Supported by an extraordinary array of references to music, painting, dance, film, literature, and other modernist arts--many of which would by themselves constitute the subject of a whole monograph by a less ambitious author--this is no mere account of how Wagnerism
mattered to modernism.
The French composers who were committed to Haydn were avowed Neoclassicists, and they turned to Viennese Classicism--Haydn and Mozart in particular--as a way to differentiate themselves from the Beethoven-worshipping Germans and Austrians and to distance themselves from programmaticism and Wagnerism
. In what Proksch finds to be a "paradoxical twist", "Haydn's links with the ancien regime, long the fodder of Germanic critics, opened the door to his acceptance in a France fearful of the rising power of the German Empire".
"Living theater knows only one style, that of its current era." If the austere formalism of his own style was right for an era when Wagner and Wagnerism
needed to be untangled from their own histories, the direct confrontation of history and historical legacies that has been a hallmark of recent Bayreuth productions is a more appropriate style for our own era's search for truth and reconciliation.
Shadle's brief interlude that divides the book states that the rest of the century was dominated by several ideological factions: "those who denied the possibility of a national musical identity altogether and wanted Americans to write within the classical tradition or give up; those who wanted Americans to remain at the forefront of European compositional trends, particularly Wagnerism
; those who believed Wagnerism
(or classicism) would grow organically into a national American style; and those who believed that Americans should create a national style based on folk songs" (p.
Mefistofele's debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milano on March 5, 1868, however, was a resounding fiasco, and the opera was criticized for its useless Wagnerism
. Boito largely revised the opera--this time paying particular attention to the disposizioni sceniche, a set of stage instructions specifically addressed to an Italian spectatorship that needed to be exposed to another culture.
Aubrey Beardsley and British Wagnerism
in the 1890s.
These were the peak decades for Wagnerism
in America, and my favorite vignette to make vivid the full magnitude of this phenomenon is that we know that when Tristan und Isolde was performed at the Metropolitan Opera the curtain would fall and the house would freeze for a period of minutes.
"Across borders" in the title refers to the unifying theme of the conference and the 17 contributions: Moore's extraordinary eclecticism spanning, for example, naturalism, Impressionism, Paterian aesthetics, literary Wagnerism
, decadence and the avant-garde, and New Woman culture.
It is fair to say that while the trajectories of Canadian and American labour law and relations have diverged, the future of Wagnerism
in both countries is far from settled.
Genova notes that though Dujardin claimed to want to "open the elitist circle of French Wagnerism
," much of what was published in the journal suggests otherwise (144).