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Subject: Re: The most influential opera to impact our own time is:
From: James Camner <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:James Camner <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 25 Jan 2018 15:58:44 -0500
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You like to sneer at musicologists, so enlighten me, please. In what way is Tristan 
und Isolde revolutionary? What are these new "building materials"? (I suppose you 
could scramble to some old music guide and quote one of those musicologists you 
despise for platitudes about Tristan, but what do YOU have to say about it?) How is 
it really different, except in style, for instance, than Gluck's Armide?

And regarding those supposed new "building materials" who subsequently used 
them? What are the successors to Tristan und Isolde that are made up of them?

In reality, Tristan und Isolde was not a "revolution" and had no imitations or 
successors, because who could do it?  Not Verdi, not Strauss, not even Puccini 
(after Cherubini, the only Italian composer who was an orchestral master to 
contend with the sophistication of the Germans) Wagner built a glorious mountain 
and it virtually stands alone. Tristan was an end not a beginning. No wonder the 
German "modernists"* who derailed traditional opera as a box office commodity 
turned away from melody. After Tristan, they gave up and though it is unfortunate 
(although the considerable benefit was the driving of melodically inclined 
composers like Steiner and Korngold to Hollywood), it is understandable. 

James Camner

 *"Modernism" I hate this hoary  term that is today anachronistically used for the 
work of academic composers who plague us today with their unceasing recycled 
imitations of those rejected "modernist" works of the past.


On Thu, 25 Jan 2018 15:12:31 -0500, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Musicologists are the ones responsible for that narrative.  TRISTAN
>UND ISOLDE was a revolutionary composition for its time.  It was
>like introducing to architects building materials they had never used
>before, or to doctors, drugs that had never been tested.  It has little
>to do with what opera-goers hear; all they had to do was get used to it.
>And I totally reject the notion that Wagner's music, as music, ever had
>anything to do with dragons.
>
>dtmk
>
>On Thu, Jan 25, 2018 at 1:32 PM, James Camner <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Except in the (IMHO faux Wagner) music by John Williams and perhaps some
>> others, where is Wagner's musical influence felt today in modern popular
>> culture?
>> Where is this road you mention and who is travelling it?
>>
>> If Wagner is influencing modern culture today it's through his
>> storytelling in the
>> realm of imitative pop stories like The Lord of the Rings, The Game of
>> Thrones and
>> even in Video Games, its fun to imagine how he would have operated in the
>> video
>> field. Wagner's Ring is one of the fountainheads of the world of Fantasy
>> entertainment for sure (the story, his dragon, not the music). But where
>> did Tristan
>> lead?
>>
>> Sorry to say, but I doubt many under 40 people, who aren't in the
>> classical music
>> business, know anything about Tristan und Isolde or would even recognize
>> the title
>> and for such a famous work, such a titanic and incomparably gorgeous
>> masterwork,
>> it is remarkably scarce in live performances these days. How many
>> subsequent
>> works carried on or imitated Tristan und Isolde? Maybe that deadly box
>> office
>> poison bore Pelleas et Melisande? (Talk about a road to nowhere).
>>
>> We are a long way from the days when major writers like Bernard Shaw and
>> Willa
>> Cather passionately wrote about Wagner and operas like Tristan und Isolde.
>>
>> What are the traditional operas that really matter to the general public
>> today? I
>> would suggest that even La Boheme is rapidly losing its once iron clad box
>> office
>> appeal.  Perhaps in the end, the lone survivor will be Carmen.
>>
>> James Camner
>>
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