By William Kinderman, Katherine R. Syer
Richard Wagner's Parsifal is still an inexhaustible but hugely debatable paintings. This "stage consecration pageant play," because the composer defined it, represents the fruits of his efforts to deliver medieval fable and sleek song jointly in a dynamic dating. Wagner's engagement with religion--Buddhist in addition to Christian--reaches a climax right here, as he seeks via creative capability "to rescue the essence of faith through perceiving its legendary symbols . . . in line with their figurative price, permitting us to determine their profound, hidden fact via idealized representation." The members to this assortment holiday clean flooring in exploring the textual content, the song, and the reception historical past 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 undergo at the lengthy genesis of the textual content and song, its affinities to Wagner's past works, rather Tristan und Isolde, and the appropriate means within which the song used to be composed. Essays deal with the work's daring, modernistic musical language and its unheard of soundscape concerning hidden choruses and different unseen assets of sound. The turbulent, spectacular, and occasionally stressful background of Parsifal performances from 1882 till 2004 is traced in brilliant aspect for the 1st time, demonstrating the abiding fascination exerted by way of this uniquely hard murals. participants: Mary A. Cicora, James M. McGlathery, Ulrike Kienzle, Warren Darcy, Roger Allen. William Kinderman and Katherine Syer train on the collage of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and infrequently lead examine seminars in the course of the Wagner competition in Bayreuth, Germany.
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Extra resources for A Companion to Wagner's Parsifal (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)
Thus he criticized Wolfram for failing to narrate (in the Middle Ages) the version of the Parzival legend that Wagner (from his nineteenth-century perspective) 21 Wapnewski, Der traurige Gott, 231. 42 MARY A. 22 He radically reduced Wolfram’s huge cast of characters to a manageable number, in some cases by combining several of them into a composite character, or, as in most cases, disposing of them entirely. Gawan is relegated to a mere mention; the story of the title character’s parents became an offstage pre-curtain feature.
Kundry and Klingsor’s realm, with its seductive Flowermaidens, resembles the Venusberg and its sinful pleasures. In his autobiography, Wagner recounts having received the inspiration for Parsifal and having written the first prose sketch for the work in April 1857. Though an entry in the “annals” of his “brown book” substantiates the veracity of 1857 as the year of the conception of the project,10 the autobiographical report is the subject of critical controversy, as the date mentioned in the passage as Good Friday was not the date on which that day fell that year, according to the calendar.
In Parzival, Wolfram uses his French sources and the current medieval conventions in a new and complex way. In fact, he mentions Chrétien only once in his Parzival, toward the end, when he criticizes Chrétien for failing to report the story properly. To complicate matters of derivation, he also refers to a mysterious Kyot as his source, who is the subject of much critical controversy, quite possibly a fictitious entity whose function is to ironicize the medieval convention of citing authority. Parzival was written roughly around the year 1210 by Wolfram von Eschenbach, a member of the knightly class, and consists of 25,000 14 On the medieval Grail romances, and Wolfram’s Parzival in particular, I have consulted and am basing the following general information on these works: Helmut de Boor, Die höfische Literatur: Vorbereitung, Blüte, Ausklang 1170–1250, vol.
A Companion to Wagner's Parsifal (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture) by William Kinderman, Katherine R. Syer