Richard Wagner

Deceptive Cadence
8:55 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Valkyries Ride All Night To Save Opera Company

Gods, monsters and Rhinemaidens populate Richard Wagner's 16-hour epic Ring cycle.
Marco Secchi Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 4:33 pm

(Happy April Fools 2014. See you next year.)

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Music Reviews
12:38 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Review: Jonas Kaufmann Sings Wagner And Verdi

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 3:28 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. At 44, the German tenor Jonas Kaufmann may be the most popular tenor of his generation and one of the most versatile. Music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews two of his recordings this year, dedicated to both Verdi and Wagner, celebrating the bicentennials of their birth.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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KPAC Blog
11:02 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Classical Summer Reads: From The Beach To The Ballroom

What are YOU reading this summer?
Credit Courtesy of wikipedia

Summer reading can be a blast, but it doesn't have to be the latest thriller from the NY Times, or a cheap romance novel. I was delighted to see so many new novels just typing in "Classical music" in Amazon.com and sorting by publication date - they start next April (2014) with lots of titles to preorder!

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KPAC Blog
2:19 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Listening To Wagner's Ring With A Roadmap Of Sorts

Richard Wagner
Courtesy of Wikipedia

I recently came across a steal. A friend on a social network posted that a recording was $6. That may seem normal for an mp3 release, or mildly cheap if you purchase an iTunes release for $9.99. But this particular recording was live from Bayreuth - the complete Ring der Nibelungen by Richard Wagner. Yes, all four operas.

The whole world has been celebrating the 200th anniversary of Wagner's birth this year (his birthday is May 22). Summer festivals have been playing his music, and several cycles of the Ring are programmed for companies this fall and winter.

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KPAC Blog
11:45 am
Wed May 22, 2013

200 Years Of Richard Wagner And The Will Of Music

Photograph of composer Richard Wagner, Paris, 1861. Originally printed in the Galerie des hommes du jour.
cc

Wagner's incredible and improbable success is one of the fairytale's of high art. The late Jacques Barzun referred to his position in later life as: "That of a Lord of all the arts."

Randy Anderson has rightly commented on his association with the highest circles of the intellect and art: De Gobineau, Nietzsche, Semper, Meyerbeer, Berlioz and later Liszt, as Wagner would wed Cosima, the pianist's daughter.

So how did all this happen?

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Deceptive Cadence
1:34 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Gods And Monsters: 5 Unforgettable Wagner Moments

The Valkyries, led by Brunnhilde (soprano Debra Voigt, lower left), are the warrior maidens of Richard Wagner's epic Ring cycle.
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 3:02 pm

  • William Berger on 'Parsifal'
  • William Berger on 'Das Rheingold'
  • William Berger on 'Die Walküre'
  • William Berger on 'Tristan und Isolde'
  • William Berger on 'Die Meistersinger'

How much do you know about Richard Wagner? Probably two unfavorable facts: He wrote very long, grandiose operas and was Hitler's favorite composer. As true as they are, those simple examples barely hint at the complexity of this endlessly creative and confounding artist.

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KPAC Blog: Metropolitan Opera
2:42 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Richard Wagner's "Siegfried," The World's Last Hope

Jay Hunter Morris as Siegfried.
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

In "Siegfried" we return to the origins of Wagner's conception of "The Ring." Before there was an explanation and an event, a plot before a back story.

These various sketches, fragments and early drafts were separated by a quarter of century from the opera's first performance (1851-1876).

We recreate the fairytale atmosphere of "Das Rheingold" with a dwarf, a dragon, giants, a singing bird and a boy so innocent he has "never" seen a girl.

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KPAC Blog: Metropolitan Opera
2:33 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Video: The Most Famous Horse Ride In All Music In Wagner's 'Die Walkure'

Deborah Voigt and ensemble as Brünnhilde and the Valkyries.
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

The Norse god Wotan - like his counterparts in the south, Zeus and Jupiter - got around as they say. He wasn't named "all-father" for nothing. The second opera of Richard Wagner's Ring cycle is about three of his offspring.

First, the legitimate daughter Brünnhilde, who is a Valkyrie -a collector of the heroic dead slain in battle - and after whom this opera is named. Then there are the twins Siegmund and Sieglende, their mother is Erda - mother earth.

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KPAC Blog: Metropolitan Opera
2:21 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

At Home With The Gods In The First Part Of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, "Das Rheingold"

The dwarf Alberlicht steals a chunk of gold from the Rhine River, from which he forges a ring.
Metropolitan Opera

After a decades-long struggle, the patience and slavish commitment of numberless friends, an inspiration that can truly be called superhuman, and a streak of luck that beggars the imagination, Richard Wagner finally finished his epic "Ring."

Despite the luminaries in attendance over the years - from Hugo Wolf and a who’s who of European royalty, to Tchaikovsky, Bernard Shaw and others - it could never pay its way.

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Classical Spotlight
12:19 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Dragons & Gods, Fire & Blood Fill San Antonio Symphony Program

Sebastian Lang-Lessing at TPR
John Clare TPR Arts

Music by Richard Wagner and Michael Daugherty on tap this weekend

Throughout 2013, musicians will be playing Richard Wagner in honor of his 200th birthday this May. The San Antonio Symphony will offer wonderful selections of Wagner's grand opus, "Der Ring des Nibelungen."

"Highlights would not be enough, because we are going through the journey of the ring!" said Conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing.

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