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Showing posts from November, 2014

Does Wagner mess with our minds?

HEARING WAGNER: Does Wagner mess with our minds? with Sir Colin Blakemore Saturday 22 November 10:30-17:00 Birmingham Hippodrome, Patrick Centre Theatre The emotional impact of music is undeniable, and this is nowhere more obvious than in Romantic music such as the operas of Richard Wagner. But can the effects of music be measured? Is this even desirable? The Hearing Wagner event taking place at the Birmingham Hippodrome on Saturday 22 November aims to air these and other questions and show how psychologists and musicologists are working together to understand better what is going on in these extraordinary works. Researchers from Goldsmiths University of London and the University of Oxford in the AHRC's Transforming Musicology project have been finding out how a live audience responds to the sensations produced over the four operas of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Last week, the Mariinsky Opera from St Petersburg, under their charismatic condu

7 November 1881: Wagner visits Monreale

R. had a restless night, since he had taken medicine, but he is looking well. He arranges his worktable in the salon, and the situation pleases him. In the afternoon we drive to Monreale. [Added on the next page, under Tuesday: "Yesterday, on the journey to Monreale, R. notices a small and very independent poodle, a favourite breed of his, and in the evening he is still thinking of the little creature, having been struck by its intelligence."] Sublime impression: "What people they must have been to build such a thing!" R. exclaims. We are enchanted by the cloisters. The valley of oranges is like a fairy tale, and when we return home we feel that nothing less than Shakespeare will do. — We begin H[enry] VI , Act I, the children showing great interest. As he reads, R. looks so wonderfully young that I have to tell him so. And when we are discussing this first act, he says, "He is the greatest of them all." — "What images!" he exclai

5 November 1881: Wagner arrives in Palermo

On 5 November 1881 Richard Wagner and his family arrived at Hôtel des Palmes (now: Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes ) in Palermo, Sicily , to finish Parsifal. Read more on Richard Wagner in  Sicily or Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad /