Wagner Rehearsing the 'Ring': An Eye-Witness Account of the Stage Rehearsals of the First Bayreuth Festival

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 2, 2009 - Music - 160 pages
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This book presents Wagner's view of how the Ring should be performed. He requested Heinrich Porges, a member of his circle, to 'follow all my rehearsals very closely and note down everything I say, even the smallest details, about the interpretation and performance, so that a tradition goes down in writing'. In the opinion of the eminent Wagner scholar, Curt von Westernhagen, Porges conscientious record shows 'amazing insight and perception' since what distinguishes it is his 'ability to always locate the endless detail of Wagner's instructions in an overall intellectual context'. The book is therefore required reading not only for conductors, producers, instrumentalists and singers but also for musicologists and critics. In addition it is a fascinating read for anyone who knows and loves the Ring since it takes the form of a blow-by-blow commentary on the stage action as it unfolds. The writing has vitality and flow and one is caught up in the spirit of the thing as Wagner felt it. It provides a re-experience of the Ring through his eyes.

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