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James Deaville: View from Weimar/Leipzig: mis-promoting Wag

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:53 pm
by alberich00
Paul Heise's review of "The View from Weimar and Leipzig: (Mis-)Promoting Wagner," a talk presented by James Deaville (Carleton Univ., Ottawa, Canada) at the Wagner Worldwide 2013 bicentennial symposium sponsored by the Univ. of South Carolina in the winter of 2013:

Wagner aimed colorful barbs at Franz Brendel, Editor of a music journal. In Wagner's correspondence with Theodor Uhlig he attacked these writers, primarily writers in Weimar and Leipzig. During the early 1850's these progressive journals, such as the Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik in Leipzig. This gave birth to the Wagner industry. Brendel in 1851 supported Wagner. Furthermore, Wagner and Uhlig filled this journal with their own propaganda.

Wagner's essay "Judaism in Music" had an impact. Brendel wrote about Wagner's writings but took a cautious approach. Bulow, Liszt, and Uhlig took up Wagner's cause. Brendel welcomed counter views in order to achieve a Hegelian synthesis. Brendel desired a free exchange of ideas, but Wagner complained of Brendel's changefulness. Brendel believed in ruthless candor, where Wagner wanted consistency from Brendel. Brendel believed in reform, not abolition.

Brendel stated that Wagner was wrong to think his supporters were always right or understood him most. But a Wagner industry was in formation, and Liszt's Weimar circle joined the debate. Liszt conscripted his own disciples in Wagner's cause.

The "Lohengrin" premier under Liszt's direction in Weimar received a lot of coverage. Liszt promised Wagner a media campaign. Bulow was a big advocate.
Raff, Pohl, and Cornelius signed up. Bulow was the peltast, a heavily armed warrior, for Wagner, while Pohl was a hoplite, lightly armed. Wagner later came to criticize Pohl, and took issue with Raff. Wagner felt that the public had not yet grasped what Wagner was bringing about, so some propaganda seemed to him premature. In 1853 there was a shift toward Liszt at the "Zeitschrift," but Wagner even complained about some of Liszt's promotions in Wagner's behalf.

Liszt, as his own publisher, placed papers in various journals.

Brendel supported the whole progressive movement.

In 1857, Wagner wrote his essay on Liszt's Symphonic Poems.


Question: Nicholas Vazsonyi: Why did Brendel publish so much of Uhlig?

Answer: Brendel didn't fully grasp Wagner yet, so he didn't enter the fray at first. Brendel took over in 1845, but distanced himself from Wagner at the Zeitschrift.

Schumann's "Genoveva" was attacked in the Zeitschrift. Schumann did not get a major eulogy in that journal when he passed away.

Question: Liszt wrote a very nice eulogy of Schumann later.