The Wagner Was An Anti Semite Essays

1975 Words Sep 28th, 2016 8 Pages
A majority of people seem to agree the Wagner was an anti-Semite. Among those people, a debate has emerged as to the place of Wagner’s music in our current society. Over the course of this essay I attempt to make sense of this debate and try come to a conclusion about what place Wagner’s music should have in the 21st Century. At the same time, I am to provide context by noting his impact on music and looking toward Israel where the topic of Wagner’s music seems to be most controversial.
Despite the general consensus that he was an anti-Semite, many people still try to down play his racism and try offer an alternative explanation. Several of these usually involve people bringing up his many Jewish friends, claiming that his Neue Zeitschrit für Musik is simply a jealous reaction to operatic triumphs of Jewish composer Giacomo Meyerbeer (jewishvirtuallibrary). Of course, he didn’t have to mention anything about race. It is known that Parsifal was conducted by Hermann Levi who was a German Jew, and that Wagner had some close ties to Jewish people. However, having these relationships does not necessarily mean Wagner was more or less anti-Semitic. Another idea which downplayed his racism, albeit, while he was still alive was to say that Wagner’s hatred of Jews was really in response to his money problems, Jewish debt collectors, and some sort of hidden Jewish ancestry [pg 10 Richard Wagner’s “Jewish Music”: Antisemitism and] however, even if this is true, it does not take away…

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