Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Happy Birthday, Richard!

Many, myself included, have expended large numbers of words; I have no doubt that we shall continue to do so. However, the ultimate riddle remains encapulated not just in that chord, but in this work. Nietzsche rightly said he would only touch it with gloves. Wagner himself worried in writing to Mathilde Wesendonck that only poor performaces would save him, and us: 'Perfectly good ones will be bound to drive people mad, – I cannot imagine it otherwise.’ This may only be the Prelude to the first act, but it remains a rare instance of a 'perfectly good' perfomance, with all that entails: