A Companion to Beethoven's Pianoforte Sonatas: Complete by Donald Francis, Sir Tovey

By Donald Francis, Sir Tovey

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UMI Research Press, 1988), 30 –34. 28. James Treadwell opens his extraordinary study of Wagner with a masterful account of the Festspielhaus’s intentions and effects. : Yale University Press, 2003), 3 – 4. See also Beat Wyss, “Ragnarök of Illusion: Richard Wagner’s ‘Mystical Abyss’ at Bayreuth,” trans. Denise Bratton, October 54 (Fall 1990): 57–78, esp. 73 –74. See also Evan Baker, “Richard Wagner and His Search for the Ideal Theatrical Space,” in Opera in Context: Essays on Historical Staging from the Late Renaissance to the Time of Puccini, ed.

Savage, “Staging of Opera,” 397. 52. 53 It is not surprising, then, that as a spirit of innovation returned to Germany’s opera houses in the mid-1970s, it would be marked once again by a commitment to invite “outsiders” back into the opera house, to open opera production to innovators from a host of other fields and countries. Many of these innovators came to opera from the spoken theater, which during the 1970s was undergoing a seismic shift of its own as it began to come to terms with the emergence of what Hans-Thies Lehmann has termed post-dramatic theater.

Instead, Pasha Selim, the Turkish despot whose magnanimity has just been extolled in the concluding vaudeville and chorus of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail, steps forward (in Hans Neuenfels’s Stuttgart production of 1998) and recites a grim poem by Eduard Mörike, penned some seventy years after the premiere of Mozart’s work. Critics and audiences have all too often been confounded, uncomprehending, even angry. Symptomatically, the vocabulary employed in the press in the United States—say, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, or Opera News— to assess these productions is often quite heated: melodramatic, stentorian, and Manichean, it tends to parrot the rhetoric of nineteenth-century grand opera.

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