Dispelling the Contagious Wagnerian Mist

Richard Taruskin

in The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520249776
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942790 | DOI:
Dispelling the Contagious Wagnerian Mist

Show Summary Details


This chapter focuses on Roger Norrington's resistance to Richard Wagner's music who along with his London Classical Players, performed various works of Wagner such as the Rienzi Overture, the Prelude to act 3 of Lohengrin, the Prelude and “Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde, the Meistersinger Prelude, the Siegfried Idyll, and the Parsifal Prelude. Wagner cast virtually all of his music in dance or march rhythms and the best performance, according to Norrington, is the one that ferrets out the underlying pulse and makes it palpable. The classical Wagner, according to him, is adapted to a certain brand of modern taste and the appeal to history and the composer's intentions is just a way of claiming privilege. The basic reason behind his anti-Wagnerian intellect and sharp commentary is the drastic rejection of swirling mists and Germanic inwardness.

Keywords: Richard Wagner; Roger Norrington; London Classical Players; Rienzi Overture; Siegfried Idyll; Meistersinger Prelude

Chapter.  2223 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.