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Views 2012

Siegfried's Native Town by Frederick Engels In Works Of Frederick Engels, 1840

Written: in November 1840, First published: in Telegraph fur Deutschland No. 197, December 1840. Signed: Friedrich Oswald (a pseudonym for Engels at a time when he needed to be careful about the political and punitive implications of publishing radical material). This fascinating account of Engels' visit to the Rhineland home of the Siegfried of the Nibelungenlied gives us a colourful picture of the lands and towns of the area. But, the essay also reminds us that the Siegfried legend was alive and well at the time that Wagner was working up his sketches - note the date of the essay. Wagner was still in Paris at this time and working on Rienzi and Der fliegende Hollander, but also talking about Germanic myths and legends with fellow Germans Heinrich Heine and Ferdinand Lehrs, both of whom he met in Paris.

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The Humour Of The Underman And Other Essays By Francis Grierson - Terence Watson

(London: Stephen Swift & Co., Ltd, 1911 - available in an e-book version at www.archive.org: www.archive.org/search.php?query=humour%20underman%20AND%20mediatype%3Atexts ). The following essay, The Wagnerian Riddle, is a provocative and interesting response from someone who is clearly impressed and moved by Wagner's works, but who is also worried about the power of his music in particular - a concern shared by many in the years before and after Wagner's death. Grierson was also a very talented musician (pianist) who clearly appreciated the subtleties of Wagner's music. He also became a renowned spiritualist, which gives his views on the mystical elements in Wagner's opera a thought-provoking twist. There is a short biographical note on Grierson at the end of this essay.

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Solti's The Ring Takes Top Spot as The Greatest Recording Ever! - Katie French

Enthusiastic readers of the December Newsletter would have been intrigued by the inclusion of a small 'Question and Answer' section which asked 'How many copies of Georg Solti's Ring have been sold?' The stunning answer was '18 million'!

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The Year my Voice Broke - Lisa Gasteen

The Australian Financial Review and is reproduced with permission. The article has been shortened in response to space requirements in the Newsletter.

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