The Music Criticism of Hugo Wolf

By Hugo Wolf; Henry Pleasants | Go to book overview

19. La Juive

May 25, 1884

We are accustomed to being taken unawares by a performance of La Juive, since such a performance is usually announced by the red playbill. If the red pirate flag is hoisted at the Court Opera, instead of the usual white flag of truce, it means a raid on the repertoire. La Juive, Faust and Der Freischütz customarily take turns in sharing the honor of venturing forth under the red flag from the harbor of the archives into the hazardous sea of the stage, where their task is to prove their viability as stopgaps as best they can. They fail often enough, and then they have a bad time of it. In such a ticklish situation, of course, one cries out: "Help, Samiel!" But Samiel | the wild huntsman of Der Freischütz | is a knavish fellow. He smirks, and thinks to himself: "God helps those who help themselves." This might well be taken to heart by the Jewess, who in her hour of need appeals directly to her divinity, the cruel god of the Jews, and reckons it both seemly and opportune to have the bloodthirsty Jehovah and her sincere faith on the tip of her tongue, expecting miracles of both. Gounod's Faust makes a shrewd calculation: "If heaven abandons me, then hell is not to be despised." Mephistopheles and Samiel, however, are brothers under the skin, and similarly given to cynical quotation. Mephistopheles recites, perhaps unctuously, "Who places his trust in God has built on a firm foundation," makes a merry face, and thinks to himself: "The devil will get you yet."

You see, neither heaven nor hell, nor god nor devil, nor magic bullet nor any faith, however sincere, is of any use to these poor condemned wretches. A well prepared orchestra, a good cast, intelligent staging -- these constitute the Solomonic key that could bar the hellish brood of trivial routine and thoroughly inartistic procedure. (The régisseur of a court theater threw a tantrum during a rehearsal of Mefislofele because the key in question, which he seems to have envisioned as having a huge bit and handle, and which he intended to have swung in such a manner as to impress some concierge in the fourth gallery, was not immediately at hand.) But now to the business of the day.

Signora Turolla, the extension of whose guest engagement leaves her as the sole surviving and also the most agreeable holdover from the stagione, sang Rachel in La Juive with much warmth, sensitive insight and dedication. Especially beautiful was the Romanza of the second act, in which the mood is extraordinarily well sustained by the composer. It is no easy matter to sing this scene in such a way as to bring home to the listener the conflict raging within

-53-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Music Criticism of Hugo Wolf
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 291

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.