Thursday, March 05, 2015

Ruskin on Meistersinger

Of all the bete, clumsy, blundering, boggling, baboon-headed stuff I ever saw on a human stage that thing last night -- as far as the story and acting went and of all the affected, sapless, soulless, beginningless, endless, topless, bottomless, topsiturviest, tuneless, scrannel-pipiest, tongs and boniest doggrel of sounds I ever endured the deadliness of, that eternity of nothing was the deadliest as far as its sound went. I never was so relieved, so far as I can remember, in my life by the stopping of any sound, not excepting railroad whistles as I was by the cessation of the cobbler's bellowing; even the serenadcr's caricatured twangle was a rest after. As for the great 'Lied' I never made out where it began or where it ended except by the fellow's coming off the horse block.
It is my least favorite of the mature Wagner operas; still I like Meistersinger more than Ruskin did. Even so, how I wish I'd written that.

1 comment:

Carrie Theuring said...

"It is my least favorite of the mature Wagner operas"

Thank you. I feel the same way.

The weakest segment musically in all Wagner for me is the first hour or so in Act 3 -- right after the moving prelude until the start of the great quintet "Selig, wie die Sonne"

It is during this long stretch that I lose the will to live.