Hegelian") historic to a Schopenhauerian (renunciation, pseudo-Buddhism) perspective. The overall dominant themes, quasi-religious redemption, renunciation whatever might have strange undertones but not political-ideological ones.

The only opera that has nationalist undertones is Meistersinger and it is far less obvious there than in "national" operas of slavic composers and the chauvinism is mainly in the field of art (Even if the Holy Roman Empire collapsed in dust there remains our holy German Art). I am pretty sure that we would hardly bother with Wagner's antisemitism, even less look for ideology in his music if there had not been a nazi regime. Although nationalists loved some Wagner already in the late 19th century German Empire (cf. Heinrich Mann's "Der Untertan"), there is very little of this obviously in the music. Brahms's Triumphlied is worse (granted, that's never been considered a major piece) and as said there is far more nationalist/patriotic music by Smetana, Elgar, almost any (late) romantic composer.
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Online ritter

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #68 on: May 17, 2017, 11:52:08 PM »
With Wagner the question is whether (some of) his music is connected to e.g. antisemitism. Some people have claimed that the portrayals of Mime and Beckmesser contain elements of contemporary Jewish caricature/antisemitic archetypes. Be that as it may, I don't think there is an overall ideology in Wagners works. They are too diverse and e.g. in the case of the Ring it can be argued that the "ideology" contained developed from a quasi-Marxian (at least "left-Hegelian") historic to a Schopenhauerian (renunciation, pseudo-Buddhism) perspective. The overall dominant themes, quasi-religious redemption, renunciation whatever might have strange undertones but not political-ideological ones.

The only opera that has nationalist undertones is Meistersinger and it is far less obvious there than in "national" operas of slavic composers and the chauvinism is mainly in the field of art (Even if the Holy Roman Empire collapsed in dust there remains our holy German Art). I am pretty sure that we would hardly bother with Wagner's antisemitism, even less look for ideology in his music if there had not been a nazi regime. Although nationalists loved some Wagner already in the late 19th century German Empire (cf. Heinrich Mann's "Der Untertan"), there is very little of this obviously in the music. Brahms's Triumphlied is worse (granted, that's never been considered a major piece) and as said there is far more nationalist/patriotic music by Smetana, Elgar, almost any (late) romantic composer.
Very interesting, Jo498. A pleasure to read.

I would say, though, that the most overtly nationalistic (in the traditional, cliché way) Wagner opera is Lohengrin, more so than Meistersinger (where, as you rightly point out, it's "holy german art" that counts). And yes, a work like Meistersinger is a wonder of cospmpolitanism when compared to, say, Triumphlied or even the German Requiem.

Furthermore, an intersting point is that it can be argued that "Wagnerism", as a cultural phenomenon that took Europe by storm in the late 19th century, orginated in France rather than in Germany.

Regards,
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 12:18:35 AM by ritter »
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #69 on: May 18, 2017, 12:22:29 AM »
I don't really get the nationalism of Lohengrin; it is only a few scenes with the King and while it could be seen as "pan-germanic" it is not really central for the plot. The immense popularity (it is the focal piece of a famous scene of the Mann novel I mentioned) seems to prove the national aspect but I personally don't really get it.

With the Ring it is also interesting that Wagner did not use the better known high medieval treatment of the material. (As the playwright Hebbel did in the 19th century.) The anonymous Nibelungenlied was considered something of a national epos in the 19th century and it ends with a big suicidal fight against the huns: "Kriemhild's revenge". Kriemhild is the name of the Gutrune character in that treatment, Siegfried's wife and Brunnhilde's opponent. After Siegfried's murder (which is Brunnhildes revenge in that version) she marries Attila the hun and Hagen, Gunther and all their retainers finally die when a visit at the court of the Hun's goes awry) But that later part is very different from Wagner. When as a kid before I ever listened to Wagner (except maybe the popular choruses from Holländer, Lohengrin and Tannhäuser) I read the description of Wagner's Ring in an opera guide I was severely disappointed because it lacked the "best part", namely all that battles with the huns.

I disagree wrt "Ein Deutsches Requiem". Unless one counts having Lutheran churches organized nationally using the vernacular language as nationalist, there is nothing "German" about it. It is similar to Schütz' "Musikalische Exequien in Form einer teutschen Begräbnis-Missa" a generalized funeral service (of course the Deutsches Requiem could hardly be used in a real service as it is far too long but the same holds for Verdi's Requiem mass) in the German language.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Online ritter

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #70 on: May 18, 2017, 01:21:19 AM »
I don't really get the nationalism of Lohengrin; it is only a few scenes with the King and while it could be seen as "pan-germanic" it is not really central for the plot. The immense popularity (it is the focal piece of a famous scene of the Mann novel I mentioned) seems to prove the national aspect but I personally don't really get it.
....
Well, I suppose these lines by the King are the ones that reflect the "traditional" (or cliché) German militaristic nationalism IMO:

"Soll ich euch erst der Drangsal Kunde sagen,
die deutsches Land so oft aus Osten traf?
In fernster Mark hiesst Weib und Kind ihr beten:
"Herr Gott, bewahr uns vor der Ungarn Wut!"
Doch mir, des Reiches Haupt, musst es geziemen,
solch wilder Schmach ein Ende zu ersinnen
..."


But I agree, they are not central to the plot...

Quote
With the Ring it is also interesting that Wagner did not use the better known high medieval treatment of the material. (As the playwright Hebbel did in the 19th century.) The anonymous Nibelungenlied was considered something of a national epos in the 19th century and it ends with a big suicidal fight against the huns: "Kriemhild's revenge". Kriemhild is the name of the Gutrune character in that treatment, Siegfried's wife and Brunnhilde's opponent. After Siegfried's murder (which is Brunnhildes revenge in that version) she marries Attila the hun and Hagen, Gunther and all their retainers finally die when a visit at the court of the Hun's goes awry) But that later part is very different from Wagner. When as a kid before I ever listened to Wagner (except maybe the popular choruses from Holländer, Lohengrin and Tannhäuser) I read the description of Wagner's Ring in an opera guide I was severely disappointed because it lacked the "best part", namely all that battles with the huns.
...
Most interesting. I am not familair with Hebbel, but this strangely fits in with my perception that dramatically, Götterdämmerung is the weakest part of the Ring. Suddenly, all the drama that's been building up in the previous three installments comes to a dénouement, is resolved in what I see a hurried way.  ::). You can sense that the libretto of the Ring was written backwards...

Quote
I disagree wrt "Ein Deutsches Requiem". Unless one counts having Lutheran churches organized nationally using the vernacular language as nationalist, there is nothing "German" about it. It is similar to Schütz' "Musikalische Exequien in Form einer teutschen Begräbnis-Missa" a generalized funeral service (of course the Deutsches Requiem could hardly be used in a real service as it is far too long but the same holds for Verdi's Requiem mass) in the German language.
It's exactly that, this elevation of the religious phenomenon to a national one. I'm not a religious person at all, but come form a Latin, Catholic culture for which religion (Christiansm in this case) is not bound by any national components, but is rather universal (catholic, in the ethymoligical sense of the word).

Cheers,

Ritter
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #71 on: May 18, 2017, 03:04:26 AM »
Well, I suppose these lines by the King are the ones that reflect the "traditional" (or cliché) German militaristic nationalism IMO:

"Soll ich euch erst der Drangsal Kunde sagen,
die deutsches Land so oft aus Osten traf?
In fernster Mark hiesst Weib und Kind ihr beten:
"Herr Gott, bewahr uns vor der Ungarn Wut!"
Doch mir, des Reiches Haupt, musst es geziemen,
solch wilder Schmach ein Ende zu ersinnen
..."


But I agree, they are not central to the plot...
And it was actually true in the 10th century when the Empire was still weak and not yet up to any expansionism and raids from the east or southeast were not uncommon.

Quote
Most interesting. I am not familair with Hebbel, but this strangely fits in with my perception that dramatically, Götterdämmerung is the weakest part of the Ring. Suddenly, all the drama that's been building up in the previous three installments comes to a dénouement, is resolved in what I see a hurried way.  ::). You can sense that the libretto of the Ring was written backwards...
The Hebbel is only a 19th century dramatization. The anonymous medieval epos is probably based on the older stuff Wagner also used (Völsungasaga? and others) but takes the migration period roots (like the huns) into a medieval scenario. No Germanic gods, the whole background is left out and the conflict is mainly from Gunther's wooing of Brunhilde when Siegfried helps him with the Tarnhelm. This leads to a conflict between the queens Kriemhilde (Gutrune) and Brunhilde which leads to the plot to murder Siegfried and Hagen who is no half-dwarf but just an important warrior at Gunther's "Burgundian" court also somehow manages to steal Siegfried's (the Nibelung's) hoard. The murder is covered up but everybody knows what really happened. Later Kriemhild marries Attila (called Etzel) the Hun and when years later Gunther, his brothers, Hagen etc. visit their sister things escalate and all the Burgundians are killed (while themselves killing scores of enemies). Last of all Hagen who until the end declines to reveal the location of the hoard and is killed by Kriemhild (who is in turn slain by an old knight because Hagen might have been an asshole he still did not deserve to be killed by a woman...) So in the end, all are dead and according to legend the hoard is still hidden on the bottom of the Rhine near Worms.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

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