I grant you that the ‘Nibelungen Ring’ is funny, although mythical,
but it is not a patch on the story of the coming into being of the
Sydney Opera House.
I have been told that Wagner's
music is better than it sounds.
‘Lohengrin’ to us
ordinary mortals seemed something like the whistling of the wind through
the keyholes of a cathedral, which has a dreamy charm for a little while,
but by and by you long for the sound even of a street organ to rush in and
break the monotony.
The leitmotiv system
of the ‘Ring’ strikes me as a sort of vast musical city directory.
You say I don’t know
the rhythmical changes in it, madam? There are no rhythmical changes in
‘Götterdämmering’ . . . It goes on and on from half-past five till
midnight like a damned old cart-horse.
Sir Thomas Beecham
Hans Sachs was a
master singer and a good cobbler to boot.
‘Tannhäuser’ is a
music one must hear several times. I am not going again.
I like Wagner's music
better than any other music. It is so loud that one can talk the whole
time without people hearing what one says. That is a great advantage.
The principle of the
endless melody is the perpetual becoming of a music that never had any
reason for starting, any more than it has any reason for ending.
Wagner, thank the
fates, is no hypocrite. He says out what he means, and he usually means
Wagner's aunt was so
musical that when she came to a five-barred gate, she stopped and sang the
spots on her veil.
The frog is a diligent
songster, having a good voice but no ear. The libretto of his favorite
opera, as written by Aristophanes, is brief, simple and effective — ‘brekekex-koax’;
the music is apparently by that eminent composer, Richard Wagner.
‘Parsifal’ is the
kind of opera that starts at six o’clock. After it has been going three
hours, you look at your watch and it says 6.20.
Wagner used to read
the libretti of his operas to his friends; I am glad I was not there.
Ralph Vaughan Williams
What were Woglande,
Wellgunde and Flosshilde doing in the water? They were performing Gene
Kelly's ‘I'm Singing in the Rhine’.
Herr Wagner is a
composer who has beautiful moments but awful quarter hours.