The Wagner Controversy

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Please read through the requirement & using citation APA ! Please read through the requirement & using citation APA ! Topic: The music of German composer Richard Wagner is universally lauded as superb, masterful and artistically revolutionary. But Wagner himself is just as widely condemned as the spiritual father of much of Nazi ideology, especially its anti-Semitism.

In one of many odious statements, Wagner wrote that he “regard[ed] the Jewish race as the born enemy of pure humanity and everything noble about it.” His hateful ideas, along with the ultra-nationalistic character of his operas, attracted others of like minds, providing a catalyst for the development of Nazi ideology. Hitler, himself, is claimed to have said, “Whoever wants to understand National Socialist Germany must know Wagner.”

Before you go further, re-read the second paragraph on p. 239 of the textbook (Experience Music, Charlton), and explorethese two links: The Controversy Over Richard Wagner (链接到外部网站。) and Music and the Holocaust (链接到外部网站。).

For another view of the anger Wagner’s music can evoke, watch this clip from Curb Your Enthusiasm, which begins and ends with Larry David whistling and conducting music from Wagner’s operas. (链接到外部网站。)

Wagner’s undeniable association with anti-Semitism, Nazism and the Holocaust is so widely resented that his music almost never fails to draw heated protests at public performances, and is totally banned in some places.

But is this really an appropriate reaction when assessing art? To what extent can we, or should we, separate the artist from his art?

If we condemn Wagner’s music because of his vile cultural and political views, what do we do about the works of other vehement anti-Semites, such as Chopin?

What do you think?

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