‘Das ist Karfreitagszauber’: Richard Wagner and J.S. Bach with Roger Allen

Posted by on 18, Aug, 2020 in | Comments Off on ‘Das ist Karfreitagszauber’: Richard Wagner and J.S. Bach with Roger Allen

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  • 'Das ist Karfreitagszauber': Richard Wagner and J.S. Bach with Roger Allen
    18 November 2020
    6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

‘Das ist Karfreitagszauber’: Richard Wagner and J.S. Bach

with Roger Allen





As long ago as 1911 Ernest Newman suggested in his book Wagner as Man and Artist that. ‘the world had not seen a musical brain working at such tremendous and long-sustained pressure since the days when the B minor mass and the St Matthew Passion were written’.

This illustrated lecture will interrogate Newman’s claim through consideration of such topics as Wagner’s origins and early musical training at Bach’s own school of St Thomas’s Leipzig, the references to Bach scattered throughout the prose works to the self-styled ‘applied Bach’ of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. To what extent did the Bach renaissance movement, described by music historian Carl Dahlhaus as ‘one of the central processes in the history of nineteenth-century music’, impact on Wagner? What might Wagner have meant when, in the last weeks of his life, he described Bach’s fugues as ‘chaos turned to harmony’?


Roger Allen:

Roger Allen is Emeritus Fellow in Music of St Peter’s College and a Member of the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford. He is active in the musical life of Oxford as a pianist, specialising in lieder accompaniment. He is a member of the editorial board of The Wagner Journaland recently guest edited the July 2019 issue. His current research includes issues of harmony and musical syntax in the music of Wagner and Brucknerand an investigation of the idea of the organic metaphor as a means of understanding musical process.He has published widely in the UK, USA and Germany. His most recent publications include substantial contributions to The Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia (2013); Richard Wagner’s‘Beethoven’ (1870): A New Translation (2014); and Wilhelm Furtwängler: Art, Politics and the Unpolitical (2018)


This online event is free to all members (non-members £5).  Please register your interest below and you will be sent a Zoom link in good time for the lecture, probably during the previous day. (Please do not contact us for the link unless it has not been received immediately before the lecture is due to begin.) If you wish to make a donation, please do so via our website (see button to the right) or contact treasurer@wagnersociety.org.   (NOTE: Joint members intending to watch this lecture together only need to register once.)



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