synopsis of my interpretation of "Mastersingers"

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synopsis of my interpretation of "Mastersingers"

Post by alberich00 » Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:02 am

Dear members and visitors to's discussion forum:

Well over a decade ago I posted an introduction to the content and scope of my prospective book on Wagner's seven repertory operas and music-dramas from "The Flying Dutchman" through "Parsifal" (the four-part "Ring" reckoned here as a single work), "The Wound That Will Never Heal," at Included in this introduction were thumbnail sketches of my interpretations of all seven works, so that readers could obtain an overview of how I construe these artworks as conceived by Wagner within one single conceptual frame of reference. I am posting in this discussion forum my synopses of Wagner's seven canonic operas and music-dramas, from 'Dutchman" through "Parsifal," so readers can see in brief how I relate one artwork to another in context.

Here is my synopsis of my interpretation of "The Mastersingers of Nuremberg":

Wagner’s utopian image of the unconsciously inspired artist’s perfect bond with his audience, reinterpreted in light of its remarkable conceptual links with The Valkyrie and Siegfried. This chapter explains how Mastersingers is the only “comedy” among Wagner’s canonical artworks because in this work alone (with the possible exception of the Dutchman), the artist-hero preserves the secret of his unconscious artistic inspiration (i.e., he neither gives his muse away to another man or exposes her secrets to his audience, nor does he become conscious of his perpetuation of the sin of matricide, the renunciation of our mother, Nature), and therefore is able to offer the Folk, his audience, temporary redemption from his “Noth”, his forbidden knowledge, through his mastersong. A major focus is Sachs’ confession of the secret of unconscious inspiration, in both religion and art, to Eva. Eva is the music- dramatist Walther’s unconscious mind, his muse, his repository of fatal knowledge of the bitter truth which Sachs confessed to Eva, which is the source of Walther’s dream of inspiration. Sachs’ confession to Eva is based upon Wotan’s confession to Bruennhilde. The risk that Sachs’ forbidden knowledge of the Folk’s “Noth” might rise from Eva’s silent depths to the light of day provides the explanation for the riot in the second act, just as it explains the knights’ and ladies’ explosion of outrage at Tannhaeuser’s revelations in his contest-song, the horror of the Folk at Frederick’s and Ortrud’s suggestion that Lohengrin’s true source of inspiration is not the noumenal mystery they had supposed, and the dismay of the Gibichungs at Bruennhilde’s terrible revelations about Siegfried.
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