Tag Archives: Book Review

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 […]

Parsifal and Wagner’s Theology

After just an unconscionably long time, I have finally got to page 319 of Richard H. Bell’s fine study, Wagner’s Parsifal: An Appreciation in the Light of His Theological Journey.  I am very grateful to Mr. Bell for his discipline and erudition, and for shedding light on both the splendid final work of this master […]

Good One-Volume Biography from 1965

While visiting a used book store in Chapel Hill, NC, a while ago I came across a slim biography and musical introduction titled Wagner, by Robert L. Jacobs.  The copyright dates are 1935 and 1965, and it was published as part of a “Master Musicians” series by J.M. Dent in London and Farrar, Straus and […]

Brilliant History of Opera Staging

Evan Baker’s book From the Score to the Stage: An Illustrated History of Continental Opera Production and Staging (Univ. Chicago Press 2013) is the best study of its kind: scholarly, entertaining, and comprehensive in its grasp of this wonderful subject. Baker seems infused with enthusiasm for the topic, lingering deliciously on such topics as early […]