Dr Mark Berry, Head of Music Department, featured in recent New York Times article on composer Richard Wagner.
Composer Richard Wagner.
Dr Mark Berry (Head of Department) was recently interviewed and quoted in a New York Times article on composer Richard Wagner (titled 'Germany Reckons with Wagner: Cultural Jewel, or National Shame?', written by Ben Miller)
Quotation from the article:
“Clearly there are romantic nationalist elements in Wagner’s thought,” he said, “as there were in just about any German artist of that time. If one looks at his theoretical writing, however, he is adamant that the time of national characteristics in art is over, that this is to be an age of artistic universalism.”
Yes, Berry said, there were antisemitic tropes in Wagner’s music dramas, and antisemitic politics in his essays. But, he added, that doesn’t make the music itself antisemitic, and Wagner wasn’t the main conduit by which antisemitism became prominent in the German national mood, and the basis of genocidal state policy.‘
The full article can be read online: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/08/arts/music/wagner-exhibition-deutsches-historisches-museum.html
Mark is author of the books After Wagner (2014) and Treacherous Bonds and Laughing Fire: Politics and Religion in Wagner's "Ring" (2006), and together with Nicholas Vazsonyi, editor of The Cambridge Companion to Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen" (2020).