Don Giovanni: Rebel Hero or Threat to Society

The character of Don Giovanni in Mozart’s opera personifies two contrasting aspects of the Enlightment: The embodiment of liberty. Don Giovanni sees himself as exempt from the laws of state, society, culture and religion. In this sense he is the Enlightenment hero, an extreme example of the idea of liberty that marks the age. The… Continue reading Don Giovanni: Rebel Hero or Threat to Society

Mozart, Don Giovanni: Best Recorded Version

I like a mix of different approaches with my favourite classical works. For Don Giovanni, the opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, there are three clear choices, which critics (at least in the UK and Europe) unanimously highlight. 1. Don Giovanni: The Traditional Account Don Giovanni performed by the Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by Carlo… Continue reading Mozart, Don Giovanni: Best Recorded Version

Mozart’s Don Giovanni: Resources and Links

The following links offer useful resources for analysis of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. Analysis The Nowhere Man – the mystery of Don Giovanni, by Nicholas Lezard Mozart’s Don Giovanni: An Enlightenment Hero? by John Kerns Don Giovanni, man or idea, by Kenneth LaFave Søren Kierkegaard’s Interpretation of Mozart’s Opera Don Giovanni : An Appraisal and… Continue reading Mozart’s Don Giovanni: Resources and Links

Wagner and Mythology

It takes a lot of work on the listener’s part to understand Wagner. I’ve been trying in vain for years, but I’ve recently made a kind of breakthrough. The catalyst was a few intense listening sessions with Tristan and Isolde. With its mythological setting, ambiguous themes, overwhelming length and dense musical chromaticism it’s not an… Continue reading Wagner and Mythology

Quotes on Richard Wagner

The best witticisms in musical criticism are invariably about Wagner. Here are some choice quotes: Wagner’s music is better than it sounds. Edgar Wilson Nye One can’t judge Wagner’s opera ‘Lohengrin’ after a first hearing, and I certainly don’t intend hearing it a second time. Gioacchino Antonio Rossini Mr. Wagner has beautiful moments but awful… Continue reading Quotes on Richard Wagner