Monthly Archives: January 2014

Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner….

Richard Wagner is not the only artist who has provoked controversy because of his non-artistic conduct.  Many lovers of art have reviled the artist.  We can think of Ezra Pound, Philip Larkin, Christopher Marlowe, George Gordon Lord Byron, Albert Speer, and Robert Frost among those whose art we are eager to teach our children, but […]

Gangsta Siegfried. Siegfried Bieber.

T The role of Siegfried is difficult for modern audiences to accept.  It’s hard to admire this lout, this bully, this self-centered brute.  A recent teen video restores the character of Siegfried to what one must conclude was Wagner’s original intent – as an exciting charismatic hero of durable cultural meaning – an icon. “Siegfried […]

What It’s Like to Play Wagner

A few years ago I was walking back to the parking lot after attending a riveting performance of Siegfried at the Met, and joined a young man waiting for the pedestrian signal to change, carrying a trumpet case and wearing formal dress.  “Great show,” I said. “Yeah,” he responded. “It’s an amazing score, isn’t it?” […]