Richard Wagner, His Life and His Dramas: A Biographical Study of the Man and an Explanation of His Work

Richard Wagner, His Life and His Dramas: A Biographical Study of the Man and an Explanation of His Work

Richard Wagner, His Life and His Dramas: A Biographical Study of the Man and an Explanation of His Work

Richard Wagner, His Life and His Dramas: A Biographical Study of the Man and an Explanation of His Work

Excerpt

Much musical experience has been gained since this book was published in 1901. The excursion of "Parsifal" into the world, begun at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1903, has extended through several lands. Familiarity with the great lyric dramas has become a common possession of music lovers. An entire generation of opera patrons, fed from infancy on Wagnerian music, has reached maturity. The ancient battle for acceptance of "the art work of the future" is almost forgotten. A few white-haired opera goers and the members of fashionable society, who have always been hostile to every serious art aiming at something other than their entertainment, continue to complain when the name of Wagner appears in the programs. The broad world of art, letters and music and the circles of polite culture are, as usual, deaf to their murmurings. Wagner is performed as a matter of course.

But just at this point we find a reason for an endeavor to reawaken interest in Wagner's personality, his art theories and his disclosure of them in the theatre. Wagner is performed as a matter of course. That is his new misfortune, for to nineteen persons in every twenty his works are operas, just as Verdi "Aïda" and Gounod "Faust" are. For the public attitude the public itself, at least in so far as New York is concerned, is not to blame. In the United States representations of . . .

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