To what degree will you support musicians who (openly, possibly or jokingly) include racist, sexist, homophobic, or bigoted messages in their music, or who privately hold such beliefs?

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ow man, wagner was an anti-semite? why does ilx want to spoil everything for me?

:(

BIG GERTRUDE aka the steindriver (history mayne), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 12:25 (3 years ago) Permalink

POLL: why are these always the most popular threads?

1. It's an interesting, complicated topic. there's only one way to find out..
2. Clusterfuck!

Mark G, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 12:39 (3 years ago) Permalink

xps

Right - in Victorian Britain, there's Eliot & Browning as positively philo-semitic, Disraeli of course, & Dickens going out of his way to sort things out after falling that way himself with Fagin.

But maybe there's some special reason it's more ok in Germany.

portrait of velleity (woof), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 12:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

POLL: why are these always the most popular threads?

Because fans of disco and other corporate manufactured music love using racism and homophobia to defend their corporate taste.

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 12:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

completely ignores the emotional charge of Wagner - art stays alive. We can historicise away - it's easy - but it's dodging the energy and effects on many listeners of eg the Prelude and Liebestod. The wouldn't be quite so much fire in the discussion if this were just about someone 'important' but not so connected to the emotional sound-world of now (Wagner influence in film soundtracks?).

― portrait of velleity (woof), Wednesday, March 23, 2011 12:06 PM (50 minutes ago) Bookmark


is this a response to me? if so, I think yr missing where I'm coming from — I very much acknowledge both the influence and the "emotional charge of Wagner", and I think it is important to listen to his music and to feel that rush and then to step back and say "okay, this amazing and influential and still very-much-alive thing was the product of a raging anti-semite working in a particular cultural milieu for a particular audience" — rather than e.g. "let's find someone else who sounds kinda like Wagner but was a better person, that way we can listen to them with a clean conscience"

bernard snowy, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 13:02 (3 years ago) Permalink

(overuse of word "particular" there meant, again, not as handwaving moral relativism, but because of my sorta-hegelian views on great art as a collective achievement that draws on the resources of an entire culture — in this case, one thoroughly pervaded with ugliness and racism and sexism and imperialism and other things that all of us in the 21st century are still dealing with the repercussions of)

bernard snowy, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 13:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

lol I was posting "Why?" and you xposted me with the answer

spooky

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 13:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

I very much acknowledge both the influence and the "emotional charge of Wagner", and I think it is important to listen to his music and to feel that rush and then to step back and say "okay, this amazing and influential and still very-much-alive thing was the product of a raging anti-semite working in a particular cultural milieu for a particular audience" — rather than e.g. "let's find someone else who sounds kinda like Wagner but was a better person, that way we can listen to them with a clean conscience"

Very much agree with that. I'll take Wagner as he is, knowing that he was not a Nazi, and that listening to him is 'complicated'; just like I'll listen to Bach canatatas and oratorios while finding much of the theology expressed in them distasteful to some extent (and there's anti-semitism in those too).

Spot the odd one out in this list: Richard Strauss, Orff, Canteloube, Respighi, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Hindemith, Wagner.

glumdalclitch, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 13:08 (3 years ago) Permalink

I mean, I feel like there is a temptation to make this into some sort of hypothetical "given the choice between a world without Wagner and a world without anti-semitism, which would you pick?" — and of course, anyone with a conscience is gonna take the latter eight days a week. but that's not that choice we're given. because both Wagner and the historical moment of his anti-semitism belong to the past (this is what I meant by calling opera a dead/historical artform, as opposed to very-much-alive-and-kicking homophobic rap or w/e) — you can't undo any of it, you can't sacrifice art to change history, all you can try to do is understand it.

bernard snowy, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 13:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

ok, I took your earlier post as saying that opera (hence Wagner) exists mostly in/as history, so we can treat operas as historical cultural productions, turn them into study-objects - contextualise, analyse etc. I'm closer to agreeing with that 'feeling the rush' stage built in (and I think ppl are doing this to an extent on the thread), but in Wagner's case the historical questions won't sit in quarantine - the aesthetics of Romantic nationalism, the varieties of anti-semitism etc etc. They seem like live arguments to me, and you can't museum-case them.

portrait of velleity (woof), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 13:27 (3 years ago) Permalink

definitely agree that they should not be museum-cased, but I don't know that I would go so far as to call them "live arguments" either — like, sometimes when you look at history, you see that a debate has already run its course, one side won and the other lost — you can't put the genie of nationalism/Romanticism/fascism/etc. back in the bottle, y'know? it's sad and painful and frustrating (at least it is for me) to see injustices and suffering that you are powerless to remedy; but again, it's just the nature of the beast.

but I think we are basically on the same page (study the past, criticize it, learn from it, don't allow its mistakes to be repeated) and just quibbling over terms.

bernard snowy, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 13:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

Because fans of disco and other corporate manufactured music love using racism and homophobia to defend their corporate taste.

i feel like geir's been halfway reasonable itt until now-- not even gonna touch this one, tho

ilxor you've listened to one odd future album once (ilxor), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 13:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

i elected to pass it over in silence

bernard snowy, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 13:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

Just wanted to chime in and say I don't think this thread is a cluster fuck at all, it's been ready interesting and esp would like to thank the ppl that really know classical and wagner on the thread, it's been real educational. I feel like any thread that gets long is called a cluster fuck by default sometimes

Bleeqwot the Chef (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 13:59 (3 years ago) Permalink

I know I shou;dn't, but fuck it.

Because fans of disco and other corporate manufactured music love using racism and homophobia to defend their corporate taste.

How is disco anymore corporate than smooth melodic FM pop you enormous Shrek-alike moron?

lol sickmouthy (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 14:08 (3 years ago) Permalink

Could we keep personal insults like "you enormous Shrek-alike moron" out of this interesting thread please?

Algerian Goalkeeper, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 14:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

Could we keep Geir out of this interesting thread please?

a fucking stove just fell on my foot. (Colonel Poo), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 14:15 (3 years ago) Permalink

^^^

VegemiteGrrl, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 14:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

I apologise. I should know better. I do know better.

lol sickmouthy (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 14:23 (3 years ago) Permalink

There there, Nick. It's hard on all of us...

VegemiteGrrl, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 14:26 (3 years ago) Permalink

Forget it, Nick. It's Hongrotown.

Anti-mist K-Lo (Phil D.), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 14:27 (3 years ago) Permalink

definitely agree that they should not be museum-cased, but I don't know that I would go so far as to call them "live arguments" either — like, sometimes when you look at history, you see that a debate has already run its course, one side won and the other lost.

Agree that we're broadly on the same side here; suspect that some of our differences might come from national perspective (you're US right?); I feel like Romantic Nationalism, fragments of a totalitarian past & far-right action keep bursting up in Europe, and none of it is a done deal, so there's a certain amount of suspicion one should maintain: picking at the rush that can come from Wagner's sound wall, asking oneself what one is swooning for, wondering if there won't always be something dark built into these energies, wondering how this relates to kitsch etc etc.

BUT must clarify: I'm not a classical music person. I've listened to Wagner a little, sometimes found it intoxicating (liebestod), sometimes dull. I don't know much.

portrait of velleity (woof), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 14:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

(& I assume the classical music ppl itt would argue all that questioning is built into Wagner when listened to properly?)

portrait of velleity (woof), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 14:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

Just wanted to chime in and say I don't think this thread is a cluster fuck at all, it's been ready interesting and esp would like to thank the ppl that really know classical and wagner on the thread, it's been real educational. I feel like any thread that gets long is called a cluster fuck by default sometimes

― Bleeqwot the Chef (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, March 23, 2011 9:59 AM (51 minutes ago) Bookmark

Seconded. As someone whose knowledge of Wagner is limited to "Kill da Wabbit" and Hitler-as-fanboy, I'm learning a lot here.

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 14:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

xp at the same time tho, it's very dramatic music that kind of requires you to let go/get into it — I mean the dude built a fuckin' crazy-opera house just so he could A. have his works performed in an acoustically-ideal space (the total work of art, y'all!) B. hide the musicians and force the audience to focus on the onstage action. like, on some level, he is trying to force people to "find it intoxicating", right? which is maybe a little harder for all of us, who aren't really able to 'let our guard down' around Wagner, and perhaps shouldn't.

so maybe the argument is that we can never listen to Wagner 'properly' anymore, but his operas should still be staged as a sort of grotesque spectacle that makes us reflect on ~the past~ — also it beats what's on TV

bernard snowy, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 15:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

But performance can give a chance to reclaim, redeem, reimagine works, so it's not like we have to stare sceptically at protofascist myth spectacle - good staging can do a lot with the musical, psychological, intellectual force of W? Again, out of depth here, but thinking that objectionable Shakespeare (Shrew) & Marlowe (Jew) can be remade into something worthwhile live (because they come from unusual talents looking at earlier versions of our own fault lines?)

portrait of velleity (woof), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 15:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

^^^ point about staging is a really good one

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 15:14 (3 years ago) Permalink

there was a really good fred jameson article in new left review a little while ago called "regieoper, or eurotrash?" (!! #shotsfired) — he talked about some of the staging choices in this new L.A. version, which sounded horrific and are possibly biasing me in this issue

bernard snowy, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 15:21 (3 years ago) Permalink

okay this was the part that made me lol the hardest:

Certainly there are splendid inventions in the Los Angeles version. The Valkyries, in particular, are enveloped in extraordinarily large and complex shells which open and close on the singers, and may be said to represent these beings in symbiosis with their steeds — an arrangement which solves some hitherto impossible staging problems, and then recompounds them by showing the Valkyries pedalling away on something like celestial bicycles.

bernard snowy, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 15:25 (3 years ago) Permalink

(for any other Wagner 'newbies' ITT, there's an excellent episode of WYNC's Radiolab that explores The Ring Cycle that is well worth your time)

VegemiteGrrl, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 15:26 (3 years ago) Permalink

if saying something "should not" be performed were actually the same as saying "there should be a law against it," your point might stand. there are all sorts of things I think people shouldn't do which they have a perfect right to do.

they are not the same thing, but one inevitably precedes the other. as soon as enough people think something shouldn't be done, then a law gets passed against it. don't make me list examples...

But I think forcing benign readings onto Wagner is like...really? anybody can read the libretto to Siegfried & see what's going on.

I think "forcing benign readings" is overstating it, but I'll leave the myriad ways Wagner can be handled to the more classically-inclined people on this thread (to which I am a philistine by comparison)

xp

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 15:27 (3 years ago) Permalink

Overstatement begets overstatement!

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 15:32 (3 years ago) Permalink

I mean, I feel like there is a temptation to make this into some sort of hypothetical "given the choice between a world without Wagner and a world without anti-semitism, which would you pick?" — and of course, anyone with a conscience is gonna take the latter eight days a week. but that's not that choice we're given. because both Wagner and the historical moment of his anti-semitism belong to the past

I would hope and assume that his supposedly genius music is more alive as a source of influence than his supposed anti-semitism is though.

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 15:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

I don't exactly know what any of that means but okay

bernard snowy, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 15:55 (3 years ago) Permalink

I mean, "influence" is tricky to talk about because like — he's a popular composer, I'm sure lots of other musicians, of wildly-diverging qualities, have heard his music throughout history, some of them probably absorbed it on some level, others hated it but were still influenced by it, others went on to become composers and deliberately study and imitate his orchestration &c &c — he's part of the musical landscape at this point, sure, but I don't know if that should be attributed to a single "source of influence" so much as the persistence of an aesthetic

bernard snowy, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 16:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

Arguably he is just as influential on the likes of Queen than on subsequent "classical" music, apart from Mahler and R. Strauss who were obviously both very obviously influenced by him.

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 16:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

"supposed" anti semitism, nice one geir

Bleeqwot the Chef (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 17:58 (3 years ago) Permalink

Those anti-semitic things that he supposedly "said" and "wrote" "repeatedly" over a number of "years".

Pop is superior to all other genres (DL), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 18:04 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah but geir has never read them

Algerian Goalkeeper, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 18:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

what's the George Eliot novel about Wagner called?

Destroy A. Monsters (Drugs A. Money), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 18:11 (3 years ago) Permalink

is this the part where we out Geir for not actually knowing anything about classical music. cuz I'm pretty sure we did that on some other thread

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 18:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

Not about Wagner, about Jewishness though. xp

i have a hot bagel waiting for me in my bed so ill say this: (kkvgz), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 18:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

I'm pretty sure I've known Wagner was anti-semitic as long as I've known Beethoven was deaf. It's wagnerfax #1

Pop is superior to all other genres (DL), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 18:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

wasn't there some thread where Dan was schooling Geir about Mozart or Beethoven and Geir confessed that he only knew a couple of Beethoven's symphonies (the 9th and the 5th I think?) does this ring a bell with anyone?

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 18:15 (3 years ago) Permalink

it likely wasn't me, everything I know I know via performance rather than study

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 18:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

something to do with what you would play for Mozart if he showed up in your living room?

xp to shakes

Destroy A. Monsters (Drugs A. Money), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 18:21 (3 years ago) Permalink

was that the one?

Destroy A. Monsters (Drugs A. Money), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 18:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

I am still mad at ILM that no-one made an "odd future Wolfgang tell him all" joke on that thread

I only use this style of type when I choose it (DJ Mencap), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 18:31 (3 years ago) Permalink

I think a majority of ILX was still sleeping on OFWGKTA at that moment

Destroy A. Monsters (Drugs A. Money), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 18:37 (3 years ago) Permalink

wasn't there some thread where Dan was schooling Geir about Mozart or Beethoven and Geir confessed that he only knew a couple of Beethoven's symphonies (the 9th and the 5th I think?) does this ring a bell with anyone?

You mean this thread?

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 18:45 (3 years ago) Permalink


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