Observations & meditations on the day-to-day
He didn’t so much bite the hand that fed him as tear it off with bared fangs.
Now who would have thought Wagner was influenced by Buddhism!
The Times Book of the week today: BEING WAGNER: THE TRIUMPH OF THE WILL by Simon Callow. Reviewed by Michael Gove.
“Wagner (1813-83) wrote the most emotionally powerful and intellectually challenging works of art of all time. So emotionally powerful that it has inspired reactions from detractors and devotees that go beyond the normal language music inspires. Berlioz and Nietzsche thought his music was viscerally “disgusting” while the present-day composer Thomas Adès compared his work to a fungus: “It’s a sort of unnatural growth. It’s parasitic in a sense — on its models, on its material.”
By way of contrast, Tolstoy believed Wagner’s work induced in its hearers a state only otherwise attainable through opium, Debussy believed listening to Wagner was a “sublime” experience like no other, and the philosopher Roger Scruton has argued that Wagner’s masterpiece Tristan and Isolde provides us with an experience so powerful that it provides a form of compensation for the imperfection of human love”.
FULL REVIEW HERE