JEFFREY SWANN

"The Magic and Challenge of Time in Wagner's Music Dramas"

FEBRUARY 18, 2021

7PM GMT / 8PM CET

£25 each lecture / £89 full series

 

Time is a crucial element in all music; but in none is its role so central, so complex, and so under-appreciated, as in the works of Richard Wagner.  I will discuss aspects of Wagner's unique use of time, both within the narrative of the dramatic action, but also as it is experienced by the listener.  An important facet of this is, of course, the famous Leitmotif, an almost universally present feature in Wagner's mature works but one which is widely misunderstood, especially its use in the Ring.  Much more than labels or rather silly names, Leitmotifs have a central function in creating a labyrinthine web of connections between the Past, the Present and the Future that lies at the heart of the magic and power of works such as the Ring, "Tristan und Isolde" and others.  I will also touch on how this represents a special challenge for performers.

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