Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stef's recommended book of the month

And whilst on the subject of Wagner and the intellectual sophistication that goes with an appreciation of classical music, may I recommend the following as a perfect last minute Christmas filler...

"Wagner's Ring cycle - "The Ring of the Niebelung" - has been described as one of the most enduring of operatic spectacles. This collection has brought together writings on the Ring and includes articles by George Bernard Shaw, Georg Solti and Andrew Porter, excerpts from Wagner's own letters and works and discourses by over 30 other writers. Covered is the tetralogy of the Ring - "Das Rheingold", "Die Walkuere", "Siegfried" and "Goetterdaemmerung" - in essays on Wagner's intention, the theory behind it, its interpretation, artistic backgrounds, historical influences, literary sources, musical architecture, modern stagings, the "Ring" in English and various styles of performance. The book is designed to serve as an introduction to the "Ring" as well as a companion to fans and performers of Wagner's operas."

Inspired, I suspect by this book being recommended by Derren Brown in his equally excellent 'Tricks of the Mind', several comments in the Amazon review section on Penetrating Wagner's 'Ring' scale new bottoms in homosexual double entendre, which I enjoyed tremendously...

"As implied by the title, this collection probes deeply into Wagner's vast Ring piece. Accusations of anti-semitism make Wagner's Ring a sensitive area today, but it continues to offer pleasure to many. This is a masterful work of musical scholarship that deserves a place on any sturdy shelf. No doubt it will influence appreciation of Wagner's Ring for many years to come. Among the highlights is the revealing chapter on the many characters than Wagner has managed to cram into his Ring. Also covered are the brass instruments that Wagner designed specifically for use within his Ring. There will always be those who are opposed to musical analysis (just the same as there will always be those who resort to juvenile humour, regarding the title). They will say that Wagner's Ring is 'violated' with excessive force of scholarship. For this reviewer, however, Wagner's Ring remains quite intact and is indeed tightened by the exploration. In short, this stimulating venture in and out of Wagner's Ring has resulted in a seminal, fluid output."

"I have read the excellent scholarly contributions by Messrs Redhart, Schwartz and Reaney, amongst others, and just had to get involved. What a subject, and what a book! The expansiveness of Wagner's Ring often leaves one panting for breath, and anyone lucky enough to have even half-probed its depths deserves full recognition. Even without the messy bits, this sixteen-hour musical epic leaves one with no alternative but to reacharound for academic help. And this book provides it, and more. Stimulating, it cannot fail to tickle the imagination as it enters the Ring from every conceivable angle--musical/practical, theoretical, historical and cultural. For fans of all things Ring-like, this is a must."

"I was disappointed to find that 'Penetrating Wagner's Ring' edited by John Louis DiGaetani, not was in fact a hitherto unknown part of Tolkin's 'Lord of the Rings'.
But the question still remains as to whether they were mates, or 'Just good freinds'?
The title of this book disturbs me. I will pray for you all this evening."



Anonymous said...

Blog notes ... (not relevant to your post but may be of interest).

Stef said...

not relevant to your post but may be of interest

I reckon I could work a connection in without too much difficulty


Anonymous said...

Recall the following note from Conspiraloon 'the former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania 1990 - 1992'? In it he says, "Bin Laden and radical Muslim groups have been deeply involved in the Balkans since the civil wars in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995. Despite a UN arms embargo and with the knowledge and support of the United States, arms, ammunition and thousands of Mujahideen fighters were smuggled into Bosnia to help the Muslims. Many remain in Bosnia today and are recognized as a serious threat to Western forces there. The Bosnian government is said to have presented bin Laden with a Bosnian passport in recognition of his contribution to their cause. He and his al-Qaeda network were also active in Kosovo, and KLA members trained in his camps in Afghanistan and Albania." (My highlighting).

Anyway, the point of the post; I read the following over the weekend, "Bosnia-Herzegovina has deported an Algerian ex-fighter suspected of terrorist links - the first of hundreds of foreign Muslims recently stripped of Bosnian citizenship to actually be expelled.

Atau Mimun, like many foreign recruits to the Bosnian government army in the 1992-95 war, married and stayed as a naturalised citizen.

Wolfie said...

"I was disappointed to find that 'Penetrating Wagner's Ring' edited by John Louis DiGaetani, not was in fact a hitherto unknown part of Tolkin's 'Lord of the Rings'.
But the question still remains as to whether they were mates, or 'Just good freinds'?"

Has this individual not noticed that Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is in fact a philosophical response to Wagner's Ring and a damn good fisking it is too.

Stef said...


I have to confess (in a whisper) that I didn't

/ slaps forehead

Stef said...

/ obvious when you think about it

Stef said...

@anon 10.00

thanks for that - it's been tucked away in the archives