BBC Music – March 2023
English | 108 pages | pdf | 54.86 MB
Welcome BBC Music Magazine March 2023 issue
First, a confession… I have always been slightly wary of Wagner. As a devotee of Mozart’s sophisticated elegance, of the shadowy musings of Ravel, the cool modalism of Vaughan Williams and the barbed rhythms of Bartók, to me Wagner’s fevered Romanticism has seemed, to put it delicately, a little intense. Yet it’s impossible to deny
the German composer’s vision, the persuasive power of his musical language and his colossal impact on his contemporaries and successors. I am reminded of a vivid musical experience – which occurred not in a concert hall, but in a cinema. Watching the 2011 Lars von Trier film Melancholia, an astonishing meditation on depression masquerading as apocalyptic cinema, I was swept up in the incredible soundtrack, comprised primarily of the Prelude to Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. No other music could have conveyed so profoundly the anguish of those characters.
This month at BBC Music Magazine , we examine the story of Wagner’s Ring, a work that post-pandemic is enjoying stagings at both the Royal Opera House and English National Opera in 2023-24. On page 26, Terry Blain examines the work’s inspiration and genesis and considers its wider legacy, while on page 36, Wagner singers and conductors share their experiences of tackling his compositions. And on page 38, our photo spread showcases some of the more memorable interpretations of his operatic creations. When in doubt, go large!
Charlotte Smith Editor