Wagner vs. Bach, 4

Bach did not compose any opera at a time when the genre was very much in vogue. In this, he cannot contrast more with Wagner, mainly known for his operas (or, as some of his mature works later became known, ‘musical dramas’). Unlike Bach who used the Gospel text in his most ambitious works, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his works. My father, a composer of classical music, used to say that Wagner’s art predicted cinema.

However, the narrator tells us in the aforementioned documentary that St Matthew Passion has operatic elements. It was music that inspired ‘contrition and remorse’, and it is striking how the pundits of white nationalism don’t want to see the elephant in the room when they agonize to explain how the guilt that currently kills the white man originated. St Matthew Passion lasts an hour and a half, and has twice the choir and orchestra than St John Passion.

Who has hit you
my Savior, and with torments
so harshly abused you?

The narrator tells us: ‘And it’s in that moment that I feel Bach is saying, This suffering is unbearable. We have to stop it. We have to show our sense of moral outrage’.

You know nothing of our sins…
Have mercy my God
for the sake of my tears.

After explaining St Matthew Passion the narrator made the mistake of passing the microphone to a psychologist to ‘psychoanalyse’ Bach. Readers of this site know that I think clinical psychology is pseudoscientific, and it’s not worth adding much here except to say that Freud and his disciples loved to ‘psychoanalyse’ geniuses to feel superior to them (see what I say about the Vienna quack: here).

After the shrink mistake, the narrator tells us that Bach’s obsession with composing religious music was such that, despite his Lutheran background, he composed a large-scale Latin mass for a Catholic court. As the lyrics of one of his last compositions say shortly before Bach died:

Before (((your))) throne now I appear…

Published in: on July 4, 2020 at 7:04 pm  Comments (5)  

Wagner vs. Bach, 1

The fourth part of El Grial begins with a dream that I now translate into English:

I was walking on a street by day next to Dad, who pointed out to me, enthusiastic and joyful as his character, the great church—or wall of a great church, rather like a Gothic cathedral—while I felt real horror for the (not glimpsed, only felt) kind of gargoyles, low relief sculptures or external figures of a very dark-stone cathedral. The contrast between the spirited Dad in pointing out to me that Christian bastion as something so positive that he even smiled at me and the horrified son—although I corresponded to Dad’s smile from my height as a child with another smile to be nice with him—couldn’t be greater.

Then I commented that over the years I had several dreams with that theme. I interpreted that my father lacked enough empathy to realise that traditional Catholic doctrine, which seemed so positive to him, horrified his little firstborn.

I recently said that Parsifal’s music has been one of my favourites, despite the fact that the opera characters are quasi-Christian knights that Wagner devised. Wagner’s last opus is not a hundred percent Christian insofar the script never names Christ or Christianity. Rather, it resembles the spirit of the Germanic sagas in times of Christian conversion, when something of the ancient pagan spirit was still breathed. In this first entry about how I contrast Wagner with Bach I confess that, unlike Parsifal, traditional Christian music has horrified me as much as that series of dreams with which I opened this post.

Iconoclasm, even in music, is a thorny topic. If we proclaim the transvaluation of all values the question immediately arises: What to do with the so-called sacred music after the anti-Christian revolution conquers the world? We have already seen that Nietzsche loved Parsifal’s music but abhorred its message, especially the chastity of the quasi-Christian knights. In my opinion, Wagner, Hitler’s favourite composer, is salvageable but how should we treat sacred music from his predecessors?

Unlike Richard Wagner (1813-1883) who flourished a century after the death of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Bach had no passion for the Germanic sagas of the pagan past. On the contrary: Bach composed his music for the main Lutheran churches in Leipzig, and adopted Lutheran hymns in his vocal works. The hundreds of sacred works that Bach created are generally seen as a manifestation not only of his craft, but of his great devotion to the god of Christians: the very god of the Jews. Bach even taught Luther’s catechism as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, and some of his pieces represent it. For example, his very famous St Matthew Passion, like other works of this type, illustrates the Passion of (((Christ))) directly with biblical texts.

Compare all this with Wagner’s relatively paganised work who didn’t quote the gospel: a musician who, by introducing pre-Christian elements in his operas, was already starting to shake off the Judeo-Christian monkey from his back. But before continuing my talk about Bach I would like to quote, once again, the words of Nietzsche that appear in The Fair Race:

§ 61

Here it becomes necessary to call up a memory that must be a hundred times more painful to Germans. The Germans have destroyed for Europe the last great harvest of civilisation that Europe was ever to reap—the Renaissance. Is it understood at last, will it ever be understood what the Renaissance was?

The transvaluation of Christian values: an attempt with all available means, all instincts and all the resources of genius to bring about a triumph of the opposite values, the more noble values… To attack at the critical place, at the very seat of Christianity, and there enthrone the more noble values—that is to say, to insinuate them into the instincts, into the most fundamental needs and appetites of those sitting there…

I see before me the possibility of a heavenly enchantment and spectacle: it seems to me to scintillate with all the vibrations of a fine and delicate beauty, and within it there is an art so divine, so infernally divine, that one might search in vain for thousands of years for another such possibility; I see a spectacle so rich in significance and at the same time so wonderfully full of paradox that it should arouse all the gods on Olympus to immortal laughter: Cæsar Borgia as pope!… Am I understood? Well then, that would have been the sort of triumph that I alone am longing for today: by it Christianity would have been swept away!

What happened? A German monk, Luther, came to Rome. This monk, with all the vengeful instincts of an unsuccessful priest in him, raised a rebellion against the Renaissance in Rome…

Instead of grasping, with profound thanksgiving, the miracle that had taken place: the conquest of Christianity at its capital—instead of this, his hatred was stimulated by the spectacle. A religious man thinks only of himself. Luther saw only the depravity of the papacy at the very moment when the opposite was becoming apparent: the old corruption, the peccatum originale, Christianity itself, no longer occupied the papal chair! Instead there was life! Instead there was the triumph of life! Instead there was a great yea to all lofty, beautiful and daring things!

And Luther restored the church.

On Parsifal

The reason I practically don’t interact in other racialist forums or follow them on Twitter is that they don’t feel infinite hatred, and I strongly believe that the only way to save the race is through the amalgamation of your soul, your whole being with the spirit of The Turner Diaries: to be at the right of Himmler during the West’s darkest hour, so to speak. Furthermore, the pundits of white nationalism are ignoring the Christian problem. Counter-Currents posted yesterday ‘Kevin MacDonald’s Individualism & The Western Liberal Tradition. Part 7: White Maladaptive Altruism’ by Ricardo Duchesne. Since the pundits of white nationalism follow MacDonald and not the Führer, they are able of writing things like the following, which appeared yesterday in Duchesne’s article:

The Quakers were “highly principled and deeply Christian, with a powerful sense of fairness and egalitarianism.” They had, in MacDonald’s words, a “genuine empathy for the slaves,” morally outraged by “acts of great injustice done to their fellow human beings.” The Quakers were also “highly egalitarian” in their institutional organization; “there were no bishops or ordained ministers, and any person (including women) could speak.” They emphasized the “intellectual and moral equality of African slaves.” Although the Methodists were more into self-help, diligence, and hard work, they too believed that all humans were equally valuable, and that’s why they opposed slavery.

MacDonald’s point is not that whites were wrong to seek the abolition of slavery. His aim is to understand the excessive moral preoccupation whites exhibited about the plight of Africans coupled with their current pathological empathy for aggressive immigrants occupying their lands. In light of this reality, and the complete indifference Muslims have to this day about their thousand-year-old enslavement of Africans, these Puritan-descended movements do seem incredibly naive, child-like, and devoid of realism. What is there to admire about this?

I will make the argument that the eighteenth century was period of “radical change” in the conception of the Western self…

The 18th century? I would say that the West took a very wrong turn from the 4th century! By targeting putatively genetic rather than ideological altruism (Christian malware) this MacDonald disciple doesn’t directly blame the inversion of values on Christianity pure and simple (not only Quakers): something that Nietzsche detected for the first time in the history of ideas.

Like the Quakers Parsifal was child-like. He felt great compassion for those who suffer, especially King Amfortas, who had fallen out of favour since Klingsor struck him with the holy spear: a wound that was not healing. Nietzsche loved Parsifal’s music but hated the message of his old friend’s last opera.

Musically, I think Parsifal is Wagner’s most accomplished work. The overtures of each of the three acts, as well as the magnificent music when Gurnemanz takes Parsifal into the castle in the first act; the background music and the voices by the end of the discussion between Parsifal and Kundry in the second act, and let’s not talk about the Good Friday music in the third act, are the most glorious and spiritual I have ever listened. No wonder why Max Reger (1873-1916) confessed: ‘When I first heard Parsifal at Bayreuth I was fifteen. I cried for two weeks and then became a musician’.

I recently recycled a Wikipedia text talking about the religious aspects of National Socialism and I don’t see why not to do it again with a wiki passage about Parsifal, albeit with a pro-White spin instead of the philo-Semitic POV of that encyclopaedia.

Some writers see in the opera the promotion of racism or anti-Semitism. One line of argument suggests that Parsifal was written in support of the ideas of Arthur de Gobineau who advocated Aryanism. Parsifal is proposed as the ‘pure-blooded’ (i.e. Aryan) hero who overcomes Klingsor, who is perceived as a Jewish stereotype, particularly since he opposes the quasi-Christian Knights of the Grail. Such claims remain heavily debated, since there is nothing explicit in the libretto to support them. Wagner never mentions such ideas in his many writings, and Cosima Wagner’s diaries, which relate in great detail Wagner’s thoughts over the last 14 years of his life (including the period covering the composition and first performance of Parsifal) never mentions any such intention.

Wagner first met Gobineau very briefly in 1876, but it was only in 1880 that he read Gobineau’s An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races. However, Wagner had completed the libretto for Parsifal by 1877, and the original drafts of the story date back to 1857. Despite this chronological evidence, Gobineau is frequently cited as a major inspiration for Parsifal.

The related question of whether the opera contains a specifically anti-Semitic message is also debated. Some of Wagner’s contemporaries and commentators (e.g. Hans von Wolzogen and Ernest Newman) who analysed Parsifal at length, make no mention of any anti-Semitic interpretations. However the critics Paul Lindau and Max Nordbeck, present at the world premiere, noted in their reviews how the work accorded with Wagner’s anti-Jewish sentiments. More recent commentators continue to highlight the perceived anti-Semitic nature of the opera, and find correspondences with anti-Semitic passages found in Wagner’s writings and articles of the period.

However, the conductor of the premiere was Hermann Levi, the court conductor at the Munich Opera. Since King Ludwig was sponsoring the production, much of the orchestra was drawn from the ranks of the Munich Opera, including the conductor. Wagner objected to Parsifal being conducted by a Jew (Levi’s father was in fact a rabbi). Wagner first suggested that Levi should convert to Christianity, which Levi declined to do. Wagner then wrote to King Ludwig that he had decided to accept Levi despite the fact that he had received complaints that ‘of all pieces, this most Christian of works’ should be conducted by a Jew. When the King expressed his satisfaction at this, replying that ‘human beings are basically all brothers’, Wagner wrote to the King that he ‘regarded the Jewish race as the born enemy of pure humanity and everything noble about it’.

Here we have once again the pathological altruism of influential Christians, in this case the very king. Not only the 19th-century Quakers practiced out-group altruism (Parsifal felt in-group altruism) but the Germans themselves, even Wagner’s sponsor.

It has been claimed that Parsifal was denounced as being ‘ideologically unacceptable’ in the Third Reich, and that the Nazis placed a de facto ban on Parsifal. In fact there were twenty-six performances at the Bayreuth Festival between 1934 and 1939 as well as twenty-three performances at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin between 1939 and 1942. However, it was not performed at the Bayreuth Festival during World War II.

Today at dawn, yesterday and the days before yesterday I watched the complete Parsifal directed by Daniel Barenboim (another Jew!) and compared it with other representations. It was the first time that I watch it with Spanish subtitles. After finishing my book El Grial I was impressed that in this 1993 performance the spear ended on the Grail cup at the very end. I couldn’t help but compare it to my extremely analogous metaphor in the climax of my book.

But I can’t use Parsifal in my book because the opera is riddled with Christian allusions, and my book is as anti-Christian as the last page of Nietzsche’s The Antichrist. But I also projected myself with what Parsifal says to Gurnemanz: that I lost my path for decades before finding my way back to Amfortas (all of this will seem cryptic to anyone who hasn’t read the book).

Jesus’ message reaches its climax

St. Francis kissing the feet of Christ,
from a painting of a crucifix in Arezzo, Italy

In Negrolatry the Negro is now the new Jesus, and the zeitgeist is trying to immanentize the eschaton in 2020. The last will be the first, and the first the last because the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard, Jesus said. Who would say that only in a secular age, which we have called here neochristian, were these words going to reach a massive psychosis that is affecting large numbers of whites.

The first minutes of the latest AmRen video, which shows recent images of whites kissing the boots of Negroes on the street when they demand it, are very disturbing.

The downward spiral of self-destructive insanity into which the white man has fallen has older roots than the American antecedents that Jared Taylor mentions. Since I was educated as a Catholic, I have an advantage over those who were educated in Protestantism: I know better the history of the church before the Reformation. And since my father talked so much about St. Francis when I was a teenager, I realise that what is happening today has its roots as early as the 13th century if not before when, from Constantine, the Christians—mostly non-Aryans—began to destroy the beautiful Aryan statues throughout the Roman Empire.

It is a real disgrace that the common American, and even the educated American like Taylor, is unaware of the stellar moments in the history of their parents’ religion, as the gospel was and has been, up to its secular incarnation, an attempt to invert Aryan values into Semitic values (‘ethnocentrism for me, universalism for thee’). Today’s events, in which a black man on the street can ask a white woman to kneel and the white woman obeys, are the result of a crescendo program that began 1,700 years ago, when a Roman emperor surrendered the empire to his bishops, many of whom had Semitic background.

The good thing about this accelerationism is that the frog is no longer going to be burned little by little without realising that they want to burn it. From now on, the extermination war against whites will be more and more direct and, therefore, they will have more chances to wake up.

As I see things, we are in the anteroom of a theatre where a great opera is going to be performed. The first calls have already been heard for people to start going to their seats, but we haven’t heard the third call yet. When it arrives and we are sitting in our seats we will hear the overture (the collapse of the US dollar). But that will only be overture. Then comes the development of a Wagnerian Tetralogy, the arc of which can last for decades if not a century (remember that Richard Wagner took more than thirty years to complete his Tetralogy).

Certainly the next decades, from the overture, will be crucial to know if whites regain their appetite to exist, or if the evangelical message that they have engraved in their collective unconscious will prevail.

Transvaluation of all values.

Reject Jesus; put Uncle Adolf in his place.

Kriminalgeschichte, 11

Saul of Tarsus, later known as Paul, who in his epistles claims to be Jewish was the true creator of Christianity. In his book Deschner discusses how Paul strongly criticised his co-religionists and then writes:

Unsurprisingly, the Jews counterattacked. This fact was very prominent by German Catholics in Hitler’s time, for example in Heilige deutsche Heimat, with ecclesiastical censorship, which continually recalls how the Jews ‘calumniated, cursed and persecuted’ Paul, that ‘wonder of the Spirit and of Grace’, how they conspired against him for being ‘a friend of the Gentiles’, how they ‘planned to kill him’ and ‘organised various attacks against him’, ‘expelled him from the synagogues as though he was a stench or a leper’, they banished him ‘to the most inhospitable places under the sky, to the forests and to the deserts where only the beasts live’, etcetera.

In one of the thousands of endnotes in Deschner’s ten-volume work, he cites his source (Walterscheid, J., pp. 1139f, II pp. 40f, Heilige Deutsche Heimat. Das deutsche Kirchenjahr mit seinen Festen, Seinem Volksbrauch, den Volksheiligen, religiöser Literatur und religiöser Kunst, 1,1936). Deschner adds:

This educational inspector from Bonn cites on the first page of his huge text in two volumes (prologue p. XIII) the work Die deutsche Volkskunde of the Nazi Reichsleiter Adolf Spamer and glorifies militarism, e.g. pp. 1128ff esp., 133ff and other pages, where he alludes for example to the old Nazi abbot Ildefons Herwegen ‘during the days with the Führer at Maria Laach’, where the Grand Brotherhood of St Sebastian ‘has found an indispensable help in the ideas of the new State’ since it ‘goes back to the same old roots of the German force’; celebrates in addition ‘the thunder of the canyon’ and ‘the perfect parades’. The pious Catholic author dreams of no less pious Catholic squads armed with ‘real shotguns’ and so on. The fact is that the Bible and the gunpowder go together the whole history of Catholicism… under ecclesiastical imprimatur.

All this would seem wonderful to people like Andrew Anglin, whose The Daily Stormer can now be seen in Tor. As a title for a periodical, The Daily Stormer is inspired by a German newspaper of the 1930s. (And let’s not talk about how the pious Christian Vox Day, who sounds like Sean Hannity, recently debated Anglin on National Socialism.)

But what Deschner writes is misleading in many ways. The faction of Christianity that would finally prevail in Christendom is not, say, that of a Richard Wagner whose operas fascinate me, including the Christian ones Tannhäuser and Parsifal (Parsifal is my favourite opera). It was its antithesis: the Calvinist faction of Christianity that restored the Old Testament in what became the most powerful country in the West, the United States. As to Catholicism, in the times when the Nazi abbot Herwegen wrote the above a more powerful figure, Pope Pius XI, stated on 29 July 1938: ‘One forgets today that the human race is a single, large and catholic [universal] race’.

The last political attempts to harmonize Christianity with racialism died in Nazi Germany. Now we have to question the Galilean cult from its root—and to question also the silliness of what Vox Day and many others are trying to do: harmonise Christianity with Aryan preservation.


JP in a single article!

Divided for publication at The Occidental Observer in three parts this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Andrew Joyce has published a magnificent article explaining the Jewish Problem under the title: “The Jewish Question: Suggested Readings with Commentary.”

I would like to quote a few passages from Joyce’s piece; the first one about Richard Wagner:

When Europeans found themselves caught up in a drive to ‘emancipate’ the Jews, it wasn’t as a result of careful analysis of the possible positive or negative consequences of such an action. Rather, those involved were merely “champions of abstract principle.” Liberalism, argues Wagner, is “not a very lucid mental sport.” Liberalism relies on emotion and feelings, rather than rationality and facts. Europeans had been duped into fighting for the ‘freedom’ of a people “without knowledge of that people itself, nay, with a dislike of any genuine contact with it. … Our eagerness to level up the rights of Jews was far more stimulated by a general idea, than by any real sympathy.” Of course, the same argument might be made today in relation to the ‘refugee’ craze. Liberals are merely in love with the idea of helping migrants, rather than this being something they are genuinely emotional about. Liberalism, as Wagner rightly perceived, is the political expression of selfish emotionality. Aside from his musings on Liberalism, Wagner’s comments on Jews in culture are so profound and extensive that they cannot be adequately covered here. It simply remains to be said that Jewry in Music is an essential text, worthy of careful study.

This quote from Houston Stewart Chamberlain makes him look like a Cassandra!:

The end result of this [Judaization of the West] process will be apocalyptic: “If that were to go on for a few centuries, there would be in Europe only one single people of pure race, that of the Jews, all the rest would be a herd of pseudo-Hebraic mestizos, a people beyond all doubt degenerate physically, mentally and morally.”

About Kevin MacDonald, and contrary to popular opinion among white nationalist circles, Joyce says: “I can state with some confidence that Separation and Its Discontents has no equal.” (Curiously, in 2012 I wrote that Separation was my favorite of MacDonald’s trilogy.)

Although Joyce’s focuses on the Jewish Problem, he also hints to what I have been calling the Aryan Problem: a suicidal out-group altruism combined with bourgoise compliance among whites:

Fichte complained about “sugar-sweet words about toleration and human rights and civic rights,” which act only to facilitate the removal or downgrading of the rights of natives…

In particular, [Bauer] argued against the idea that ‘rights’ are innate, writing that they instead come with certain requirements and responsibilities…

Marr is also worth reading because of his focus on the inertia of the masses in the face of rising Jewish influence. For example, he finds it remarkable that Jews have been able to conquer entire national systems without violent revolution but instead “through the compliance of the people.”

I strongly recommend visitors of this site to send the links to Joyce’s article, divided in three parts (here, here and here), to those normies who know nothing about the Jewish Problem: it is a fascinating reading.



“One supreme fact which I have discovered is that it is not willpower, but fantasy and imagination that creates. Imagination is the creative force. Imagination creates reality.”

—Richard Wagner

Published in: on September 17, 2015 at 12:03 pm  Comments (15)  

Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 65



Night of 13th-14th January 1942

The composer Bruckner—Brahms at his height—Wagner and Goring—Great architects—Talent must be encouraged.
After a hearing of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony: This work is based on popular airs of upper Austria. They’re not textually reproduced, but repeatedly I recognise in passing Tyrolean dances of my youth. It’s wonderful what he managed to get out of that folklore. As it happened, it’s a priest to whom we must give the credit for having protected this great master. The Bishop of Linz used to sit in his cathedral for hours at a time, listening to Bruckner play the organ. He was the greatest organist of his day.

One can imagine this obscure peasant’s arrival in Vienna, amidst an effete society. One of Bruckner’s opinions of Brahms was published in a newspaper recently, and further increased the sympathy I felt for him: “Brahms’s music is very beautiful, but I prefer my own.” There you have the self-awareness, full both of humility and of pride, such as a peasant can feel, in all simplicity, when he is inspired by a true conviction. The critic Hanslick depicted Bruckner’s life in Vienna as a real hell for him. When the moment came when it was no longer possible to ignore his work, he was covered with decorations and overwhelmed with honours. What did all that mean to him? Wouldn’t it have been better not to have misunderstood him so long?

Jewry had raised Brahms to the pinnacle. He was lionised in the salons and was a pianist of theatrical gestures. He exploited effects of the hands, effects of the beard and hair. Compared with him, Bruckner was a man put out of countenance, an abashed man.

Wagner also had the feeling for gesture, but with him it was innate. Wagner was a man of the Renaissance—like Goring in a certain aspect (and it would be silly to blame him).

There is nothing crueller than to live in a milieu that has no understanding for a work already achieved or in process of gestation. When I think of a man like Schiller or Mozart! Mozart who was flung, nobody knows where, into a communal grave… What ignominy!

If I hadn’t been there to prevent it, I believe the same thing would have happened to Troost. That man revolutionised the art of building. Perhaps it would have taken a few years—and he’d have died without anyone having the slightest idea of his genius. When I got to know him, he was depressed, embittered, disgusted with life. It often happens that architects are hyper-sensitive people. Think merely of Hansen, who was the most richly gifted of the architects of Vienna. And Hasenauer? The critics had attacked him so savagely that he committed suicide before his great work was finished—and yet the Vienna opera-house, so marvellously beautiful, puts the Paris Opera into the shade. To know that one is capable of doing things that nobody else can do—and to have no possibility of giving proof of it!

It seems that people should make sacrifices for their great men as a matter of course. A nation’s only true fortune is its great men. A great man is worth a lot more than a thousand million in the State’s coffers. A man who’s privileged to be the Head of a country couldn’t make a better use of his power than to put it at the service of talent. If only the Party will regard it as its main duty to discover and encourage the talents! It’s the great men who express a nation’s soul.

Published in: on September 13, 2015 at 10:26 pm  Comments Off on Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 65  

Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 72



Night of 24th-25th January 1942

Origin of Tristan and Isolda—Cosima Wagner—Wahnfried—The Makart style—Bayreuth—On the Nuremberg Congress.
Whatever one says, Tristan is Wagner’s masterpiece, and we owe Tristan to the love Mathilde Wesendonck inspired in him. She was a gentle, loving woman, but far from having the qualities of Cosima. Nobody like Wagner has had the luck to be entirely understood by a woman. Those are things that life does not owe a man, but it’s magnificent when it happens.

Neither Mozart nor Beethoven, neither Schiller nor Goethe, have had a share of such happiness. In addition to all Wagner’s gifts, Cosima was femininity personified, and her charm had its effect on all who visited Wahnfried. After Wagner’s death, the atmosphere at Wahnfried remained what it had been during his lifetime. Cosima was inconsolable, and never ceased to wear mourning. She had wanted her own ashes to be scattered over her husband’s tomb, but she was refused this satisfaction.

Nevertheless, her ashes were collected in an urn, and this urn was placed on the tomb. Thus death has not separated these two beings, whom destiny had wished to live side by side! Wagner’s lifetime was also that of a man like Meyerbeer! Wagner is responsible for the fact that the art of opera is what it is to-day. The great singers who’ve left names behind became celebrated as interpreters of Wagner. Moreover, it’s since him that there have been great orchestra-leaders. Wagner was typically a prince. His house, Wahnfried, for example! It’s been said that the interior, in Makart style, was over-loaded.

But should a house be mistaken for a gallery of works of art? Isn’t it, above all, a dwelling, the framework for a private life, with its extensions and its radiance? If I possess a gallery of ancestors, should I discard it on the pretext that not all the pictures in it are masterpieces?

At the beginning of this century there were people called Wagnerians. Other people had no special name. What joy each of Wagner’s works has given me! And I remember my emotion the first time I entered Wahnfried. To say I was moved is an understatement! At my worst moments, they’ve never ceased to sustain me, even Siegfried Wagner. (Houston Stewart Chamberlain wrote to me so nicely when I was in prison.) I was on Christian-name terms with them. I love them all, and I also love Wahnfried.

So I felt it to be a special happiness to have been able to keep Bayreuth going at the moment of its discomfiture. The war gave me the opportunity to fulfil a desire dear to Wagner’s heart: that men chosen amongst the people—workers and soldiers—should be able to attend his Festival free of charge. The ten days of the Bayreuth season were always one of the blessed seasons of my existence.


And I already rejoice at the idea that one day I shall be able to resume the pilgrimage! The tradition of the Olympic Games endured for nearly a thousand years. That results, it seems to me, from a mystery similar to that which lies at the origin of Bayreuth. The human being feels the need to relax, to get out of himself, to take communion in an idea that transcends him. The Party Congress answers the same need, and that’s why for hundreds of years men will come from the whole world over to steep themselves anew, once a year, in the marvellous atmosphere of Nuremberg. They’ll come, and they’ll see side by side the proofs we shall have left of our greatness, and at the same time the memories of old Nuremberg.

On the day following the end of the Bayreuth Festival, and on the Tuesday that marks the end of the Nuremberg Congress, I’m gripped by a great sadness—as when one strips the Christmas tree of its ornaments.

Published in: on September 9, 2015 at 7:16 pm  Comments Off on Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 72  

Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 86



17th February 1942, evening

The birthplaces of great men.


It’s my view that, simply for the sake of their beauty, the great noblemen’s estates should be preserved. But they must retain their size, otherwise only the State would be capable of maintaining them as private country-houses. And the ideal thing is that they should remain not only in private hands, but also in the family that has traditionally lived in them—else they lose their character. Thus these great monuments of the past, which have retained their character as living organisms, are also centres of culture. But when the country-house is occupied by a caretaker acting as a guide, a little State official with a Bavarian or Saxon accent, who ingenuously recites his unvarying piece of claptrap, things no longer have a soul—the soul is gone.

Wahnfried, as in Wagner’s lifetime, is a lived-in house. It still has all its brilliance, and continues to give the effect of a lover. Goethe’s house gives the impression of a dead thing.

And how one understands that in the room where he died he should have asked for light—always more light! Schiller’s house can still move one by the picture it gives of the penury in which the poet lived.

Published in: on September 3, 2015 at 4:29 pm  Comments Off on Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 86