Tag: Wagner

Opera singers in concert in 1907

The end of two prominent opera singers In April the tenor Hans Buff-Giessen gave two concerts in Berlin. On 13 September Musical America reported that Buff-Giessen, “who was a great-grandson of Charlotte Buff, the friend Goethe immortalized as Lotte in his ‘Werther,’ and who, by an earlier coincidence, was the first German interpreter of the […]

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The physiological consequences of too much music

An overactive musical life of too many concerts has consequences. For Berlin musicians in 1907, especially soloists who routinely performed three concertos in a row and gave multiple concerts in the major cities every year, performance-related injuries must have been inevitable. I was interested, therefore, when I ran across a pamphlet from 1904 on “Überanstrengung […]

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The Berlin Wagner monument and the threat of greasepaint

The controversy about the Richard Wagner statue erected in the Berlin Tiergarten in 1903 unfolded in slow motion as the Wagner family delayed their final decision about attending. That allowed the papers to report on all the important figures who had accepted the invitation to attend the unveiling ceremony, and then on their subsequent cancellations. […]

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The 1903 fiasco of a festival for the Richard Wagner monument

A monument for Richard Wagner, and the first for any composer in Berlin, was unveiled as part of a five-day festival in 1903. (A Haydn-Mozart-Beethoven Denkmal followed in 1904.) The statue of Wagner was by the sculptor Gustav Eberlein, who had also made some of the figures of German heroes and leaders lining the Siegesallee. Wagner […]

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