Wagner Society Being Formed In Israel !

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THEHORN
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Wagner Society Being Formed In Israel !

Post by THEHORN » Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:42 am

Here's an interesting story. A.C. Douglas,at his always interesting blog soundsandfury.com, has a post about a new Wagner society being formed in Israel which hopes to repeal the unofficial ban on performances of Wagner's music in that country,which still has a number of holocaust survivors who cannot bear to hear his music.
Yonatan Livni,himself the son of holocaust surviviors,wants to promote the music of Wagner there.
In an article in The Mideast News Source (medialine.org),he is quoted as saying that many other composers have been anti-semites yet no one objects to their music being heard in Israel, and that despite Hitler's promotion of the Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz automobiles, they are still common in in that country,among other things.
Livni says that his father stated that while" Wagner was a terrible man,he wrote the most beautiful music".
But the article also quotes an official of the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial in saying that "Wagner was an anti-semite on a par with Hitler", which is more than a slight exaggeration.
As reprehensible as Wagner's antisemitism was, it never came remotely close to the insane hatred and brutality of Hitler and the Nazis,and he never advocated genocide against the Jews or any other people.

John F
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Re: Wagner Society Being Formed In Israel !

Post by John F » Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:28 am

Here's an article at ynetnews.com with a few more details. As far as I can tell, this Yonatan Livni is speaking only for himself; his "Wagner Society" has a membership of one. The government of Israel raised no objection to it, but then the government has never officially objected to the performance of Wagner's music in Israel. Looks to me like a play for the headlines and little more. But we'll see.


Wagner association founded in Israel

Merav Yudilovitch
Published: 11.14.10, 21:10 / Israel News

Despite the severe backlash that followed a decision by the Israel Chamber Orchestra to perform at a Wagner festival in Germany, the Justice Ministry's Registrar of Endowments decided Sunday to award official status to a Wagner association in Israel.

Attorney Yonatan Livni, who heads the newly founded association, says "it's time to allow those who desire to hear Wagner's music in Israel to be able to do so."

"Karl Orff and even Richard Strauss, who was president of the Reich's State Music Bureau, are played in Israel. So why is it prohibited to play Wagner, who died years before the Nazis came to power?" Livni wondered. "This boycott no longer makes sense."

Livni claims the ire directed at Wagner is the last remnant of a post-Holocaust boycott of German products. "Wagner has become a symbol," he said.

"It's true that he was a huge anti-Semite, however we are not talking about his speeches, but about the music he wrote as a great composer." The attorney added that though Hitler had loved Mercedes and Volkswagen cars, they are being driven freely in Israel.

"I can't accept this. What do we need to play Wagner in Israel, an announcement that the last of the Holocaust survivors has died? There is a lot of hypocrisy in that. Those who don't want to don’t have to listen to it. I don't want to force anyone, but rather to speak out against any type of boycott," Livni, a son to Holocaust survivors, said.

"Israel must be very careful when it boycotts something. There is no end to it. You cannot and should not boycott art because of politics. Yesterday the Nazis boycotted Jewish authors and composers, and today we are boycotting Wagner."

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340 ... 71,00.html
John Francis

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Re: Wagner Society Being Formed In Israel !

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:33 am

John F wrote:Here's an article at ynetnews.com with a few more details. As far as I can tell, this Yonatan Livni is speaking only for himself; his "Wagner Society" has a membership of one.
With a fan club whose membership is probably also one (A.C. Douglas was once a rather problematic poster on CMG).

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Re: Wagner Society Being Formed In Israel !

Post by karlhenning » Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:36 am

There are two types of people, right? Wagner enthusiasts, and the many people who are (to greater or lesser degree) wrong.

Cheers,
~Karl
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rogch
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Re: Wagner Society Being Formed In Israel !

Post by rogch » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:26 am

karlhenning wrote:There are two types of people, right? Wagner enthusiasts, and the many people who are (to greater or lesser degree) wrong.
Very often that is the case, yes. The difference between Wagner and most other artists is that many people decide that they don't want to like his works beacause they don't like the man. I don't know of many other composers, painters or writers that are dismissed based on their biography alone. And there are few objections against the music of Carl Orff, despite his much more obvious links to the nazi regime. So there is a lot of hypocricy here.

Of course it is possible to dislike Wagner's music because of the music itself. But Wagner's works are stage works so i think it is wrong to judge his works based on the music alone. Yet, there will be some people who really know Wagners works and still don't like them. But they will often base their opinions on the works, not the man.

This sounds very dramatic, i guess there are three groups and not two. Many people neither like or dislike Wagner. Or at least they don't care too much about him one way or the other. So whether they are right or wrong is perhaps the wrong question.
Roger Christensen

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Re: Wagner Society Being Formed In Israel !

Post by karlhenning » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:59 am

rogch wrote:. . . This sounds very dramatic, i guess there are three groups and not two. Many people neither like or dislike Wagner. Or at least they don't care too much about him one way or the other.
I agree completely.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
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http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
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Jared
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Re: Wagner Society Being Formed In Israel !

Post by Jared » Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:24 pm

karlhenning wrote:
rogch wrote:. . . This sounds very dramatic, i guess there are three groups and not two. Many people neither like or dislike Wagner. Or at least they don't care too much about him one way or the other.
I agree completely.

Cheers,
~Karl
One of my principle December recordings will be Bohm's 'Die Walkure' from Bayreuth (1967, Philips)... I've never heard a Wagner opera before, and have to tell you I've never been so intrigued over what all the fuss is about, and indeed in which of those three camps I will end up sitting... :?

THEHORN
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Re: Wagner Society Being Formed In Israel !

Post by THEHORN » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:15 pm

Without a doubt,Wagner is the most controversial composer of all time.
It's hard to think of any composer who divides people so much,and yes,it's unfortunate that too many people have allowed stories about what a bad person he was to influence their opinion of him as a composer.
He rarely leaves people indifferent. Jared, I think you should read the whole story of the Ring first before listening to Die Walkure.
It's complicated but not confusing. It might be a good idea to listen to one act at a time,and give yourself a breather inbetween,as it can be biting off more than you can chew for people who are new to Wagner to listen to the whole thing uninterruped.
It's a good idea to follow the libretto with the translation while you're listening, because there are long stretches where the characters are musing about things and there is no action.
This can be boring if you don't know what the characters are singing about.
But if you follow what the characters are singing about it can give you insight into their motivations,emotional and psychological states.That's just the nature of Wagner operas.
I say this as some one with over 40 years of listening to who knows how many complete opera recordings since I was a kid first on LP and then CD.
I caught the Wagner and opera bug when I was only about 13, and discovered that my local library had a classical LP section with lots of complete opera recordings with booklets with the synopsis,libretto in the original language and English translation.
I got to know all the most popular operas and many less familiar ones this way.

josé echenique
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Re: Wagner Society Being Formed In Israel !

Post by josé echenique » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:39 pm

Jared wrote:
karlhenning wrote:
rogch wrote:. . . This sounds very dramatic, i guess there are three groups and not two. Many people neither like or dislike Wagner. Or at least they don't care too much about him one way or the other.
I agree completely.

Cheers,
~Karl
One of my principle December recordings will be Bohm's 'Die Walkure' from Bayreuth (1967, Philips)... I've never heard a Wagner opera before, and have to tell you I've never been so intrigued over what all the fuss is about, and indeed in which of those three camps I will end up sitting... :?
You chose a truly great recording to start your Wagner Odyssey Jared, though maybe starting with Rheingold might have been wiser.

Jared
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Re: Wagner Society Being Formed In Israel !

Post by Jared » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:39 am

josé echenique wrote: maybe starting with Rheingold might have been wiser.

'Das Rheingold' wasn't sat in the charity shop with a £4 price tag on it... :lol:

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Re: Wagner Society Being Formed In Israel !

Post by Jared » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:42 am

THEHORN wrote: Jared, I think you should read the whole story of the Ring first before listening to Die Walkure.
It's complicated but not confusing. It might be a good idea to listen to one act at a time,and give yourself a breather inbetween,as it can be biting off more than you can chew for people who are new to Wagner to listen to the whole thing uninterruped.
It's a good idea to follow the libretto with the translation while you're listening, because there are long stretches where the characters are musing about things and there is no action.
I think that was going to be my plan of action with it... but some very sound advice there, nonetheless... many thanks indeed.. :D

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Re: Wagner Society Being Formed In Israel !

Post by bombasticDarren » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:36 pm

Jared wrote:
THEHORN wrote:It might be a good idea to listen to one act at a time,and give yourself a breather inbetween,as it can be biting off more than you can chew for people who are new to Wagner to listen to the whole thing uninterrupted
I think that was going to be my plan of action with it... but some very sound advice there, nonetheless... many thanks indeed.. :D
I think you will find some wonderful moments in that opera Jared. Whether or not the longuers which join those moments together take your fancy is another issue :wink:

Definitely break up your listening though - that's good advice :)

I am genuinely looking forward to hearing how you get on :)

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