By William Kinderman, Katherine R. Syer
Richard Wagner's Parsifal is still an inexhaustible but hugely arguable paintings. This "stage consecration competition play," because the composer defined it, represents the end result of his efforts to deliver medieval fable and smooth track jointly in a dynamic courting. Wagner's engagement with religion--Buddhist in addition to Christian--reaches a climax the following, as he seeks via inventive ability "to rescue the essence of faith through perceiving its legendary symbols . . . in keeping with their figurative price, allowing us to determine their profound, hidden fact via idealized representation." The participants to this assortment holiday clean floor in exploring the textual content, the tune, and the reception heritage of Parsifal. Wagner's borrowings-and departures-from the medieval assets of the Grail legend, Wolfram's Parzival and Chr?©tien's Perceval, are thought of intimately, and the tensional relation of the paintings to Christianity is probed. New views emerge that endure at the lengthy genesis of the textual content and song, its affinities to Wagner's previous works, rather Tristan und Isolde, and the right means within which the track was once composed. Essays tackle the work's daring, modernistic musical language and its unparalleled soundscape related to hidden choruses and different unseen resources of sound. The turbulent, brilliant, and infrequently anxious historical past of Parsifal performances from 1882 until eventually 2004 is traced in shiny element for the 1st time, demonstrating the abiding fascination exerted by way of this uniquely not easy murals. individuals: Mary A. Cicora, James M. McGlathery, Ulrike Kienzle, Warren Darcy, Roger Allen. William Kinderman and Katherine Syer educate on the collage of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and sometimes lead examine seminars throughout the Wagner pageant in Bayreuth, Germany.
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Additional resources for A Companion to Wagner's Parsifal (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)
2 The literary works that Wagner read in Marienbad * Special thanks to R. T. Carr, Paul G. Foster, and Thomas Grey for help in assembling research materials for this chapter. 1 On Wagner’s use of his medieval source material, see Peter Wapnewski, “Mittler des Mittelalters,” in Tristan der Held Richard Wagners (Berlin: Severin und Siedler, 1981), 33–63; and Volker Mertens, “Richard Wagner und das Mittelalter,” in Richard-Wagner-Handbuch, ed. Ulrich Müller and Peter Wapnewski, 19–59 (Stuttgart: Kröner, 1986).
Much to the chagrin of medievalists, Wagner claims in his letter to Mathilde Wesendonk that Wolfram did not really understand the legend: Er hängt Begebnis an Begebnis an Begebnis, Abenteuer an Abenteuer, gibt mit dem Gralsmotiv kuriose und seltsame Vorgänge und Bilder, tappt herum und läßt dem ernst gewordenen die Frage, was er denn eigentlich wollte? Woraus er antworten muß, ja, das weiss ich eigentlich selbst nicht mehr wie der Pfaffe sein Christentum, das er ja auch am Meßaltar aufspielt, ohne zu wissen, um was es sich dabei handelt.
In this instance, as with the Grail motive, the original context and associations of the music were clearly instrumental in drawing Wagner’s attention. The connection is important yet unfamiliar in writings about Parsifal, so we shall describe it here in some detail. The story begins on New Year’s Eve of 1868 with a meeting between Liszt and the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Liszt had become an abbé and was then living at the monastery of Santa Francesca Romana in Rome. 46 Healy recalled: The Abbé himself came down to greet us, a Roman candlestick held aloft to light the way.
A Companion to Wagner's Parsifal (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture) by William Kinderman, Katherine R. Syer