Tentatively, Convenience's Reviews > Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Richard     Wagner
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Before I read this translation of the libretto I read the Peter Branscombe translation that came w/ the recording of the 1951 Bayreuth Festival recording - reading the libretto while following along w/ the music. I'm not a Wagner enthusiast - it's not entirely a matter of detesting his anti-semiticism, I can even 'forgive' him his nationalism (after all, Germany was divided during much of his day so the political clime was much different from now) - it's more a matter of not always finding the music to be really that interesting. BUT, I don't find the music ENTIRELY w/o interest either. The complexity of the interweaving of the voices in the fight scene in Act II is pretty impressive.

Given that I've read TWO translations, I DO find it some what interesting to find that in Branscombe's version the tree in front of Pogner's house is a lime-tree & the one in front of Sachs' is an elder - whereas in this Gutman version Pogner's is a linden & Sachs' a lilac. I reckon the Branscombe refers specifically to the way the Festival presented it & that the Gutman refers to what's called for in the original. Dunno. It seems like the symbolism cd be thrown off by such variations.

If I understand correctly, the basic story pre-existed Wagner's version of it. There're things I like about the story & things I don't - I don't know wch parts Wagner added. I imagine that he added the nationalist twists - esp Sachs' bit at the end. All in all, I found it fascinating enuf - the libretto strikes me as fairly long (my recording of the opera is on 5 records), over 3 hrs, &, if nothing else, I'm impressed by the magnitude of creating such a work - of writing the libretto, of composing the music, imagining the staging, etc.. PLUS, I didn't realize until recently that Wagner had even composed any comic operas - & that's wherein a large portion of my interest lay.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February 21, 2010 – Finished Reading
February 24, 2010 – Shelved
February 24, 2010 – Shelved as: music
February 24, 2010 – Shelved as: literature

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