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Favorite piece by Wagner? - Page 4

post #46 of 91
The greatest conductors of Wagner have been Jewish: from Hermann Levi (who premiered "˜Parsifal') through Gustav Mahler, Bruno Walter, Otto Klemperer, Georg Solti to today's James Levine and Daniel Barenboim.

I suppose, that must say something about the musical qualities.

It is for musicians to decide what to play and for audiences to decide whether or not they want to buy tickets. It is not for politicians to decide. Not to play Wagner because he was anti-Semitic is on the same level as not to play Mendelssohn because he was Jewish.
post #47 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe
Not to play Wagner because he was anti-Semitic is on the same level as not to play Mendelssohn because he was Jewish.

Absolutely correct.

Jon.
post #48 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe
It is for musicians to decide what to play and for audiences to decide whether or not they want to buy tickets. It is not for politicians to decide. Not to play Wagner because he was anti-Semitic is on the same level as not to play Mendelssohn because he was Jewish.
Another gentle distinction: Wagner chose to be an anti-semite, and according to what I've read of excerpts from his letters, almost a proto-nazi. Mendelssohn had no choice about being Jewish.
post #49 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe
The greatest conductors of Wagner have been Jewish: from Hermann Levi (who premiered "˜Parsifal') through Gustav Mahler, Bruno Walter, Otto Klemperer, Georg Solti to today's James Levine and Daniel Barenboim.

I suppose, that must say something about the musical qualities.

It is for musicians to decide what to play and for audiences to decide whether or not they want to buy tickets. It is not for politicians to decide. Not to play Wagner because he was anti-Semitic is on the same level as not to play Mendelssohn because he was Jewish.


BS -

1. as I, and Jon, have explained previously, the restrictions on Wagner in Israel are not specifically about anti-semitism.

2. sorry, if a musician is playing in his living room, let him decide what he wants to play. when a musician is playing at a festival with sponsership from various organizations, governmental and non-governmental, he needs to play what is agreed upon. if he does't want to stick to the agreed upon rules, let him play someplace else. ditto orchastras and opera houses - as long as they have some government sponsership, or corporate sponsership, the boards of directors have control over what is played or not played. as long as most of the tickets are sold via subscriptions, then the governing board needs to decide what will be played and what won't be. and in a situation like this - where the artist decided to play something that wasn't on the bill, as a surprise to the paying patrons, there is not excuse.
post #50 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe
The greatest conductors of Wagner have been Jewish: from Hermann Levi (who premiered "˜Parsifal') through Gustav Mahler, Bruno Walter, Otto Klemperer, Georg Solti to today's James Levine and Daniel Barenboim. I suppose, that must say something about the musical qualities.
I'm not at all denying the greatness of Wagner's music - and I've enjoyed it tremendously. I saw the "Ring um den Ring" performance on tour six or seven years ago, and it's one of the best I've seen.
Quote:
It is for musicians to decide what to play and for audiences to decide whether or not they want to buy tickets. It is not for politicians to decide.
Which is exactly why some in the Israeli audience left. And also why there isn't (and shouldn't be) an official ban on Wagner in Israel.
post #51 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
BS -

1. as I, and Jon, have explained previously, the restrictions on Wagner in Israel are not specifically about anti-semitism.

2. sorry, if a musician is playing in his living room, let him decide what he wants to play. when a musician is playing at a festival with sponsership from various organizations, governmental and non-governmental, he needs to play what is agreed upon. if he does't want to stick to the agreed upon rules, let him play someplace else. ditto orchastras and opera houses - as long as they have some government sponsership, or corporate sponsership, the boards of directors have control over what is played or not played. as long as most of the tickets are sold via subscriptions, then the governing board needs to decide what will be played and what won't be. and in a situation like this - where the artist decided to play something that wasn't on the bill, as a surprise to the paying patrons, there is not excuse.

I still agree that "Not to play Wagner because he was anti-Semitic is on the same level as not to play Mendelssohn because he was Jewish." Not because of any specific reason, but because of A REASON. Any reason as to not to listen to a piece of music other than you don't like the way it sounds is wrong. It's like not listening to Beethoven because he was against monarchies, which is of course utter nonsense.

Jon.
post #52 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
I still agree that "Not to play Wagner because he was anti-Semitic is on the same level as not to play Mendelssohn because he was Jewish." Not because of any specific reason, but because of A REASON. Any reason as to not to listen to a piece of music other than you don't like the way it sounds is wrong. It's like not listening to Beethoven because he was against monarchies, which is of course utter nonsense.

Jon.

I didn't mean to speak for you.

and I sort of agree with you -

I would say that not listening to Wagner (or, if I was a musician I would extend that to playing him for my personal enjoyment) because he was an anti-semite would be wrong.

I listen to Wagner, I read Dahl, I would guess that half of the books I have and music I listen to was created by people with political views I disagree with or find repulsive.

I think that it is perfectly acceptable for the board of an institution like an orchastra or an opera house to feel that certain artists should not be played because of the artists political afiliations or politics, espetially where relevant. in the case of the various state orchastras of israel, to not play the music of somebody so closely related to nazeism makes sense to me. I may not have voted that way, were I involved in the decision making process, but it makes sense to me. that said - I belive that once the generation that survived the holocust is gone the restriction will and should be lifted.
post #53 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
I think that it is perfectly acceptable for the board of an institution like an orchastra or an opera house to feel that certain artists should not be played because of the artists political afiliations or politics, espetially where relevant.
Any decision who to play and who not to play, should be based on artistic and not political consideration.

If certain works should not be performed because of the artist's political affiliations, then other works should be performed simply because of the artist's politics. (The cronies in a dictatorship usually do well, because of their cronyism and not because of their artistic value.)
post #54 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe
Any decision who to play and who not to play, should be based on artistic and not political consideration. If certain works should not be performed because of the artist’s political affiliations, then other works should be performed simply because of the artist’s politics. (The cronies in a dictatorship usually do well, because of their cronyism and not because of their artistic value.)
Nevermind
post #55 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe
Any decision who to play and who not to play, should be based on artistic and not political consideration.

If certain works should not be performed because of the artist's political affiliations, then other works should be performed simply because of the artist's politics. (The cronies in a dictatorship usually do well, because of their cronyism and not because of their artistic value.)


here I disagree, although I would say that this is a very unusual situation. the restictions are less based on the political beliefs of the artist, and more on the effect his music would have on certain people, as well as the relationship between his music, his politics and his actions. wagner was not an artist who was an anti-semite in the way that, for instance george washington was a statesman who had slaves. the very essence of wagner's life and philosophy was intertwined with his political beliefs. and, anti-semitism isn't a trivial thing in israel. I would not suggest that any other orchestra avoid his music because of his politics, but I see no reason why 3 orchestras and one opera house should not.

the only similar example I could think of would be if a major arab performer, who was on record as being a friend and supporter of bin Ladin, would be asked to perform at the NY Symphony orchestra at the present time. emotionally, it would be difficult for the audience.
post #56 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe
Any decision who to play and who not to play, should be based on artistic and not political consideration.
The decision to play or listen to anything may be based on any consideration whatsoever, including a political one. Whether an orchestra or its board of governors decides that some composer or playwright is unpalatable, for any reason, it's their right to do so. They may be criticised for it, and should be ready to defend their position. This is like any other civilised public discourse. It's the official censorship I'm against, and this is not the case when it comes to Barnboims performance. I agree with Globetrotter that he broke a spoken or unspoken agreement with the organisers of the concert - this is, at best, rude, but not illegal. Nor should it be illegal.
Quote:
If certain works should not be performed because of the artist's political affiliations, then other works should be performed simply because of the artist's politics.
This, to me, is faulty logic; banning or disliking something doesn't necessarily imply elevating something else.
post #57 of 91
I would also raise this issue - Barnboims action seems to be as political if not more so than anything else here. and I return to the issue of this discussing this with Said - one of the most vocal and articulate anti-zionists ever. I would suggest that if Barnboim was invited to the major israeli music festival, and decided to prepare a piece of music that went against policy, and discussed this with an extremly anti-zionist friend (who, I would also submit, living in another country and in another profetion was probrably his friends specifically due to his anti-zionist politics) then this whole thing was probrably politically motivated as much as anything else.
post #58 of 91
I think Israel should get over it.

There is a fantastic possibility that Beethoven was a staunch antisemite, not to mention Bach, Mozart, Verdi, Rossini and whoever else lived in a time when hating jews was about as common as not washing often. Is it tragic that people's views on this ethnicity have been disgusting? Yes, but to ban Wagner because he didn't like Jews is for me a superfluous gesture given that he most probably was not the only one.
post #59 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Violinist
I think Israel should get over it.

There is a fantastic possibility that Beethoven was a staunch antisemite, not to mention Bach, Mozart, Verdi, Rossini and whoever else lived in a time when hating jews was about as common as not washing often. Is it tragic that people's views on this ethnicity have been disgusting? Yes, but to ban Wagner because he didn't like Jews is for me a superfluous gesture given that he most probably was not the only one.

Um...What? Did you read my post as to why it is unofficially banned from Israel?

And I quote (myself):

Quote:
Which brings me to the "˜Ban' of Wagner's music in Israel. The reason why his music is banned in Israel is not because it was used by the Nazi's in film, or during rallies or because Hitler appropriated the Bayreuth festival for himself, rather the reason for the "˜Ban' was because the music was used in concentration camps, and was the prominent music used by the Nazi doctors in concentration camps while performing their sick, inhumane experiments.

If you are a person who survived those experiments, and was physically experimented by the Nazi's while the music of Wagner was playing, the last thing you ever want to hear again is the music of Wagner. And no person who went through that should be exposed to mentally relive that experience. In another 20 years, when none of the concentration camp survivors are with us, then I think Israel can lax its view regarding Wagner's music.

Jon.
post #60 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
Um…What? Did you read my post as to why it is unofficially banned from Israel?

And I quote (myself):



Jon.

holy shit I had no idea. I stand corrected. That's sick.
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