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Subject: Re: Richard Wagner Museum in Venice
From: Charles Harrison <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Charles Harrison <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 23 May 2017 16:19:36 -0400

text/plain (47 lines)

I visited the Wagner Museum in Palazzo Vendramin (now the Casino) the last time I was in 
Venice, a couple of summers ago.  I scheduled the visit in advance, as one has to make an 
appointment in order to see it.  (Someone has to take you through it.)  I slogged over there 
from San Marco on a very crowded vaporetto crammed with communters and tourists, in 
hot, humid weather.

It was a great disappointment.  Other than seeing three of the rooms in which Wagner lived 
- with none of the original furniture and with a different piano - there is nothing of real 
interest to see - no scores, no manuscripts, almost no original memorabilia, really nothing.  
To top things off, I knew more about Wagner than the guide did.  I say that not to toot my 
own horn, but because I expected to learn something or see something special, and I didn't.

I won't say I wish I had not taken the time to do it, because I would always have wondered 
what the Wagner Museum was like and now I can cross it off my Bucket List.  But now that I 
know how little there is there, I would tell anyone who wanted to go that it would be a 
waste of time, unless one just wants to see the casino in the Palazzo Vendramin (which one 
can do without seeing the museum upstairs).  There is so much else to see in Venice, and 
unless one is there for a week or more, there are much better uses of one's time in that 
glorious city (and on the neighboring islands in the lagoon).              

Now Tribschen, Wagner's home near Lucerne, is another thing entirely and is well worth a 
visit.  In fact, for a Wagnerite it is all by itself worth a trip to Lucerne.  The house is 
beautiful, with a stunning setting on Lake Lucerne, and it is filled with manuscript scores 
and sketches, well-known Wagner-related paintings, original correspondence, and original 
furniture, including the piano on which Wagner composed "Die Meistersinger," Act III of 
"Siegfried," and Act I of "Gotterdammerung."  Both times I have visited, there has been 
Wagner playing on the sound system, very nice!  There are no guides, although I think 
there is a docent to answer questions if you have any; you just make your way through on 
your own. 

I guess I was expecting something like Tribschen at the Wagner Museum in Venice.  Nothing 
like it.  To those thinking of going to WMV, I say - don't waste your time.


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