Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

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Revisiting “The Music of Richard Wagner” – The Ring – Part Two and Three

I’m off to Berlin tomorrow to escort a group and attend Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle at the Staatsoper, to be conducted by the ageless Daniel Barenboim. In the spirit of “spreading the informational joy” for all who might be interested, I’ve posted two more excerpts from my The Great Courses survey “The Music of Richard Wagner”: portions of Lectures 18 and 19:The Ring, Parts 2 and 3. That we will be hearing the Ring conducted by an Argentinian/Israeli Jew in Berlin is a fact so extraordinary that we must consider it for a moment. More than any other place on the planet, Berlin was the Valhalla of the twentieth century: a place of would-be gods who were put to the torch thanks to their own deranged cruelty and arrogance. We’ll be attending the Ring just a few hundred yards away from the site of Hitler’s Bunker, where he stage-managed his own “Gotterdammerung”/self-immolation as the Russians closed in during late April of 1945 and where many of Wagner’s hand-written manuscripts burned along with the Nazi leadership (an extraordinary story that I’ll save for a future posting). I had the opportunity to spend over six weeks in Berlin over the course of […]

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