Monthly Archives: December 2012

Splendid New Tristan Recording

As part of its series of Wagner works conducted by Marek Janowski, Pentatone Classics has released a recording of a live concert performance of Tristan und Isolde that took place in the Berlin Philharmonie on March 27, 2012.  I enjoyed all of it very much and a great deal of it was revelatory. Janowski seems to […]

Cosima Biography

Considering that Francesca Gaetana Cosima Liszt Bülow Wagner was the person most responsible for framing the role of Wagner in 20th Century German cultural and political life, it is remarkable that Cosima Wagner: The Lady of Bayreuth, by Oliver Hilmes, is the first serious academic study of her life.  On that ground alone the volume […]

Wagner’s Art, Wagner’s Anti-Semitism

In his recent book, Sorcerer of Bayreuth, Wagner expert Barry Millington comes down hard on Wagner the anti-Semite.  He rejects the “misapprehension that Wagner’s anti-Semitism is like a superfluous integument that can be peeled away from his oeuvre without leaving a trace, when in fact it is so intrinsic to his aesthetic that it is no […]

Millington’s “Sorcerer of Bayreuth”

A few weeks ago we in America celebrated Thanksgiving. Members of the family took turns around the table, saying what they were thankful for.  I bit my tongue to avoid blurting out, “Barry Millington!” Ever since the 80s, when Millington and Spencer were editing the scholarly magazine for the Wagner Society (London), I have been […]