Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883) is the greatest
composer since Beethoven. He is also probably the most misunderstood composer who ever
lived. In seeking opinions either about the man, or his music, usually you will find
either pure adulation, or absolute disgust. Even when he lived, Wagner was hated by
a great many
people, the object of scorn and ridicule mostly because of
what was written about him.
Listen to the
to Act One of Lohengrin. It describes
the descent of the Holy
Grail. Here is a Translation of what the poet Charles
Baudelaire wrote about this music:
the very first bars the soul of the pious wanderer who
is awaiting the holy vessel plunges into an infinity of
space. Little by little there forms before his eyes a
strange vision that takes a body and a face. The vision
becomes clearer, and the miraculous host of angels
passes before him, baring the holy cup in their midst.
The sacred procession draws nearer. The heart of the
elect of God gradually stirs. It swells, it expands,
ineffable yearnings awaken within him. He yields to a
growing feeling of bliss as the radiant vision comes
ever closer, and when at last the Holy Grail itself
appears in the midst of the secret procession, he is
swallowed up in a ecstasy of adoration, as if the whole
world had suddenly disappeared.
Meanwhile the Holy Grail pours its blessings upon the
saint in prayer, consecrating him a knight. Then the
burning flames gradually mitigate their brilliance; in
holy joy, the angelic host smiling upon the earth that
they are leaving, returns to the heavenly heights. They
have left the Holy Grail in the care of pure man, into
whose hearts the divine essence has flowed, and the
majestic company vanishes into the infinities of space
in the same way that it first appeared.
From Richard Wagner et Tannhäuser à Paris
to Other Sites
a performance at Bayreuth
the experience by someone who waited 8 years to get a
ticket to watch a butchered production of a Wagner opera.