excerpt from 'My Musical Life' pp. 533-4 (293 words)

excerpt from 'My Musical Life' pp. 533-4 (293 words)

part of

My Musical Life

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

533-4

type

text excerpt

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Thus, with a scene of unequalled dramatic splendour, ends the fourth and last immense drama of the Niebelung's Ring. This is not the place for fuller criticism of such a work. At the close of it the pent-up enthusiasm of the public rose to a pitch of frenzy. They stood up, and, turning to the Royal box, which WAGNER had left, shouted to the King, who remained seated and bowed graciously. The plaudits continuing, His Majesty motioned to the stage. The people turned, and in a moment WAGNER, dressed in plain black, with his hat in one hand, stepped out from the middle of the curtain, and stood motionless with his grey head uncovered until repeated cries of "Sit down!" "Sit down!" and "Hush!" had calmed the assembly. WAGNER then spoke very quietly, and I regret that not hearing him quite distinctly at moments I am unable to render verbatim a speech which has doubtless been elsewhere recorded. I understood him to say he had taken many years in preparing this work; that he had presented a Saga of the Niebelung in the belief that it dealt with subjects peculiarly congenial to the Germanic races; that a new and national development of the drama was now within their reach; he believed that they had been satisfied with what they had listened to, so that it had been to the many assembled there a real Festspiel. He then thanked the King for his support and encouragement; and, the curtain being suddenly lifted, all the crowd of musicians and actors who had taken part in the Festival stood ranged, and WAGNER, turning round, thanked them in the warmest terms for their devotion and assistance. So ended the first great Wagner Festival, held at Bayreuth in 1876.

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excerpt from 'My Musical Life' pp. 533-4 (293 words)

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