Friday, September 04, 2020

FRIDAY MUSIC: Richard Wagner's 'Parsifal'

"Richard Wagner’s final creation is also his most mysterious. The story of Parsifal, the ‘pure fool, knowing through compassion’, who has been called to rescue the Kingdom of the Grail from the sins that have polluted it, appears familiar enough, but the redemption sought by Wagner’s characters is far from the Christian archetype.

"Wagner’s Parsifal is an exploration of the drama, music and philosophy of this extraordinary musical icon by a writer whose knowledge and understanding of the Western musical tradition are the equal of his capacities as a philosopher.It shows how, through musical connections and brilliant dramatic strokes, Parsifal expresses in music a depth of feeling for which we do not have words, a deep longing for wholeness and relief from suffering which, Scruton argues, contains within itself the image of salvation."

This book is worth reading - it is an excellent re-telling of Wolfram's original Grail story:

I have it here on the bookshelf and read it a few years ago. It is the only one in which the Grail is not a chalice but is the Philosopher's Stone.

The opera extracts I have used wrongly show the Grail as a chalice; I included the story here:

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