Richard Wagner, Bone-Crusher

The Bayreuther Festspiele are now in full swing.  Unfortunately, the German Joys Cultural Affairs Unit was not able to finance a trip to the festival this year, so there will be no live reports. 

As a pale substitute, here’s something I came across while reading a biography of one of my favorite composers, Gabriel Fauré:

In 1884, as the result of a ‘weird and wonderful lottery’ organized by [a patroness] to assist the impecunious Fauré and Messager, the pair were at last able to travel to to hear Parsifal.  Fauré later wrote to his benefactress:

If one has not heard Wagner at Bayreuth, one has heard nothing! Take lots of handkerchiefs because you will cry a great deal!  Also take a sedative because you will be exalted to the point of delirium! 

He told her that he had left Parsifal with ‘broken bones’!

(Robert Orldedge, Gabriel Fauré, p. 12)

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