September 5th, 2012Wagner, Wotan, and Christby Joseph Pearce
I'd like to draw attention to an excellent comment by Mark to my post "The Peace that Parsifal Understanding" (August 31st). Mark questions my assertion that Wagner was a Christian and goes on to quote Roger Scruton to buttress the more conventional image of Wagner as a humanist whose adherence to Christianity was tenuous and heretical. Scruton's comments are applicable to the earlier Wagner who wrote the Ring Cycle and Tristan und Isolde whereas my post was specifically about Wagner's last opera, Parsifal, which is indubitably pro-Christian and indeed implicitly pro-Catholic in its positive allusions to the consecration of the Mass. The fact that Nietzsche publicly disowned Wagner and attacked him in the wake of the composition of Parsifal indicates Nietzshe's opposition to Wagner's late embrace of Christianity.
In my humble opinion, Wagner is perhaps the greatest musical genius of the nineteenth century. It is, therefore, gratifying that his God-given gifts were finally put at the service of the Giver of all creativie gifts.