Tag Archives: Book Review

Splendid Book on the New Wahnfried

While in Bayreuth this past August I paid my first visit in five years to Wahnfried, and was delighted to find that it had not been eviscerated, which the construction site a few years ago seemed to presage.  I miss the chairs, the piped-music and the tranquility of the great room that I first entered […]

Preparing the 1983 Hall/Solti Ring at Bayreuth

Last month, browsing the book stalls located outside the BFI under the Waterloo Bridge on London’s South Bank, I found a volume I had never seen before – The Ring: Anatomy of an Opera, by Stephen Fay and Roger Wood. Fay chronicles the preparation of the 1983 Bayreuth Ring production, directed by Peter Hall, conducted […]

Wagner at Home by Judith Gautier

Judith Gautier’s memoir, Wagner at Home, offers a charming and revealing perspective on life at Triebschen.  Gautier, the daughter of influential French dramatist and journalist Theophile, was invited by Wagner to visit after publishing several complimentary articles on his work.  Upon her arrival she was greeted enthusiastically by Wagner and introduced to “Frau von Bulow, […]

Nationalism, Culture and Identity: Israel and Wagner

Richard Wagner was an artist and a revolutionary nationalist.  A fundamental rationale for his work was its function as a mythic summons to the volk – the German people – to remember their common and distinct heritage.  He saw the Ring, in particular, as the great story of the roots of the German people, resonating […]