By William Kinderman, Katherine R. Syer
Richard Wagner's Parsifal is still an inexhaustible but hugely arguable paintings. This "stage consecration pageant play," because the composer defined it, represents the fruits of his efforts to convey medieval delusion and smooth song jointly in a dynamic courting. Wagner's engagement with religion--Buddhist in addition to Christian--reaches a climax the following, as he seeks via inventive capability "to rescue the essence of faith by means of perceiving its legendary symbols . . . in line with their figurative worth, allowing us to determine their profound, hidden fact via idealized representation." The participants to this assortment holiday clean flooring in exploring the textual content, the track, and the reception background of Parsifal. Wagner's borrowings-and departures-from the medieval assets of the Grail legend, Wolfram's Parzival and Chr?©tien's Perceval, are thought of intimately, and the tensional relation of the paintings to Christianity is probed. New views emerge that endure at the lengthy genesis of the textual content and song, its affinities to Wagner's past works, rather Tristan und Isolde, and the proper approach within which the track used to be composed. Essays deal with the work's daring, modernistic musical language and its unparalleled soundscape concerning hidden choruses and different unseen resources of sound. The turbulent, marvelous, and occasionally demanding background of Parsifal performances from 1882 until eventually 2004 is traced in vibrant aspect for the 1st time, demonstrating the abiding fascination exerted by way of this uniquely demanding murals. participants: Mary A. Cicora, James M. McGlathery, Ulrike Kienzle, Warren Darcy, Roger Allen. William Kinderman and Katherine Syer educate on the collage of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and sometimes lead research seminars through the Wagner pageant in Bayreuth, Germany.
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The Grail requires humility and sacrifice, service of God. For Wolfram, God was the means to love and redemption. With the pieces that he extracted from Wolfram’s romance, Wagner would make even more radical alterations to these basic medieval elements and structures. Despite apparent similarities of plot, details, and characters, the drama that resulted from Wagner’s reading is a radically altered version of the basic outline of Wolfram’s romance and a very different work of art. Wagner was, like Wolfram, religious in a private, unconventional manner, one that resisted identification with organized religion or a particular faith or church.
49 By then, the first act of Parsifal was complete in Wagner’s drafts. ” prelude and Wagner’s Parsifal is significant, and illuminates not only details of compositional genesis but also features of the expressive meaning and musical symbolism of these works. ” Longfellow presumably explained his idea to Liszt at Rome, and elsewhere he specified his poetic intention as follows: This was no more than to display, in a series of pictures, the life of a man of genius, resisting all temptations, laying aside all fears, heedless of all warnings, and pressing right on to accomplish his purpose.
What is relevant for the understanding of his dramas is how he intended his work to differ from his sources. He had his own purposes, and expounded upon them at elaborate length. In the case of Parsifal, we have a lengthy letter to Mathilde Wesendonk (dating from May 29/30, 1859) outlining what Wagner felt were the faults of Wolfram’s Parzival. The medieval romance was obviously unsuitable for stage presentation due to its epic scale: Wagner’s first task was to condense and simplify the panoramic scope of the action.
A Companion to Wagner's Parsifal (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture) by William Kinderman, Katherine R. Syer