You are here

Event Date: 
Saturday, November 18, 2017 -
1:00pm to 3:00pm

November 18th 2017 - 1:00 p.m.

3200 California Street
San Francisco, CA
The famous letter of 7 April 1858 that precipitated Wagner's exile from the Wesendonck estate, where he had settled in hopes of composing Tristan und Isolde, is less a love-letter than a disquisition on the composer's views on Goethe's Faust with regard to his own notions of "redemption through love."  This talk tries to interpret Wagner's remarks in that letter in connection with the endings of Tristan and Götterdämmerung (the Liebestod or Transfiguration and Brünnhilde's Immolation scene).  Dr. Grey will discuss how both of these famous Wagnerian "redemptive" endings can be viewed as responses to, or even "corrections" of, the conclusion of Goethe's dramatic poem, with its famous lines about "the eternal-feminine" that leads Faust's spirit "beyond" (that is, "redeems" him).  In addition to re-reading those Wagnerian endings in light of Goethe's Faust, Grey will also discuss the role of the Mathilde affair in the genesis of these works, and how Wagner needed to construct her as both muse and "redeeming" feminine ideal.
Dr. Thomas Grey, PhD  hods his degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Grey is currently a Professor of Musicology and by courtesy, German Studies at Stanford University. He currently serves on Editorial/advisory boards for Cambridge Opera Journal, Nineteenth-Century Music Review and  Wagner Spectrum. Grey received grants from DAAD (1985); Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities (Fellow 1986-87); National Endowment for the Humanities (1993); Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung (2005, 1994). Dr. Grey has also serves as Visiting Assoc. Prof., University of California, Berkeley (2005) and Visiting Asst. Professor in Music, UCLA, 1988-89.
Members are free. Guests are welcome, a $10 donation is suggested