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Title: Wagner and His Music Dramas - The New York Philharmonic Symphony Society Presents...
Author: Bagar, Robert
Language: English
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     [Illustration: Wagner as a conductor, a role which—unlike many
                      composers—he often assumed.]

                          AND HIS MUSIC-DRAMAS

                            By ROBERT BAGAR

                  [Illustration: Harp and cello logo]

                                NEW YORK
                           _Grosset & Dunlap_

                          Copyright 1943, 1950
             The Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York
                Printed in the United States of America


This volume, concerned with Wagnerian excerpts most frequently performed
in the concert hall, has been prepared primarily for the audience of the
Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York. Its object is to supply
information in as concise and complete a manner as space will permit. It
makes no boast about originality, particularly since the bulk of the
material involved stems from any number of treatises on the subject of
Wagner and his music.

                          AND HIS MUSIC-DRAMAS

No artist has known a fiercer urge to create than Richard Wagner. None
has labored more mightily to indoctrinate mankind with his convictions.
None has been more scathing in his contempt of reaction, of pretense, of
outdated mannerisms. He wanted his works to be sagas of epic spiritual
and moral power; and, whether or not he achieved his aims, he wrote
music that is voluptuous and emotionally overwhelming.

In a way he glamorized human suffering or, at least, that side of human
suffering expressed through the symbol of renunciation, which one
encounters frequently in his operas. His librettos are filled with
super-noble purpose, with superhuman aspiration. In _Der Ring des
Nibelungen_ he created a world of divinities who are imperfect and
humans who unconsciously strive toward perfection. It is not a new
world, nor is it a brave one, except through the promise of humanity’s
elevation. With _Tristan und Isolde_ he rises to metaphysical heights in
his argument. The theme generally is again renunciation, the attaining
of perfection and solace through it. One comes upon it again in _Die
Meistersinger_, in _The Flying Dutchman_, in _Parsifal_, and so on.

Yet for an artist whose works so idealized all that is good and lofty
and noble, Wagner did little in his own life that could possibly
approach those superior motives. There is a distinction to be made,
therefore, between Wagner the man and Wagner the artist.

Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig, on May 22, 1813, the son (allegedly)
of Karl Friedrich and Johanna Wagner. The theory has been advanced that
the composer’s real father was Ludwig Geyer, an intimate friend of the
family, who married Frau Wagner about a year after her first husband’s

[Illustration: Madame Johanna Wagner, niece of the composer, who sang a
       leading role in the première performance of _Tannhäuser_.]

Even as a young boy Richard was tremendously fond of the theater. His
mother, not particularly interested in it, threatened to hurl a curse on
his head if he attempted to make a career of the stage.

In any case, when Geyer died several years later, Richard was sent to
Eisleben to become apprenticed to a goldsmith. After a year of puttering
around as a tyro goldsmith he returned to Dresden where the family now
was. In that city he found many opportunities to express his dramatic

Soon the family moved back to Leipzig and Wagner began to study with
Theodor Weinlig, who was one of the authorities on counterpoint.

His early essays in music (composition now being his aim) were nothing
to become excited about. But the musical life of Dresden and his
intercourse with leading figures of the day worked their influence on
him nevertheless. He spent nights copying Beethoven’s Fifth and Ninth
Symphonies. He wrote an overture which Heinrich Dorn, director of the
Leipzig Theater, liked well enough to perform, but it was poorly
received. With characteristic suddenness he entered Leipzig University
as a _studiosus musicae_, really a student with few privileges. But he
plunged with great gusto into all sorts of student activity, which was,
apparently, the real reason for his enrollment at the school.

One of his sisters, Rosalie, and his brother both followed the acting
profession, and they gave him the benefit of their counsel, though no
one knows how much of it he followed.

He wrote a symphony and then began work on an opera, _Die Hochzeit_,
which he never completed. That was in 1832. In the same year he tried
again, actually finishing a work entitled _Die Feen_. It was rejected,
but Wagner, after one or two little pouts, regained his composure. He
accepted an engagement as conductor at Magdeburg and in the course of
his work he composed another opera, _Das Liebesverbot_, which, however,
was given one performance.

At Magdeburg he met Minna Planer, a member of the operatic troupe, who
later became his wife. When she left for Königsberg he followed her and
obtained a conductor’s position at the theater in that city. Then came a
succession of changes. The restless Wagner scurried about with the
spontaneity of a gypsy. When things lagged in one place he quickly moved
to another. So that we find him going to Riga, where he directed both
opera and symphony, to London, to Paris. In the last named he thought he
might finally awaken a musical public to his genius. But he suffered
untold agonies. Poverty possessed him. He and his wife lived in constant
economic turmoil. With all that he managed to compose two more operas,
_Rienzi_ and _The Flying Dutchman_. Both were produced at Dresden under
the sponsorship of Meyerbeer, then a dominant figure in German music.

All this time, though, he wrote a host of compositions, besides penning
many articles on music for various publications, and his fame spread.
His rebellious temperament got him into difficulty often enough, but he
managed, most of the time, to slip out of it. However, in Dresden, where
he officiated as a conductor of the Royal Opera, he clashed with certain
musical authorities who would not brook his bold opposition to standard
ideas. Yet still another opera came to the light of performance when
_Tannhäuser_ was given its first hearing, again at Dresden, on October
19, 1845.

During the previous summer Wagner began work on the libretto of _Die
Meistersinger_ while vacationing at Marienbad. He soon abandoned it,
taking on the libretto for _Lohengrin_ instead. The following year saw
the completion of the _Lohengrin_ score. In 1848 he joined a
revolutionary movement that spread through Europe, launched by the
French Revolution. When the disturbance was quelled some months later,
he fled to Switzerland, but remained there for a short time, heading
soon for Paris.

His wife refused to join him there, remembering too well the poverty of
the previous stay in the French capital. But he started on _Siegfried’s
Death_, which was to grow into the gigantic _Ring_. He flitted about
again, leaving Paris, returning a little later.

Wagner fell in love with Jessie Taylor Laussot, who proved a
benefactress in a financial way. In the meantime, he decided to leave
Minna forever. In Zurich, whither he repaired, he labored unceasingly on
the libretto for _The Young Siegfried_. Then he created the subject of
_The Valkyrie_ and finally that of _The Rheingold_.

It is amusing to note that he wrote his _Ring_ librettos in reverse
order, that is, from what is now _Götterdämmerung_ back to _Das
Rheingold_. Having hit upon a huge theme, he found it increasingly
necessary to broaden its scope, thus accounting for the four operas.
Parenthetically, however, he wrote the music in the correct order.

  [Illustration: The reaction of some of Wagner’s musically untutored
 contemporaries is amusingly depicted in this caricature from _Figaro_

     [Illustration: Wagner as a young man, about the time Meyerbeer
        sponsored the first production of _Rienzi_ in Dresden.]

 [Illustration: Richard Wagner at the peak of his powers when _Der Ring
                des Nibelungen_ was nearing completion.]

Now in Wagner’s life there appears a strange and beautiful influence,
Mathilde Wesendonck, wife of a very wealthy silk merchant. It has been
pointed out that under the spell of this beguiling woman his composing
flourished as never before. At the home of the Wesendoncks he completed
the poem for _Tristan und Isolde_. It is not known how friendly Richard
and Mathilde were, but this is fact: Wagner left his friends’ abode
because he would not bring grief upon Otto Wesendonck.

He went once more to Paris where some very ridiculous things happened
having to do with a suggested ballet for the opera _Tannhäuser_. Wagner,
adamant, would not change the order of his work merely to please
influential gentlemen of the Jockey Club.

In 1864, when Wagner was fifty-one, he settled in Munich—he had been
forgiven for his revolutionary surge—and in this musically flourishing
city he came under the high patronage of King Ludwig of Bavaria. Here he
renewed acquaintance with Liszt’s daughter Cosima, whom he had met some
years before. She was now married to Hans von Bülow, a highly gifted
conductor. The composer and Cosima were thrown together a lot and their
mutual regard soon ripened into love. Poor little Minna, who had been
ill for a long period, died in 1866, a piece of news which saddened
Wagner greatly.

That same year, however, he and Cosima took a place at Triebschen on
Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. Bülow, at first angered by his wife’s deed,
soon came to realize the inevitability of it. Besides, he adored Wagner
and his music. He acted sanely therefore, sacrificing his personal
feelings for the sake of Wagner’s art. Cosima and Richard were married
in 1870.

At Triebschen he completed _Die Meistersinger_, _Siegfried_, and the
first two acts of _Götterdämmerung_, besides writing any number of
treatises, articles, and the like. Here, too, the idea of a great
festival theater was born in him, and the originality of the thing soon
won many influential supporters to the cause. By 1871 a site was found
for it at Bayreuth, Germany. The next year he put the finishing touches
to the _Ring_ and the Bayreuth project grew in proportion to his frantic
efforts to raise money for it. In all, it took some four years to erect
this shrine to Wagnerian music. And finally, the première of the
Wagnerian Cycle, running from August 13 to 16, was a tremendous success,
in spite of the heartaches, the headaches, and the discouragement.

  [Illustration: Manuscript of a humorous song dedicated by Wagner to
  Louis Kraft, proprietor of the hotel in Leipzig where Wagner stopped
                  during his first trip to Bayreuth.]

With all that he had already accomplished, Wagner could have retired to
the easy life he often so fervently spoke about. But the urge to compose
never left him. He set to work on _Parsifal_, the poem he had completed
some months before. When the opera was all finished he endeavored with
his usual kinetic energy to raise money for its production. It was given
its first performance on July 26, 1882. There were sixteen more

Wagner, after all the excitement of Bayreuth, left for a vacation in
Venice. In spite of repeated heart attacks, he considered seriously the
writing of another symphony. But he had done his work. There was to be
no second symphony. Wagner died of his heart illness on February 13,
1883. He was buried at Bayreuth.

                          Overture to “Rienzi”

Bulwer’s _Rienzi_ revived an old desire of Wagner’s to make an opera out
of the story of the last of the Tribunes. He was in Dresden during the
summer of 1837 and there he read Barmann’s translation of the Bulwer
novel. However, he did not begin actual work until the following July.
First, of course, came the text. Later that month he started on the
music. By May 1839, he had completed two acts. The remainder of the
score, with the exception of the Overture, was written and orchestrated
in Paris. The Overture was finished on October 23, 1840.

On October 20, 1842, _Rienzi_ was given its world première at the Royal
Saxon Court Theater, Dresden. Amusingly, the performance began at 6
P.M., and it went on and on until midnight. America was not to become
acquainted with the opera until March 4, 1878, when it was given at the
Academy of Music, New York.

The thematic material employed in the Overture stems from music in the
opera itself, such as the “long-sustained, swelled and diminished A on
the trumpet,” which is the signal for the people’s uprising against the
nobles; Rienzi’s Prayer; a theme of the chorus, _Gegrüsst sei hoher
Tag_; the theme of the revolutionary forces, _Santo spirito cavaliere_;
the stretto of the second Finale, _Rienzi, dir sei Preis_; and a subject
similar to the phrase of the nobles set to the words, _Ha, dieser Gnade
Schmach erdruckt das stolze Herz!_

The score of the Overture calls for one piccolo, two flutes, two oboes,
two clarinets, two bassoons, two valve-horns, two plain horns, one
serpent (nowadays replaced by the double-bassoon), two valve trumpets,
two plain trumpets, three trombones, one ophicleide (replaced by the
bass-tuba), two snare-drums, bass drum, triangle, cymbals, and strings.

  [Illustration: The People’s Chorus, commencing Act II of _Rienzi_.]

                   Overture to “The Flying Dutchman”

This compact and brilliantly written Overture calls for the following
instrumentation: piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, English horn, two
clarinets, four horns, two bassoons, two trumpets, three trombones, bass
tuba, kettledrums, harp, and strings.

John Runciman once remarked about this music, “It is the atmosphere of
the sea that counts; the roar of the billows, the ‘hui!’ of the wind,
the dashing and plunging.... The sea, indeed, is the background,
foreground, the whole environment of the drama.... The smell and
atmosphere of the sea is maintained with extraordinary vividness to the
last bar.”

In the construction of the Overture Wagner makes important use of the
theme of the Dutchman, which appears in the opening measure by horns and
bassoons, and of the up-and-down theme of Senta, the Angel of Mercy,
softly and tenderly sung by English horn, horns and bassoons. This is
the theme which at the conclusion of the piece rises to a triumphant
sonority, indicative of redemption attained.

                        Overture to “Tannhäuser”

The first concert performance of this well-known Overture took place at
Leipzig, on February 12, 1846, under the direction of Mendelssohn. The
event was a benefit for the Gewandhaus Orchestra Pension Fund.

Wagner himself furnished a “program” for the Overture when the musicians
performing it at a Zurich concert requested an explanation of the music.
The “program” in a translation by William Ashton Ellis follows:

“To begin with, the orchestra leads before us the Pilgrim’s Chorus
alone; it draws near, then swells into a mighty outpour, and passes
finally away.—Evenfall; last echo of the chant. As night breaks, magic
sights and sounds appear, a rosy mist floats up, exultant shouts assail
our ears, the whirlings of a fearsomely voluptuous dance are seen. These
are the Venusberg’s seductive spells, that show themselves at dead of
night to those whose breast is fired by the daring of the senses.
Attracted by the tempting show, a shapely human form draws nigh; ’tis
Tannhäuser, Love’s minstrel.... Venus herself appears to him.... As the
Pilgrim’s Chant draws closer, yet closer, as the day drives farther back
the night, that whir and soughing of the air—which had erewhile sounded
like the eerie cries of the soul condemned—now rises, too, to ever
gladder waves; so that when the sun ascends at last in splendor, and the
Pilgrims’ Chant proclaims in ecstasy to all the world, to all that lives
and moves thereon, Salvation won, this wave itself swells out the
tidings of sublimest joy. ’Tis the carol of the Venusberg itself,
redeemed from the curse of impiousness, this cry we hear amid the hymn
of God. So wells and leaps each pulse of Life in chorus of Redemption;
and both dissevered elements, both soul and senses, God and Nature,
unite in the astonishing kiss of hallowed Love.”

                       [Illustration: TANNHAUSER
  “Wagner, inventor of the bass drum for musical bombardment, applies
      himself to his favorite exercise” reads the caption for this
                    contemporary French caricature.]

The Overture to Tannhäuser is scored for piccolo, two flutes, two oboes,
two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, three trumpets, three
trombones, bass tuba, kettledrums, cymbals, triangle, tambourine, and

                      Bacchanale from “Tannhäuser”

The opera was first produced at the Royal Opera House, Dresden, on
October 19, 1845. Some sixteen years later, due to the interest and
influence of Princess Metternich, wife of the Austrian Ambassador to
France, the work was introduced to Paris. For that production Wagner
extended his first scene to include a Bacchanale, the reasons for this
being as amusing to us as they must have been tragic to Wagner. The
Princess revealed, in an article written for the _Pall Mall Magazine_
(London, 1894) some of the reasons for the failure of the opera there,
and it was a complete failure. The Princess says:

“The day of the performance drew nigh and in most circles little good
will was confessed. It was stated generally that a protest should be
made against the abominable futurist music, and it was rumored that
stormy scenes might be expected at the Opera. In the clubs men were
annoyed because Wagner would not have a regular ballet, but only a few
poses of the ballerinas in the Venusberg. The club subscribers to the
Opera expected a ballet at nine-thirty sharp, no matter what the opera.
This, at least, was the custom of the time. No one who knew anything of
art could conceive where a ballet could be introduced into the midst of
‘Tannhäuser.’ Wagner declared that he would not accede to the silly
wishes of the subscribers, because he could not. And he was perfectly
right, but his refusal was to be paid for dearly.”

Wagner had entertained great hopes for this Parisian production of
_Tannhäuser_. To produce his work at the justly famed Opera was reason
enough, what with that organization’s habit of letting expense go hang.
He labored industriously at making revisions, which included a complete
rewrite of the Bacchanalian scene as well as of the music for Venus and
Tannhäuser in Act 1.

When he had completed his revisions he played the music for several
friends. Charles Nuitter, one of these, reported on that private hearing
as follows:

“When we arrived the composer sat down to the piano. He played with
indescribable animation and fury. His hands pounded the keys, and the
same time he strove to acquaint me with the action of the scene, crying
out the entrance of the various groups. ‘Arrival of the fauns and
satyrs; all are put to flight; the confusion mounts to its climax,’ he
flung at me, and his hands continued to bang the keys, the musical
delirium always augmenting. When he was piling on a succession of
quivering chords Wagner suddenly cried, ‘Now a crash of thunder. We are
all dead!’ At that moment a wagon of paving stones discharged its load
into the street, thus producing a prolonged and terrible noise. Wagner
turned round and regarded us with stupefaction, his eyes staring wildly.
It took us some moments to recover from this stirring of our feelings.
Thus it was that I was initiated into the new music.”

The first Paris performance of _Tannhäuser_ took place on March 13,
1861. That was the first of three fiascos in the French capital. The
second occurred on March 18. Napoleon III and the Empress both attended,
but their presence had no effect on the rest of the audience, whose
cat-calls, howls, and kindred strange noises were even louder, if not
funnier, than the first time.

The work was given for the third time on March 24. This was not a
regular subscription performance, and it seemed to all and sundry that
finally a Parisian audience would be honest and unprejudiced in its
attitude toward the opera. However, the composer’s enemies had bought
out the house and the result was the same. Whereupon Wagner withdrew his
score. _Tannhäuser_ was not given again in Paris until thirty-four years

                         Prelude to “Lohengrin”

In the summer of 1845, while Wagner was at Marienbad, he worked out the
plan for _Lohengrin_. The libretto he wrote during the following winter.
Then came a topsy-turvy scheme of creation. In composing the music he
began with the hero’s Narrative in the last act, “because the monologue
contained the most significant musical germs in the whole score.” He
finished the third act on March 25, 1847, the first act on June 8 of
that year, the second act on August 2, and the Prelude on August 28. The
orchestration was done during the following winter and spring. Franz
Liszt conducted the première of the opera at Weimar on August 28, 1850.
The Prelude was played for the first time in concert on January 17,
1853, at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Julius Rietz conducting.

Discussing the Prelude, William Foster Apthorp wrote:

“Like the hero’s career in the opera, it begins, as it were, in the
clouds, then gradually descends farther and farther until it embraces
all the lower tones of the orchestra, and then returns to the clouds
again. Its single theme is developed in free polyphony by various
successive groups of instruments, each of which groups proceeds with
free counter-thematic work as the next group enters with the theme.
First we have the violins _piano_ in their higher registers; then come
the flutes, oboes, and clarinets; then the violas, ’cellos, horns,
bassoons, and double-basses; lastly the trumpets, trombones, and the
tuba _fortissimo_; then comes the _decrescendo_, ending _pianissimo_ in
the high violins and flutes.”

The composer, who could descant with the best of them, paraded his
rhetorical gifts on the Prelude (the translation is by William Ashton

“Love seemed to have vanished from a world of hatred and quarreling; as
a lawgiver she was no longer to be found among the communities of men.
Emancipating itself from barren care for gain and possession, the sole
arbiter of all worldly intercourse, the human heart’s unquenchable
love-longing, again at length craved to appease a want which, the more
warmly and intensely it made itself felt under the pressure of reality,
was the less easy to satisfy on account of this very reality. It was
beyond the confines of the actual world that man’s ecstatic imaginative
power fixed the source as well as the output of this incomprehensible
impulse of love, and from the desire of a comforting sensuous conception
of this supersensuous idea invested it with a wonderful form, which,
under the name of the ‘Holy Grail,’ though conceived as actually
existing, yet unapproachably far off, was believed in, longed for, and
sought for.

“The Holy Grail was the costly vessel out of which, at the Last Supper,
our Saviour drank with His disciples, and in which His blood was
received when out of love for His brethren He suffered upon the cross,
and which till this day has been preserved with lively zeal as the
source of undying love; albeit, at one time this cup of salvation was
taken away from unworthy mankind, but at length was brought back again
from the heights of heaven by a band of angels, and delivered into the
keeping of fervently loving, solitary men who, wondrously strengthened
and blessed by its presence, and purified in heart, were consecrated as
the earthly champions of eternal love.

“This miraculous delivery of the Holy Grail, escorted by an angelic
host, and the handing of it over into the custody of highly favored men,
was selected by the author of ‘Lohengrin’ for the introduction of his
drama, as the subject to be musically portrayed; just as here, for the
sake of explanation, he may be allowed to bring it forward as an object
for the mental receptive power of his hearers.

“To the enraptured look of the highest celestial longing for love, the
clearest blue atmosphere of heaven at first seems to condense itself
into a wonderful, scarcely perceptible but magically pleasing vision;
with gradually increasing precision the wonder-working angelic host is
delineated in infinitely delicate lines as, conveying the holy vessel
(the Grail) in its midst, it insensibly descends from the blazing
heights of heaven. As the vision grows more and more distinct, as it
hovers over the surface of the earth, a narcotic fragrant odor issues
from its midst; entrancing vapors well up from it like golden clouds,
and overpower the sense of the astonished gazer, who, from the lowest
depths of his palpitating heart, feels himself wonderfully urged to holy

“Now throbs the heart with the pain of ecstasy, now with the heavenly
joy which agitates the breast of the beholder; with irresistible might
all the repressed germs of love rise up in it, stimulated to a wondrous
growth by the vivifying magic of the vision; however much it can expand,
it will break at last with vehement longing, impelled to self-sacrifice
and toward an ultimate dissolving reveals again in the supremest bliss
as, imparting comfort the nearer it approaches, the divine vision
reveals itself to our entranced senses, and when at last the holy vessel
shows itself in the marvel of undraped reality, and clearly revealed to
him to whom it is vouchsafed to behold it, as the Holy Grail, which from
out of its divine contents spreads broadcast the sunbeams of highest
love, like the lights of a heavenly fire that stirs all hearts with the
heat of the flame of its everlasting glow, the beholder’s brain reels—he
falls down in a state of adoring annihilation. Yet upon him who is thus
lost in love’s rapture the Grail pours down its blessing, with which it
designates him as its chosen knight; the blazing flame subsides into an
ever-decreasing brightness, which now, like a gasp of breath of the most
unspeakable joy and emotion, spreads itself over the surface of the
earth and fills the breast of him who adores with a blessedness of which
he had no foreboding. With chaste rejoicing, and smilingly looking down,
the angelic host mounts again to heaven’s heights; the source of love,
which had dried up the earth, has been brought by them to the world
again—the Grail they have left in the custody of the pure-minded men, in
whose hands its contents overflow as a source of blessing—and the
angelic host vanishes in the glorious light of heaven’s blue sky, as,
before, it thence came down.”

                       “Der Ring des Nibelungen”

A colossal work in four parts, the _Ring’s_ central theme is one of
redemption. The Norse God Wotan, addicted to the amassing of power, may
not achieve it through deceit or treachery. By trickery he obtains from
the Nibelung Alberich a ring possessing untold powers, made of the gold
of the Rhine. Alberich hisses a curse, in losing it, which only a pure
hero acting as a free agent may remove.

Wotan’s attempts to get the ring, his often devious reasoning, and the
panoplied purpose of the whole, make of the tetralogy an epic study in
the emotions, the humanities, the loyalties, the shortcomings, in short,
in the whole moral and spiritual concept of the individual and society.

              The Ride of the Valkyries from “Die Walküre”

In the time intervening between _Das Rheingold_ and _Die Walküre_ Wotan
has worked out a plan to save the gods from destruction. The ring must
not fall into the wrong hands, those of Alberich, for instance, for the
wily and greedy creature knows full well its powers. The thing to do,
then, is to regain possession of it without “craft or violence.” He must
employ some means above such devices. Consequently his plan is to bring
into being a hero who shall not be his servitor, but rather the agency
for the accomplishment through a free, totally unguided will. Thus we
come to the saga of the Walsungs, human descendants of Wotan, and one of
them, Siegmund, is the hero chosen.

The Valkyries are the nine daughters of Wotan by the earth goddess of
wisdom, Erda. And of these Brünnhilde is Wotan’s favorite. She
interferes with her father’s wishes in order to aid Siegmund, however,
and she is given the penalty of mortality by her father. The duet in the
last act of the opera between Wotan and Brünnhilde is one of the most
moving sequences in all Wagner.

The Ride of the Valkyries is an excerpt from the music which leads into
Act III, made into a concert piece by Wagner himself. A great rock
dominates the scene in the opera. It is the Valkyr Rock where now the
maidens are gathering. Fully equipped in shining mail, carrying spears
and shields, they ride swiftly through the storm. At the curtain’s rise
only four of the maidens are discernible on the stage. The others may be
heard announcing their entrance with the exultant Valkyr call. The music
surges to great heights of sound, wild, untrammeled, passionate, driven
relentlessly by powerful rhythms.

                            A Siegfried Idyl

In a letter dated June 25, 1870, Wagner wrote of his wife Cosima, “She
has defied every disapprobation and taken upon herself every
condemnation. She has borne to me a wonderfully beautiful boy, whom I
call boldly Siegfried; he is now growing, together with my work [he was
working then on the opera _Siegfried_; hence the name]; he gives me a
new long life, which at last has attained a meaning. Thus we get along
without the world, from which we have wholly withdrawn.”

The composer wrote the music of the _Idyl_—originally called the
_Triebschen Idyl_—as a birthday gift for his wife. On Christmas morning,
1870, Wagner and a group of musicians assembled on the stairs of his
home at Triebschen and performed the lovely music, which, cramped though
the musicians were because of tight quarters, obtained a fine rendering,
according to ear-witnesses.

When the _Idyl_ was first played in Berlin, in 1878, a music critic gave
it as gospel that the music was taken from the second act of the opera
_Siegfried_. The truth of the matter is that the _Idyl_, while based on
several themes from the opera besides that of a folk song, is a complete
entity in itself, for the themes were developed in a manner entirely
different from their treatment in the opera. In addition to which, it
must be remembered that the folk song, _Schlaf’, mein Kind, schlaf’ein_,
does not appear in the opera at all.

  [Illustration: “Wagner and the Critics” is the title of this amusing
                       contemporary caricature.]

                    Forest Murmurs from “Siegfried”

The music for this sequence is taken from the scene before the dragon’s
cave in the second act of _Siegfried_. In arranging it for concert use,
Wagner gave it the name _Waldweben_ (_Forest Weavings_ or _Forest
Murmurs_). The young hero Siegfried is left to his own thoughts by the
dwarf Mime. The rustling of the leaves is first heard in D minor, then
in B major. Siegfried is daydreaming. He ponders on the question of his
origin. He knows that he is not of Mime’s blood, and the clarinet,
paralleling, and explaining the idea, intones the theme of the Volsungs.

As his thoughts turn to his mother the Love-Life motive emerges through
the ’cellos and violas and double basses, next in all the strings, and
finally horns and bassoons take it over. A solo violin plays a subject
associated with Freia, goddess of youth and love. The rustling of the
leaves is again heard and the theme of the Forest Bird comes in by way
of the oboe, flute, clarinet and other wood winds. The music ends in a
Vivace which incorporates the Fire, the Siegfried, and the Slumber
motives, besides the twittering of the Forest Bird.

       Excerpts from “Götterdämmerung”—Siegfried’s Rhine Journey

This music comes between the Prologue and the first act. It is
frequently referred to as a “scherzo.” Siegfried has taken leave of his
wife Brünnhilde and, exhorted by her, sallies forth on new adventures.
The music brings up the hero’s past achievements, whose themes are
presented in new guises. They are cleverly interwoven, the pattern being
rich in colors and effects as well as in sonorities. Through the
orchestral web may be detected threads akin to such thematic ideas as
Siegfried’s horn call, the Rhine motive, the motive of Renunciation, the
motive of the Rhine Daughters, the motive of the Rheingold and, last,
that of the Nibelungs’ Servitude. Climactic and exultant, the music yet
gives forth many implications of impending tragedy.

                             Funeral Music

Through the trickery of Hagen, villainous half-brother of Gunther,
Siegfried is slain. His body is lifted tenderly by Gunther’s followers
and carried back to the hall of the Gibichungs. As that happens on the
stage, the orchestra sings out with a giant dirge, lamenting the fall of
the Volsungs while reviewing previous moments in the history of the
tragic race. There is the reference to the love of Siegmund and
Sieglinde from _Die Walküre_. Toward its conclusion the horns and bass
trumpet announce sonorously the motive of Siegfried the hero. There is a
rhythmic variant of the horn call and with the dying away of the music
Brünnhilde is momentarily mentioned.

                        Brünnhilde’s Immolation

The end of the gigantic _Ring_, specifically Brünnhilde’s scene of
immolation, is frequently performed in concert with a soprano soloist.
The heroine’s great monologue, delivered in the hall of the Gibichungs,
writes finis to a drama that takes four separate operas to tell. In her
grief over the death of her hero-husband she stills the “loud, unworthy”
lamentations of the others who are gathered about the slain Siegfried.
She commands them to erect a funeral pyre and to place the hero’s body
upon it. His ring is taken from his finger and she puts it on her own.
After applying a torch to the pyre she leaps on her horse Grane and
rushes into the flames.

           Prelude and ‘Love-Death’ from “Tristan und Isolde”

In 1854, when Wagner was in the midst of composing the _Ring_, the idea
for an opera on the Tristan theme came to him. Not till three years
later, however, did he begin actual work on it, and the music-drama was
finished in August 1859. Complications of various kinds interfered with
the production of the opera, but it finally obtained its première at the
Royal Court Theater in Munich, on June 10, 1865, under the direction of
Hans von Bülow.

Wagner’s version of the tale combines features from numerous legends.
Very likely of Celtic origin, the story, as the German composer utilized
it, makes room for myriad delvings into psychology and metaphysics, some
of which are not easy to follow. We must assume, as Ernest Newman
suggests, that the characters and their motivations were perfectly clear
to the composer, if they seem not to be altogether to the listener. Here
is the essence of the music-drama’s plot, extracted from Wagner’s own

We are told of Tristan and Isolde in an ancient love poem, which is
“constantly fashioning itself anew, and has been adopted by every
European language of the Middle Ages.” Tristan, a faithful vassal of
King Marke, woos Isolde for his king, yet not daring to reveal to her
his own love. “Isolde, powerless to do otherwise, follows him as a bride
to his lord.” In the meantime the Goddess of Love, balked by all this,
plans revenge. The Love Potion, which had been intended for the king in
order to insure the marriage, is given to Tristan and Isolde to drink, a
circumstance which “... opens their eyes to the truth and leads to the
avowal that for the future they belong only to each other.... The world,
power, fame, splendor, honor, knighthood, fidelity, friendship, all are
dissipated like an empty dream. One thing only remains: longing,
longing, insatiable longing, forever springing up anew, pining and
thirsting. Death, which means passing away, perishing, never awakening,
their only deliverance.... Shall we call it death? Or is it the hidden
wonder-world from out of which an ivy and vine, entwined with each
other, grew upon Tristan’s and Isolde’s grave, as the legend tells us?”

The Prelude, A minor, 6-8, makes a very gradual and long _crescendo_ to
a mighty _fortissimo_, followed by a briefer _decrescendo_, which leads
to a whispered _pianissimo_. Free as to form and ever widening in scope
of development, it offers two chief themes: a phrase, uttered by the
’cellos, is united to another, given to the oboes, to form a subject
called the “Love Potion” theme, or the theme of “Longing.” Another
theme, again announced by the ’cellos, “Tristan’s Love Glance,” is
sensuous, even voluptuous in character.

After the Prelude, the orchestra enters into the “Liebestod” or
“Love-Death,” that passionate flow of phrases, taken mostly from the
material in the second act Love-Duet. Isolde (in the opera) sings her
song of sublimated desire. Franz Liszt is responsible for the
application of the term “Liebestod” to that part of the music which
originally had been named “Verklärung” by Wagner himself.

              Prelude to “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”

“The completion of _Die Meistersinger_, Triebschen, Thursday, October
24, 1867, 8 o’clock in the evening, R. W.” These words were inscribed on
the last sheet of the manuscript of Wagner’s only operatic comedy. This
was some twenty-two years after the very first drafts were drawn at
Marienbad. The doctor had ordered a complete rest. But rest to Wagner
meant ennui. Perhaps, he thought, he might be able to rest while
composing a lighter work. The idea took hold. He gave it considerable
thought. He could just about see this airy piece’s “rapid circulation
through the European opera houses.” Indeed, he judged that “something
thoroughly light and popular” might be just the thing to make his
everlasting fame.

Hans Sachs, of course, is the hero of this masterpiece. A historic
character, Sachs was built by the composer into something of an ideal of
homespun charm and wit and philosophy. But Wagner also evened a score
with an old enemy in his composition of this work. The music critic
Eduard Hanslick appears as the crotchety, pedantic and unprincipled
Beckmesser, thus earning for himself a ridiculous immortality.

How Wagner could have written this opera with all the troubles besetting
him is hard to comprehend. Yet no financial snarls, domestic
tribulations, romantic attachments or what-not could stay it even though
it took years to come forth.

As for the Prelude, Wagner himself has written an interesting analysis,
which is here appended:

“The opening theme for the ’cellos has already been heard in the third
strophe of Sachs’ cobbler-song in Act II. There is expressed the bitter
cry of the man who has determined to renounce his personal happiness,
yet who shows the world a cheerful, resolute exterior. That smothered
cry was understood by Eva, and so deeply did it pierce her heart that
she fain would fly away, if only to hear this cheerful-seeming song no
longer. Now, in the Introduction to Act III, this motive is played alone
by the ’cellos, and developed in the other strings till it dies away in
resignation; but forthwith, and as from out the distance, the horns
intone the solemn song wherewith Hans Sachs greeted Luther and the
Reformation, which had won the poet such incomparable popularity. After
the first strophe the strings again take single phrases of the cobbler’s
song, very softly and much slower, as though the man were turning his
gaze from his handiwork heavenwards, and lost in tender musings. Then,
with increased sonority, the horns pursue the master’s hymn, with which
Hans Sachs, at the end of the act, is greeted by the populace of
Nuremberg. Next reappears the strings’ first motive, with grandiose
expression of the anguish of a deeply-stirred soul; calmed and allayed,
it attains the utmost serenity of a blest and peaceful resignation.”

The plot of _Die Meistersinger_ deals with a song contest which is to be
held in Nuremberg on St. John’s Day. Naturally, there is to be a
handsome prize for the winner and in this case it is the hand of Eva,
daughter of the goldsmith Veit Pogner. A young knight, Walther von
Stolzing, has seen Eva meanwhile, and he has fallen in love with her.
Because he is a likeable young man, he is given permission to enter the
contest. Another contestant is Beckmesser, the town clerk, who attempts
to bring Walther to ruin.

However, Walther and Eva have confessed their love for each other to
Hans Sachs, a cobbler, who happens also to be in love with Eva. But he
makes the supreme sacrifice, rejoicing at the same time in the knowledge
that the maid will be deliriously happy with her young knight. He helps
their cause along, writing down the notes of a song Walther has heard in
a dream. At the contest Beckmesser tries to sing that same song,
offering it as his own, but his raucous efforts make him the laughing
stock of the affair. Of course, Walther’s song is adjudged the best and
he wins his Eva.

                   Excerpts from “Die Meistersinger”

Often heard in the concert hall are several other excerpts from _Die
Meistersinger_. These include the Procession of the Guilds, the Dance of
the Apprentices, the Procession of the Masters, the Homage to Sachs, and
the Finale.

 Prelude, Transformation Scene and Grail Scene from Act 1 of “Parsifal”

Most of the _Ring_, all of _Tristan_, and a considerable portion of _Die
Meistersinger_ had been written by Wagner before he started actual work
on the “consecrational festival stage play,” _Parsifal_, in 1865. He
made a first outline of the libretto in August of that year, some two
decades after he had become acquainted with the Parsifal poem of Wolfram
von Eschenbach, the Minnesinger. Not till 1877, however, did the text
attain its final shape, and it was published in December. Sometime
previously Wagner had turned to the task of composing the music and
completed it in 1879. The orchestration was finished in January 1882.
The opera was given for the first time at Bayreuth on July 26, 1882. The
Prelude, written in December 1878, had been given its première
performance at Wagner’s house, Wahnfried, on Christmas Day, with the
composer conducting for the occasion, his wife Cosima’s birthday.

  [Illustration: Wagner with Franz Liszt and Liszt’s daughter, Cosima,
 ex-wife of the conductor Hans von Bülow, whom Wagner married in 1870.]

[Illustration: The Wagner villa, _Wahnfried_, at Bayreuth, scene of the
                          Wagnerian Festivals.
                      _Publisher’s Photo Service_]

The ethical essence of _Parsifal_ has thus been expressed:
“Enlightenment coming through conscious pity brings salvation.” Wagner,
whose earlier music-dramas each revolved about some _idée fixe_ of
philosophical or moral implication, brought to _Parsifal_, besides,
religious elements derived from the twin sources of Christian doctrine
and Buddhism. Some years before he had done the sketch for a play on the
subject of Jesus of Nazareth, and, parenthetically, it is quite likely
that he had no intention to write music for it. Nevertheless, here is
shown the composer’s religious urge, mingled with other aspects of his
creative bent. He says, “I was burning to write something that should
take the message of my tortured brain, and speak in a fashion to be
understood by present life. Just as with my Siegfried, the force of my
desire had borne me to the fount of the Eternal Human: so now, when I
found this desire cut off by modern life from all appeasement, and saw
afresh that the sole redemption lay in flight from out this life,
casting off its claims on me by self-destruction, did I come to the
fount of every modern rendering of such a situation—Jesus of Nazareth,
the Man.”

During that period Wagner drafted another play, which he titled _Die
Seger_ (_The Victors_), one of Buddhistic import, whose story centers on
the dictum that Prakriti, the hero, may not become one with Amanda, the
heroine, unless he “shares the latter’s vow of chastity.” In these two
works may be found qualities and tones of thought also incorporated in

The locale of _Parsifal_ is Montsalvat in the Spanish Pyrenees. The
castle of the Holy Grail is tenanted by a company of Knights, guardians
of the Spear which pierced Jesus’ side as He hung on the Cross, and of
the Cup He drank from the Last Supper and which received His precious
blood from the Spear-wound. This brotherhood of Knights of the Grail
refuses membership to all, save the pure in heart, and the Knights go
about the world doing good through the high powers given them by the

A certain other knight, Klingsor, sinful and scheming, enraged against
the Knights for having been denied admission to the Brotherhood, has
built a magic garden, whose many charms have proved strong enough to
tempt several of the weaker-willed Knights. Amfortas, king of the Grail,
is one of these. He has fallen victim to the wiles of Kundry, a creature
of Klingsor. The latter has seized the Spear from Amfortas and has
humiliated him further by wounding him with it. The wound may be cured
only by being touched with the point of the Spear held by a Guileless
Fool, a youth who can withstand all temptation. This youth, of course,
is Parsifal, a forest lad who enters into the picture through having
killed a swan sacred to the Grail. Parsifal is made to go through the
rituals prescribed by the libretto; namely, he is present at the
ceremony of the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper without grasping anything
of its meaning; he resists the lures thriving in Klingsor’s garden; then
he seizes the Spear, flung at him by Klingsor and, as he makes the sign
of the cross, the garden is destroyed. He wanders about the world and
returns to Montsalvat. Kundry, now a repentant woman dedicated to the
Grail’s service, washes his feet and dries them with her hair. Next he
goes with Gurnemanz to the temple where he restores Amfortas to health,
and, as the latter bends before him in homage, Kundry dies. Having thus
attained “enlightenment ... through conscious pity,” Parsifal has become
the saviour of Montsalvat.

The Prelude is an abbreviated exposition of the purposes, musical and
dramatic, of the opera. It opens with the phrase which dominates the
religious scene of the first act during the feast of the Lord’s Supper.
The phrase, sung first in unison by violins, ’cellos, English horn,
clarinet and bassoons, is marked _sehr langsam_ (Lento assai), A-flat
major, 4-4. It is taken up by trumpet, oboes, and half the first and
second violins to the accompaniment of arpeggios in the violas and the
other violins, and chords for flutes, clarinets, and English horn with
the bassoons and horns sustaining harmony notes. After a series of
broken chords, the trombones and trumpets announce a second theme, the
Grail motive, which is a phrase long known as the _Dresden Amen_ of the
Saxon liturgy. There is a change of tempo to 6-4 with the entrance of a
third theme, that of Faith. Its first figure is frequently repeated
against changing harmonies. A fourth theme appears, suggestive of the
suffering of Christ and Amfortas, which originates in the Lord’s Supper
motive; its first two measures are also employed to characterize the
Spear. In the words of Maurice Kufferath, “Like the Prelude to
‘Lohengrin,’ the introduction to ‘Parsifal’ is developed by successive
degrees until it reaches a maximum of expression, thereafter to diminish
imperceptibly to a pianissimo. Thus the synthesis of the whole drama is
clearly exposed. That which remains is merely a peroration, a logical,
necessary conclusion brought about by the ideas associated with the
different themes.”

The music of the Transformation Scene in this act is that which is
played during the walk of the venerable Gurnemanz and Parsifal through
the wood to the Hall of the Grail. The music is of a march-like quality
for a spell, subsequently gradually expanding in color and richness to
the climactic theme representative of the Penitence of Amfortas, which
is given out three times in succession.

The Grail Scene follows. There is the tolling of bells, the Grail
Knights march into the hall in stately fashion. One hears the chanting
of boys in the lofty dome. The ritual is interrupted by the impassioned
song of Amfortas, who, suffering great torment, begs his father,
Titurel, in words of self-abasement, to celebrate the Communion in his
place. Titurel answers, however, “Serve thou, and so thy guilt atone!
Uncover the Grail!” Presently the ceremony is ended, the knights have
departed, and only Gurnemanz and Parsifal remain. The former inquires of
the latter how much of the proceedings he has understood. The youth’s
only answer is to clutch at his heart and shake his head. Gurnemanz, who
by this time is convinced that Parsifal is truly a fool, sends him away
angrily and then follows the Knights out the door. From somewhere above
an unseen singer delivers the motive of the Pure Fool. The theme of the
Grail is sung by still other voices. Bells peal once again. The act

    [Illustration: Rough draft of one of Wagner’s last compositions,
                    dedicated to his wife, Cosima.]

It is interesting to note that these excerpts from _Parsifal_ represent
the only ones authorized by Wagner for concert performance.

                   Good Friday Spell from “Parsifal”

The Good Friday Spell is placed at the end of the first scene in Act III
of the opera. Gurnemanz is now an old hermit who lives in a humble abode
at the edge of a forest. He comes out of the hut when he hears a
groaning sound in the distance. Presently Parsifal arrives. He is a
knight clad in black armor, carrying the sacred spear and a buckler. He
is weary. The old Gurnemanz plies him with questions, but Parsifal will
not answer until he is apprised of the fact that it is Good Friday.
Whereupon he drives the spear into the ground, removes his helmet, and
kneels in prayer.

Subsequently Kundry fetches water and washes his feet and anoints him
with holy oil. And Gurnemanz, recognizing in him the Guileless Fool now
worthy of the title King of the Grail, blesses him and greets him as the
king. They soon set out for Montsalvat.

The music of the Good Friday Spell comprises thematically a hymn of
thanksgiving, the music of Kundry’s Sigh, of the Holy Supper, of the
Spear, of the Grail, of the Complaint, of the Flower Girls. All of these
are finally fused into a pastoral poem ending with the Good Friday
melody, which is suddenly interrupted by the doleful sound of bells.
During Gurnemanz’s blessing of Parsifal, horns, trumpets and trombones
play the Parsifal motive. This is given out in an impressive manner, and
it leads into the Grail theme. There follows a series of chords which
usher in the motives of Baptism and Faith.

                      COMPLETE LIST OF RECORDINGS
                                 BY THE

                            COLUMBIA RECORDS

 LP—Also available on Long Playing Microgroove Recordings as well as on
                 the conventional Columbia Masterworks.

                 _Under the Direction of Bruno Walter_

  Barber—Symphony No. 1, Op. 9
  Beethoven—Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra in C major
        (with J. Corigliano, L. Rose and W. Hendl)—LP
  Beethoven—Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major (“Emperor”) (with Rudolf
        Serkin, piano)—LP
  Beethoven—Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra (with Joseph
  Beethoven—Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21—LP
  Beethoven—Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major (“Eroica”)—LP
  Beethoven—Symphony No. 5 in C minor—LP
  Beethoven—Symphony No. 8 in F major—LP
  Beethoven—Symphony No. 9 in D minor (“Choral”) (with Elena Nikolaidi,
        contralto, and Raoul Jobin, tenor)—LP
  Brahms—Song of Destiny (with Westminster Choir)—LP
  Dvorak—Slavonic Dance No. 1
  Dvorak—Symphony No. 4 in G Major—LP
  Mahler—Symphony No. 4 in G major (with Desi Halban, soprano)—LP
  Mahler—Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor
  Mendelssohn—Concerto in E minor (with Nathan Milstein, violin)—LP
  Mendelssohn—Scherzo (from Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  Mozart—Cosi fan Tutti—Overture
  Mozart—Symphony No. 41 in C major (“Jupiter”), K. 551—LP
  Schubert—Symphony No. 7 in C major—LP
  Schumann, R.—Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major (“Rhenish”)—LP
  Smetana—The Moldau (“Vltava”)—LP
  Strauss, J.—Emperor Waltz

               _Under the Direction of Leopold Stokowski_

  Copland—Billy the Kid (2 parts)
  Griffes—“The White Peacock,” Op. 7, No. 1—LP 7″
  Ippolitow—“In the Village” from Caucasian Sketches (W. Lincer and M.
        Nazzi, soloists)
  Khachaturian—“Masquerade Suite”—LP
  Sibelius—“Maiden with the Roses”—LP
  Tschaikowsky—Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32—LP
  Tschaikowsky—Overture Fantasy—Romeo and Juliet—LP
  Vaughan-Williams—Symphony No. 6 in E minor—LP
  Wagner—Die Walküre—Wotan Farewell and Magic Fire Music (Act III—Scene
  Wagner—Siegfried’s Rhine journey and Siegfried’s Funeral March—(“Die

                  _Under the Direction of Efrem Kurtz_

  Chopin—Les Sylphides—LP
  Glinka—Mazurka—“Life of the Czar”—LP 7″
  Grieg—Concerto in A minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 16 (with Oscar
        Levant, piano)—LP
  Kabalevsky—“The Comedians,” Op. 26—LP
  Khachaturian—Gayne—Ballet Suite No. 1—LP
  Khachaturian—Gayne—Ballet Suite No. 2—LP
  Lecoq—Mme. Angot Suite—LP
  Prokofieff—March, Op. 99—LP
  Rimsky-Korsakov—The Flight of the Bumble Bee—LP 7″
  Shostakovich—Polka No. 3, “The Age of Gold”—LP 7″
  Shostakovich—Symphony No. 9—LP
  Shostakovich—Valse from “Les Monts D’Or”—LP
  Wieniawski—Concerto No. 2 in D minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 22
        (with Isaac Stern, violin)—LP

                 _Under the Direction of Charles Münch_

  D’Indy—Symphony on a French Mountain Air for Orchestra and Piano—LP
  Milhaud—Suite Française—LP
  Mozart—Concerto No. 21 for Piano and Orchestra in C major—LP
  Saint-Saens—Symphony In C minor, No. 3 for Orchestra, Organ and Piano,
        Op. 78—LP

                _Under the Direction of Artur Rodzinski_

  Bizet—Carmen—Entr’acte (Prelude to Act III)
  Bizet—Symphony in C major—LP
  Brahms—Symphony No. 1 in C minor—LP
  Brahms—Symphony No. 2 in D major—LP
  Copland—A Lincoln Portrait (with Kenneth Spencer, Narrator)—LP
  Enesco—Roumanian Rhapsody—A major, No. 1—LP
  Gershwin—An American in Paris—LP
  Gould—“Spirituals” for Orchestra—LP
  Ibert—“Escales” (Port of Call)—LP
  Liszt—Mephisto Waltz—LP
  Moussorgsky—Gopack—(The Fair at Sorotchinski)—LP
  Moussorgsky-Ravel—Pictures at an Exhibition—LP
  Prokofieff—Symphony No. 5—LP
  Rachmaninoff—Concerto No. 2 in C minor for Piano and Orchestra (with
        Gygory Sandor, piano)
  Rachmaninoff—Symphony No. 2 in E minor
  Saint-Saens—Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 in C minor (with
        Robert Casadesus)—LP
  Sibelius—Symphony No. 4 in A minor
  Tschaikowsky—Nutcracker Suite—LP
  Tschaikowsky—Suite “Mozartiana”—LP
  Tschaikowsky—Symphony No. 6 in B minor (“Pathétique”)—LP
  Wagner—Lohengrin—Bridal Chamber Scene (Act III—Scene 2)—(with Helen
        Traubel, soprano, and Kurt Baum, tenor)—LP
  Wagner—Lohengrin—Elsa’s Dream (Act I, Scene 2) (with Helen Traubel,
  Wagner—Siegfried Idyll—LP
  Wagner—Tristan und Isolde—Excerpts (with Helen Traubel, soprano)
  Wagner—Die Walküre—Act III (Complete) (with Helen Traubel, soprano and
        Herbert Janssen, baritone)—LP
  Wagner—Die Walküre—Duct (Act I, Scene 3) (with Helen Traubel, soprano
        and Emery Darcy, tenor)—LP
  Wolf-Ferrari—“Secret of Suzanne,” Overture

                _Under the Direction of Igor Stravinsky_

  Stravinsky—Firebird Suite—LP
  Stravinsky—Fireworks (Feu d’Artifice)—LP
  Stravinsky—Four Norwegian Moods
  Stravinsky—Le Sacre du Printemps (The Consecration of the Spring)—LP
  Stravinsky—Scènes de Ballet—LP
  Stravinsky—Suite from “Petrouchka”—LP
  Stravinsky—Symphony in Three Movements—LP

              _Under the Direction of Sir Thomas Beecham_

  Mendelssohn—Symphony No. 4, in A major (“Italian”)
  Sibelius—Melisande (from “Pelleas and Melisande”)
  Sibelius—Symphony No. 7 in C major—LP
  Tschaikowsky—Capriccio Italien

                _Under the Direction of John Barbirolli_

  Bach-Barbirolli—Sheep May Safely Graze (from the “Birthday
  Berlioz—Roman Carnival Overture
  Brahms—Symphony No. 2, in D major
  Brahms—Academic Festival Overture—LP
  Bruch—Concerto No. 1, in G minor (with Nathan Milstein, violin)—LP
  Debussy—First Rhapsody for Clarinet (with Benny Goodman, clarinet)
  Debussy—Petite Suite: Ballet
  Mozart—Concerto in B-flat major (with Robert Casadesus, piano)
  Mozart—Symphony No. 25 in G minor, K. 183
  Ravel—La Valse
  Rimsky-Korsakov—Capriccio Espagnol
  Sibelius—Symphony No. 1, in E minor
  Sibelius—Symphony No. 2, in D major
  Smetana—The Bartered Bride—Overture
  Tschaikowsky—Theme and Variations (from Suite No. 3 in G)—LP

               _Under the Direction of Andre Kostelanetz_

  Gershwin—Concerto in F (with Oscar Levant)—LP

              _Under the Direction of Dimitri Mitropoulos_

  Khachaturian—Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (with Oscar Levant,

                             VICTOR RECORDS

               _Under the Direction of Arturo Toscanini_

  Beethoven—Symphony No. 7 in A major
  Brahms—Variations on a Theme by Haydn
  Dukas—The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  Gluck—Orfeo ed Euridice—Dance of the Spirits
  Haydn—Symphony No. 4 in D major (The Clock)
  Mendelssohn—Midsummer Night’s Dream—Scherzo
  Mozart—Symphony in D major (K. 385)
  Rossini—Barber of Seville—Overture
  Rossini—Italians in Algiers—Overture
  Verdi—Traviata—Preludes to Acts I and II
  Wagner—Excerpts—Lohengrin—Die Götterdämmerung—Siegfried Idyll

                _Under the Direction of John Barbirolli_

  Debussy—Iberia (Images, Set 3, No. 2)
  Purcell—Suite for Strings with four Horns, two Flutes, English Horn
  Respighi—Fountains of Rome
  Respighi—Old Dances and Airs (Special recording for members of the
        Philharmonic-Symphony League of New York)
  Schubert—Symphony No. 4 in C minor (Tragic)
  Schumann—Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor (with Yehudi
        Menuhin, violin)
  Tschaikowsky—Francesca da Rimini—Fantasia

               _Under the Direction of Willem Mengelberg_

  J. C. Bach—Arr. Stein—Sinfonia in B-flat major
  J. S. Bach—Arr. Mahler—Air for G String (from Suite for Orchestra)
  Beethoven—Egmont Overture
  Handel—Alcina Suite
  Mendelssohn—War March of the Priests (from Athalia)
  Meyerbeer—Prophète—Coronation March
  Saint-Saens—Rouet d’Omphale (Omphale’s Spinning Wheel)
  Schelling—Victory Ball
  Wagner—Flying Dutchman—Overture
  Wagner—Siegfried—Forest Murmurs (Waldweben)

                  [Illustration: Harp and cello logo]

                          Transcriber’s Notes

--A few palpable typos were silently corrected.

--Illustrations were shifted to the nearest paragraph break.

--Copyright notice is from the printed exemplar. (U.S. copyright was not
  renewed: this ebook is in the public domain.)

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