Wagner and the Snowy Uplands of Utopia

November 29, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, WAGNER |

Christmas Celebration of the Richard Wagner Society of SA, November 28, 2021 A very pleasant lunch ended the Wagner year with regrets for what could have been (The Ring in Brisbane, for example, cancelled for the 2nd year running) although we are now told it’s to return in December 2023.  The RWS (SA) chose the Tribschen Idyll as its Christmas theme, marking that cold day in 1870 when it was first performed on the steps inside Richard’s and Cosima’s house (main image). Presented as a Birthday / Christmas gift from Wagner to Cosima on 25 December, it features all the…

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For Whom the Bell Rings

August 22, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, LIFE, MUSIC, Opera, OPERA |

August 2021: The Varnished Culture is gutted to learn that the Brisbane Ring Cycle set for October and November has been cancelled for the Second Time.  Due to the damn faux-plague. Opera Australia’s statement of 19/8/2021 followed its message to ticket holders the previous Tuesday: We’re sad to announce that all upcoming performances of the Ring Cycle and Aida in Brisbane have been postponed due to COVID travel restrictions.  This is hugely disappointing news, but we are committed to re-scheduling these spectacular productions so that the seven years of planning that has already gone into this project won’t go to waste….

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ABC Classic Shall Not be Shot

June 8, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, Classical Music, MUSIC |

The ABC (Australian Bolshevik Corporation) uses a lot of the nation’s money to fund its anti-Australian, anti-conservative, anti-rational stances. TVC, if charged with the nation’s finances, would probably cut its funding by about 80%, assuming we couldn’t just break it up and sell it off. What would stay? Well, Sean Micallef’s Mad as Hell, Tom Gleeson’s Hard Quiz, Behind the News, Parliament and we suppose the news could stay, but only if it were the news written and read by James Dibble. And further, ABC Radio could stay. ABC Radio, despite its manifest Marxist destiny and predilections, is consistently better…

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Beethoven – Hits

February 25, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Capri Theatre, Adelaide, 23 February 2021) Beethoven was a real grind: loads of chamber pieces, choral works, incidental music and variations, songs, 17 sets for string quartets. At the Capri Cinema on Tuesday night TVC enjoyed 7 short pieces by a young but accomplished string quartet* (2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello) of his works, in a theatre lit only by numerous candles (see main image).  The event is part of a series of such offerings around the country, and well worth attending, as they are accessible, enjoyable, and inexpensive. ‘Beethoven’s Best Works performed by a String Quartet’ included: Quartet…

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Wagner in Russia

February 19, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, WAGNER |

13 February 2021: The Wake for Wagner The Richard Wagner Society of South Australia hosted Konstantin Shamray, an expert pianist and musicologist, for a stimulating and enjoyable lecture on Russian Wagnerism (see main image, Konstantin in conversation with Society President Geoffrey Seidel).  Wagner gave six concerts in St Petersburg in 1863, conducting excerpts from Der fliegende Holländer, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger, Die Walküre and Siegfried. His ‘rock star’ presence ensured a wild commercial success, but as Mr. Shamray explained, critical reaction was mixed, particularly among the Russian composers, whose initial adulation morphed into a local set against “disgusting chromaticism,” a surfeit…

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