Geburtstag-Telegramme

General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung

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Geburtstag-Telegramme

Postby feuerzauber » Tue May 21, 2013 8:27 pm

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Wagnerheim has been deluged with telegrams this morning.

Here is a selection of the Top Ten telegrams — Originating post office [Postamt] and message [Nachricht] are given:

1. Postamt: Sacrifice
Nachricht: "We gave all we could" — Minna, Cosima & Ludwig.

2. Postamt: Paradise
Nachricht: "200 Yahre Junge" — Ihre Musen: Wilhelmine, Jessie, Mathilde & Judith.

3. Postamt: Niebelheim
Nachricht: "Impossible! We proved god is dead" — Friedrich Nietzsche & Eduard Hanslich

4. Postamt: Parnassus
Nachricht: "Heartfelt thanks for awakening us from our slumbers" — Walther von der Vogelweide, Wolfram von Eschenbach & Hans Sachs

5. Postamt: Before-Tristan
Nachrict: "Your teachers" — Johann Sebastian, Georg Friedrich, Christoph Willibald, Wolfgang Amadeus, Ludwig van, Carl Maria von, ...

6. Postamt: After-Tristan
Nachricht: "Your alumni" — Engelbert H, Richard S, Hugo W, Gustav M, Arnold S, ...

7. Postamt: Podium
Nachricht: "Your conductors" — Pa-in-law, Hans von B, Hans R, Hermann L, ..., Arturo T, Wilhelm F, Hans K, Herbert von K, Georg S, .., too many to name us all.

8. Postamt: Stage
Nachricht: "Your singers" — Far too many, but we note: Schröder-Devrient, Tichatschek, Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Flagstad, Melchior, Nilsson, ...

9. Postamt: Orchestra
Nachricht: "Your players" — over 100,000.

10. Postamt: Theatre
Nachricht: "Your audiences" — countless millions.

We wish you: Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag 200!
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Re: Geburtstag-Telegramme

Postby alberich00 » Wed May 22, 2013 5:25 am

So, here we are at RW's bicentennial birthday bash. Circumstances have limited me to ordering takeout food from a German restaurant, and trying to persuade my mother (who will be 92 on 6/2/13), and perhaps one of her nieces, to share with me the viewing of all or part of the MET/Levine dvd of, say, "The Valkyrie."

What can I say about Wagner that I haven't said? Well, I can at least tap Nietzsche to express what I'm feeling, and once the inspiration hits me later today, I'll have something more of my own to add:

"There is a musician who, more than any other musician, is a master at finding the tones in the realm of suffering, depressed, and tortured souls, at giving language even to mute misery. None can equal him in the colors of late fall, in the indescribably moving happiness of the last, truly last, truly shortest joy; he knows a sound for those quiet, disquieting midnights of the soul, where cause and effect are out of joint and where at any moment something might originate 'out of nothing.' (...) ... indeed, as the Orpheus of all secret misery he is greater than any." From "Nietzsche contra Wagner" by Friedrich Nietzsche

Ah, and here's some other choice chants of praise from Giuseppe Verdi, Thomas Mann, and good old H.L.Mencken, the Bard of Baltimore, and part of that same German colony in my home state of Maryland which included my great-great-grandfather Alexander Heise, who escaped Germany in 1869-1870 to escape Bismarck's conscription (or so the family story goes):

"When Verdi heard of Wagner's death, he wrote to Giulio Ricordi of the powerful mark the composer would leave upon the history of art. But he reconsidered his observation; his pen cancelled 'powerful' and in its place he wrote 'most powerful' - 'potentissima'." From "Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music" by Robert Gutman [PH: with whom yours truly shared some drinks late at night in Chicago alongside some other leading lights of the Wagner-world during the Richard Wagner Centennial (of his death in 1883) conference "Wagner in Retrospect: A Centennial Reappraisal) sponsored by the Univ. of Illinois, Chicago, in November 1983.]

"Wagner, considered as an artistic force, was something almost without parallel, probably the most formidable talent in the entire history of art. Where else has there ever been such a conjunction of greatness and guile, of ingenuity and sublime depravity, of popularity and devilish finesse? He remains the paradigm of world-conquering artistry." From a letter to an opera producer written by Thomas Mann on 11/15/27

"I believe that his music dramas are, by long odds, the most stupendous works of art ever contrived by man - that it took more downright genius to imagine them and fashion them than it took to build the Parthenon, or to write 'Faust' or 'Hamlet', or to paint the Sistine frescoes, or even to write the Ninth Symphony." H.L. Mencken 1921
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