“Amoral, hedonistic, selfish, virulently racist, arrogant, filled with gospels of the superman ... and the superiority of the German race, he stands for all that is unpleasant in human character,” The New York Times music critic Harold Schonberg wrote about Richard Wagner in “The Lives of the Great Composers.”
Why is it I simply cannot condone the presentation and celebration of Richard Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” in Los Angeles, arriving with much fanfare this coming spring?
It was meant to be the "not Wagner" concert: Daniel Barenboim, the pride of Israeli music-lovers, conducting his Berlin orchestra, the Staatskapelle, on the last night of this year's Israel Festival. Little did we know.
After strenuous protests by Holocaust survivor groups, backed by virtually the entire Israeli political spectrum, the decision was taken last week to look for an alternative to the Wagner concert that had been scheduled for this summer's Israel Festival, the country's annual international cultural showcase.