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Wagner (series) * Tony Palmer * 1983

There are many old TV-series available on DVD for low prices nowadays, most of them I never heard off. Here we have a very nice series about the famous composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883). You cannot ‘use’ these series to become acquinted with his work, because they are purely about the man. As a revolutionary for a united Germany, Wagner had to flee Dresden. Besides being unwanted in his own country, he is a gravely ununderstood musical artist so he mostly lives his life in poverty or on somebody elses money (he did have admirers). In these series you can see an arrogant man caring for noone but himself and his art, traveling ‘from hither to dither’ to try and bring his work to an audience chosen by himself and presented the way he wanted. His attitude brings him almost nothing but resistance and his is not able to do the things he intends to do. During the series you do get to know why the very Christian Wagner wrote ‘pagan’ operas and learn a bit about the writing process of some of his most famous works, but you only get glimpses of practises of plays of them. So, don’t watch these series for the music, but to learn a bit about the man behind it. With this in mind, Wagner is a nice series about an interesting person.

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