Klarinet Archive - Posting 000469.txt from 1998/03
From: "Gene Nibbelin" <gnibbelin@-----.com>
Subj: Re: Re Garrett Martin and the Ring
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 16:39:58 -0500
I don't want to start a political debate - but the thought crossed my mind
as I read Dan's excellent summary of Wagner's lack of character -- does
this remind any of you of someone currently on the scene at 1600
Clinton may not be anti-semitic. I'm sure that he would deny it, but, then,
he denies everything.
> From: Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.edu>
> To: klarinet@-----.us
> Subject: Re Garrett Martin and the Ring
> Date: Friday, March 06, 1998 7:27 PM
> Garrett, the Ring is not "a piece" and you are setting yourself
> up for a great disappointment if you simply approach it as you
> would approach another work of music; i.e., buy the recording,
> listen to it, end of story.
> For one thing, it is 20 hours long. For another, it is very
> difficult to make sense out of the work without seeing it and
> becoming intimately familiar with the characters and the tunes
> associated with those characters. For yet a third thing, there
> are multiple passages in the opera where very little happens
> for as much as 20 minutes at a time; for example, the opening
> of Gotterdammerung where the three fates recount the entire
> story of the first three operas.
> You are almost better off getting a "best tunes from the Ring"
> rather than attacking the entire thing. It would be like
> trying to eat an 80 pound birthday cake all by yourself.
> The plot is absurd. The characters border on the venal, the
> stupid, the hateful, the naive, and the just plain dull. The
> major character is Siefried, though he does not show up until
> the second opera. He is young, brave, handsome, and very
> stupid. The first words out of his mouth when he sees his
> first woman are "This is not a man."
> He gets killed. And his funeral music has to be one of the
> monuments of western music. It is astounding and I never
> played it without a feeling of awe.
> Rossini said that "Wagner has great moments, but bad quarter
> hours." True. True. The entire first five minutes of
> Siegfried is one chord!!
> The composer was a hateful, disgusting piece of human filth
> who was also one of the greatest of all composers. He was
> a bigot, an antisemite, a cowardly, selfish, lecher who
> seduced everything who came his way. He even threw Mr.
> Wesendonck out of his own house because he had interrupted
> Wagner while he was seducing Wesendonck's wife.
> So approach Wanger's "Ring" as you would approach Mount
> Everest. You can get killed if you try and climb it from
> the wrong side.
> Perhaps you might start with Meistersinger first. Very
> approachable. Or Tannhauser or Flying Dutchman or Lohengrin.
> But not the Ring. Exercise care!!!
> Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California
> Rosanne Leeson, Los Altos, California