Wagner's Ring Cycle

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Monday, March 28, 2011

From leitmotifs to lighter fare, this week's programs are a five-hour exploration of Richard Wagner’s crowning operatic achievement.

Comments [14]

Paul Heise from Annapolis, MD

Dear Fans of Wagner and his "Ring," and curious bystanders:

Dr. Roger Scruton introduces Paul Heise’s monumental quest to grasp the conceptual unity of Richard Wagner’s music-drama, The Ring of the Nibelung, at www.wagnerheim.com, where Mr. Heise has made it available free so that it can be read in its entirety. This is the most sustained effort to grasp Wagner’s tetralogy as a whole (libretto text, plot, and music) in the literature. Its central argument is that Wagner’s gigantic tetralogy is an allegory representing the conflict between man’s quest for power through acquisition of objective knowledge, and man’s counter-impulse to affirm his transcendent value in religion, morality, and art.

For a brief overview of the argument, read my Introduction on pages 93-108.

I hope you will find this website enlightening. It contains the most complete account of Wagner’s employment of musical motifs (178 numbered motifs) for conceptual purposes, and the most extensive (chronological) anthology of Ludwig Feuerbach’s relevant writings, and Richard Wagner’s writings and recorded remarks (1,151 numbered extracts), currently available. Visitors to www.wagnerheim.com are encouraged to participate in the discussion forum to debate Wagner-interpretation and the plethora of issues raised by Wagner’s artistic and philosophic legacy.

Your friend from Wagnerheim,

Paul Heise

PS: The Bicentennial of Wagner’s birth is 2013

Jun. 24 2011 02:26 PM


Exploring Music is produced by WFMT. There isn't a way to stream or download the episodes, but you can contact the producers of the show here: http://www.wfmt.com/main.taf?p=31,5

They may be better able to help you.

Apr. 05 2011 02:56 PM
Karin Fredrickson

Any chance prior programs; e.g. Wagner's Ring Cycle, can be archived and made available for listening at a later date?

Apr. 05 2011 11:29 AM
Kent from NY

I was listening to the the Wagner/Das Rheingold episode on April 4 and then at the midway point, the program switched to the Schubert quartet episode. What happened? Very jarring.

Apr. 04 2011 11:41 PM

If Richard Wagner had lived 100 years later, he would have been a great composer for films. Wow! I am not really a great Wagner fan but am enjoying the series.

Mar. 31 2011 06:11 PM

When you're done with Wagner, please do a series on Verdi!

Mar. 31 2011 04:36 PM
Carlos Monroy from Somers, NY

What a wonderful program, Terrance is a classical music encycloapedia, and the way he presents his programs is so enjoyable and easy to follow, is like he is sitting next to me showing what to listen for, he reminds me of the old classical radio presenters (Karl Hass, George Jellinek etc), what a pleasure to listen to him. Unfortunately the WQXR schedule, 11 to 12 pm, is not the best for me, I usually catch the last half hour, is there another time or way I can catch to the whole program ?

Carlos Monroy

Mar. 30 2011 07:59 PM
Benjamin from new york

The Wagner episodes are absolutely fantastic. If only I had heard these before I saw the Ring cycle last year - it would have made the experience that more meaningful. A wonderful program!

Mar. 30 2011 12:12 PM
Liam from East Elmhurst

Terence, can you choose an exciting performance of Wagner? Something good and preferably OLD.
Most of the new stuff is highly self indulgent and crap. The only advantage is for the people trying to sell the new album.

Mar. 29 2011 11:12 PM
Alexandra from NY, NY

Amazing program last night...storytelling at it's finest. I find the best way to learn a piece of music (or anything really) is through storytelling...it brings the music to life and educates in a very enjoyable and effective way! Thank you :D

Mar. 29 2011 12:52 PM

Elsa and Andrew,

Exploring Music is produced by WFMT. There isn't a way to stream or download the episodes, but you can contact the producers of the show here: http://www.wfmt.com/main.taf?p=31,5

They may be better able to help you.

Mar. 29 2011 12:43 PM
Amanda from New Jersey

I thoroughly enjoyed last night's program, it was most enlightening and such a pleasure to hear the music and leitmotifs so clearly. I'm very much looking forward to the other 3.

Mar. 29 2011 10:24 AM
Andrew Teheran from New Jersey

Exploring Music is an extraordinary program and would be a great teaching tool. Is there any way to stream or even purchase archived episodes for my classroom? Last night's Das Rheingold was a listening joy.

Mar. 29 2011 09:19 AM
elsa brenner

is there a way to record this on my ipod or otherwise?

Mar. 28 2011 08:19 PM

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