Talk:Richard Wagner/Archive 10

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Archive 9 Archive 10 Archive 11


Tpbradbury has just downgraded this article to start class. Would he like to explain his reasons? --Kleinzach 11:51, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

I tried to move it to c-class but the Wagner project doesn't support that. I now see that project hasn't changed-up the b-class criteria like most projects. sorry, feel free to change back up to B for that project, Tom B (talk) 12:11, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
OK, but why did you want to change the assessment anyway? And why did you change the ratings on all the other banners? Did you read the assessment page before you did this? I see you haven't written anything there. --Kleinzach 14:03, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

antisemiti*, anti-semiti*, anti-Semiti*

We have all three floating around in this article and really need to standardise. Is this covered by WP:ENGVAR and its first come, first served principle,or do we standise to match the spelling of articles and categories?--Peter cohen (talk) 22:57, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

I think any of the three are acceptable, but I'd suggest standardising around antisemitism since that's how we do the article on the topic itself, as well as the category. Antandrus (talk) 23:00, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
I went ahead and did it ... if anyone objects let us know. I don't have a strong feeling either way, I just think it's good to be consistent. Cheers, Antandrus (talk) 00:25, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Well that was one of the options I suggested. So I'm not going to complain too loudly.--Peter cohen (talk) 08:46, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

This is not a forum for general discussion about the article's subject

Talk pages are solely for discussing improvements to the article, not for expressing personal views or posting essays on the article's subject or related topics, either positive or negative. I have deleted two such lengthy essays. To the editor who added them, please read Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. Thank you. Voceditenore (talk) 13:31, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Wagner's music in Nazi camps

I have removed for the article an assertion that it is a 'fact' that Wagner's music was performed in Nazi extermnation camps. I have seen allegations of this from time to time, but never accompanied by any documentary evidence. There was for example nothing about this in the very detailed and comprehensive exhibition about the Nazis and Music at the Paris Musee de la musique a few years ago (which had detailed coverage of life in the camps). Besides, the resources and organisation of the camps make it extremely unlikely that W's music was ever performed there. I suspect therefore that this story is in the nature of an urban legend, that has grown by suggestion. Can anyone suggest any references that could decide this one way or the other?--Smerus (talk) 10:34, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

  • see in this context here, unfortunately without any references.--Smerus (talk) 18:04, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
    • It may not be a reference, but in the recent BBC program called "Stephen Fry on Wagner" Fry interviewed a survivor of Auschwitz, a musician, and asked her this very question. She said unequivocally no, since they didn't have the resources to play Wagner in the camps.--Dogbertd (talk) 16:48, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

OK, I have now reworded the text to reflect the status quo. If any evidence on music being played at the death camps turns up, of course we will rewrite.--Smerus (talk) 17:08, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

I have restored this paragraph which was I think inadvisedly deleted - if it is read through I do not think it will appear self-contradictory in any way. The purpose is to lay to rest the 'urban legend' that Wagner's music was played in Nazi death camps during WWII (i.e. to accompany the deaths of Jews). There is not a shred of documentary or historical evidence for this. (See the references; the ORT citation is not scholastic, but it is only secondary, and there is no reason to rule it out, as it comes from a serious 'documentary' site - but deleting it would make no great difference to the reliability of the paragraph.) There is however evidence that Wagner's music was played to political prisoners in the (non-exterminatory) concentration camps of 1933/4.(which is also referenced). Hope this is clear, but I will try to rewrote if anyone thinks it necessary. Best - --Smerus (talk) 12:28, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

I was the user who pulled the paragraph. The reason for my doing so is that it seems to contradict itself, and part of it uses a non-scholarly source (ORT) as a reference. Please rewrite the section so it explains exactly what you've said here, which makes far more sense. As it stands, it will likely only contribute to rumor-mongering. :bloodofox: (talk) 12:59, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
OK, now reworded and with an additional citation of the allegation. By the way I wouldn't accept that ORT Holocaust music is not an acceptably scholarly website - see here the academics who wrote the articles it contains. It is no less - and no more - acceptable I think than any other informational website written by scholars. I don't think a website needs to have a university imprimatur to be accepted as a Wikipedia source. Best ---Smerus (talk) 17:23, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
My main complaint in using such a source is that it's not peer reviewed. However, for our purposes, I think that this is fine. Thanks for hearing me out. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:49, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

to featured status?

It could be nice to get this article up to featured article status. I have put in some material to try to make it more consecutive and to deal with some 'empty regions'. Probably the main drawbacks now are:

  • insufficient in-line citations, especially in the 'Life' section
  • more references needed in e.g.'Influence' where there are a number of statements about W's influence with no support
  • Clean up of the 'Films' section which is just a list and the 'popular music' sectionwhich seems rather random.

Any comments?--Smerus (talk) 19:11, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

  • i think it's a fine objective, but this article will need many more citations than at present before it can become a FA. There are long sections with almost no citations whatsoever. This will need quite a lot of work.--Dogbertd (talk) 22:19, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
  • OK I am starting now to add citations. Please everyone feel free to join in (i.e. HELLLLLP!!!)--Smerus (talk) 13:11, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
    • My activity has been somewhat reduced. I'll have a good read through during the week and see what I can do before the Proms start. Anyone else goign to the Mastersingers on Saturday?--Peter cohen (talk) 22:37, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
  • er - will this do?--Smerus (talk) 13:05, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
    • No, "The Ring of the Nibelungs" was totally unacceptable. ;-) I've started working through the article and am copy editing and adding in alt text - an FA requirement - as I go. The other criteria need considering before going to peer review, but this is the one I've run into in the past.--Peter cohen (talk) 20:01, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
      • oops! I will withdraw while you plough on.....I thought about Mastersingers on Saturday by the way, but will probably take it on the radio --Smerus (talk) 20:28, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
        • Right, I've now completed proof-reading the first part of the article up to the end of the biographical sections, including regularising the citation formats in the footnotes. I plan to look at the rest tomorrow.
        • You therefore won't have edit clashes with me if you stick to that half of the article. It would certainly be helpful if you check note 62. I doubt that book has that number of pages.
        • It's a pity you won't be at Mastersingers, but maybe you'll make some other prom.--Peter cohen (talk) 22:52, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Also before we go for FA one of us needs to check whether there were any points from when status was down-graded that we didn't address then.--Peter cohen (talk) 22:55, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Are you referring to the last attempt at FA status, or is there something else to look at as well?--Smerus (talk) 14:13, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
    • It looks like I was mistaken. I thought this article was a former FA that had been delisted. The last failure is worth a look, but the criteria have got more stringent in the several years since then. I think that at least two of Kleinzach, GT and I should also have rated it and provide comments when we were grading all the Wagner project articles.

(Here we are Talk:Richard Wagner/Comments.

    • It's worth considering those before going for peer review. I'm not sure how much you have changed. If there's a lot to do, we could go for GA in the mean time. Many reviewers do provide input that's helpful before goign for PR/FAC. I've more experience of GA than FA-assessments. The most common issues for decent articles at GA are to do with poor referencing, the lead paragraph not fully summarising the article and with the copyright disclaimers for the pictures. The first of these has obviously been adressed, though I am slightly apprehansive that soemoen will be picky about your article beign used. I can consider the other points when I finish sweeping the rest of the content.--Peter cohen (talk) 15:46, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I've now copy edited all the main text. Still have footnotes from 133 and the afterf material to look at. With respect to GA requirements, the lede is somewhat out of step with the article. In particular chromaticism is mentioned in the leded but not in the article. I suggest another sentence on Tristan in the works section. And if something can be found on the use of chromatacism versus diatonicism in Parsifal, that would be good. I've still to check the copyright status of the pictures. If people are interested in going for GA as an interim step, then the waiting list for musical items seems to be about a month on average which is not too bad.
  • My thoughts for FA: I think a bit more could be said on Mastersingers in the works section. Something on how with Tristan and Mastersingers, RW learnt to play leitmotifs in parallel and that this was one of the big difference in the prelude of Siegfried Act 3 compared with what had gone before. There are also the other approaches to the ring looking at middle structures or seeing the whole as a symphony.
  • The racism and anti-Semitism stuff might be better structured. Or at least the headings thought out. Ditto how to structure the later operas with Tristan and Mastersingers appearing in the middle of the Ring stuff.
  • We've got enough pictures, but there's no harm in adding one of Ludwig II and one of the House on the Green Hill. I would also expect some musical files in a musical FA. Some other articles include Wagner extracts. Several famous European recordings are over 50 years old and should be out of copyright but we need to check on exactly what's allowable.
  • There's a tool that appears automatically in the corner of peer reviews that checks for dead links etc. We'll need to deal with that at soem time.
  • I'm busy Friday and probably won't have time Saturday to finish my copy-editing of the notes and other support material. Might be able to check Sunday. Otherwise early in the week.--Peter cohen (talk) 23:27, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

I think I've attempted all or most of the above now (except for the musical files). Are we OK to go for GA now? and if so, er, how do we do that?--Smerus (talk) 18:35, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

I think the article is ready for review. However, if you haven't already, you should take a look at the criteria (Wikipedia:Good article criteria). When you're ready to list it for review, you simply follow the instructions on this page: Wikipedia:Good article nominations. :bloodofox: (talk) 23:11, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I've put a nomination in. This is the only classical music article in the list of music noms which is roughly a month long. I've still got to finish checking the footnotes and the source/reading list section. I'm hoping to get that done before the GA reviewer turns up. Progress is a bit eratic because of my Proms attendance and a job application earlier this week. In any case it's more likely to be picked. The main GA issue might be the lead section. I've shoved a couple of references to chromaticism into the body of the text as this would certainlly have been raised.--Peter cohen (talk) 23:46, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I've now fixed all the footnotes and I've inserted a load of ndashes instead of hyphens while I'm at it. Next project is making the format of the Source section as uniform as possible. After that, I will be looking again at what Kleinzach and GA suggested in their review. And then a read through with FA not GA in mind.--Peter cohen (talk) 20:58, 28 July 2010 (UTC)


The lead should be limited to four paragraphs to conform with WP:LEAD. Hekerui (talk) 08:01, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Well spotted. Now 4.--Peter cohen (talk) 10:59, 3 August 2010 (UTC)


I have amended a clutch of typos, but have refrained from altering the incorrect "diaphonous" to "diaphanous", as it is within a quotation and may perhaps be what the author actually wrote. "Antisemitism" appears both with and without a hyphen - consistency wanted. And there are some quotations in single quotes that I think should be looked at and probably Wikified with double quotes.

More generally, there is some inconsistency between English and American spellings ("realised", "centres", "colouring" etc -v- "anglicization", "jeopardizing", "behavior" etc.) Whether you prefer the English or the American spelling, you should be consistent throughout. (Happy to do a thorough copy-edit for this, if wanted.)

A very fine article, which, me judice, should have no trouble at GA and has all the hallmarks of a Featured Article. Best of luck! — Tim riley (talk) 00:57, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your help and your confidence! --Smerus (talk) 16:59, 23 August 2010 (UTC)


1.The article lacks enough sources before the tabel of contents.Is this knowledge divenly given somehow? 2.The article fails to make clear the way in which the period he lived in shaped wagner. 3.The article is too short for such a major figure. 4.The article is lacking in large part enough talk of how he influenced music. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikimakesmart (talkcontribs)

Cites are not required in the lead, since it summarizes what appears later in the body of the article. Some people put them in, and often consensus makes it necessary, particularly with controversial topics. Antandrus (talk) 02:30, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Addressing 3 and 4 -- the article is almost 90K -- about the length where articles typically spin off satellite articles on subtopics. Is "Influence and legacy" not substantial enough? It's almost half of the article. Could be longer, as Wagner's influence was more massive than just about any 19th-century figure in the arts, but as a proportion of article length it seems about right. Anything specific that needs to be added? Antandrus (talk) 02:35, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

'Jewish friends'

Two editors have suggested adding after the final sentence in the header to the present article sometting to the effect that 'nevertheless Wagner had many Jewish friends'. Whilst this is true, (and who hasn't 'got Jewish friends'? - it is almost a cliche excuse given by a Jew-hater) it hardly exonerates Wagner's anti-Jewish writings, and therefore the statement is a bit bathetic in this place. Moreover, Wagner's Jewish friends are not so significant a part of his life as to warrant a place in the article header summary; unless anyone can produce any evidence, they had no major effect so far as I am aware on his artistic development, his love affairs, his political activities etc. As Wagner's Jewish conections are mentioned in the article itself in a more appropriate context, that ought to suffice.--Smerus (talk) 14:47, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree. This section is about his reputation. Having anti-semitic theories has affected that. Having some Jewish pals does not really affect matters. In any case, they were mostly professional contacts rather than close personal friends. Paul B (talk) 15:00, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm not wild about the phrasing but we do need to look at this. Having Jewish friends - some of them close - is significant for someone who is called an anti-semite. Its not a claim he made (Your cliche excise point is not appropriate Smerus and unhelpful). The lede is meant to summarise the main article and at the moment its unbalanced. --Snowded TALK 15:25, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Which ones were close? Hermann Levi? He was a colleague and admirer, certainly. I don't know what you mean by 'it's not a claim he made'. Do you mean he didn't claim to be anti-semitic. I'd say he clearly did. Paul B (talk) 16:13, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Lehrs and others (its referenced there in the main body of the article. My other point wast that I am pretty sure he never said "I have Jewish friends therefore I am not an anti-semite" per Smerus inappropriate jew-hater" comment above. --Snowded TALK 21:36, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Before this gets out of hand, I never claimed that Wagner said anything of the sort. I only meant to emphasise that having Jewish friends, or claiming to have them, is not an exoneration for Jew-hatred in any form. The comment that W. had such friends was therefore irrelevant in the circumstances. Lehrs and others are mentioned in the article, but their influence on Wagner is not assessed in the article because no one has demonstrated that they had any such influence. The only Jewish dimension apparent in Wagner's intellectual or emotional development seems to be his Jew-hatred. --Smerus (talk) 22:06, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I do have a problem with this passage on Die Meistersinger: "because of its strong German nationalist overtones, it is also held up by some as an example of Wagner's reactionary politics and antisemitism." Since there are no Jewish characters and no reference to Judaism, I fail to see how it can be antisemitic. this seems to be a very fringy claim. I do know that there are suggestions that Beckmesser is, in some sense, an anti-Jewish caricature, but this suggestion always seems to be based on a circular argument: Beckmesser is the villain; Wagner was antisemitic, therefore Beckmesser is "Jewish" (even though he isn't). Paul B (talk) 17:41, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually whilst I personally agree with you to some extent, it is made clear (I wrote this bit of the article) that these views are 'held by some' and I did give a citation for this. The views are out there and are held by respectable sources, so it is I think appropriate to mention them. --Smerus (talk) 22:00, 29 August 2010 (UTC)


I'm no veteran in writing great composer's pages, but shouldn't there be an infobox here? it seems like all the info should be there just to compile --Andy (talk) 20:11, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:WikiProject Classical music/Style guidelines, section 1. Biographical infoboxes. Greetz . --Francesco Malipiero (talk) 21:27, 12 September 2010 (UTC)


The article currently states that Donington produced 'a detailed, if controversial, Jungian interpretation' - it would be useful to substantiate the 'controversial' with some idea of what was controversial, with (if possible) a footnote to some further reading on the controversy.

By the way, there is a 'Donnington' with a double 'n' referred to in the footnotes ... is this a typing error? Stumps (talk) 03:05, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Piano SonataS (plural)

The article mentions Wagner's one and only piano sonata, while in fact he wrote at least FIVE. Three of them, WWVs 21, 26, and 85 are still around and available in a recording that I have. I'm actually listening to the CD as I type this. I believe that the earliest two that he wrote are lost, or at the least they're not included in my "complete piano works of Richard Wagner". Wikipedia is contradicting itself here, as the article listing his works (/wiki/List_of_compositions_by_Richard_Wagner) gives five piano sonatas in the catalog: WWVs 2, 5, 21, 26, and 85. The Wagner article needs to be corrected, as right now it contains a piece of false information. Because of the wording, I'm not exactly sure how to correct it. WHICH piano sonata is it referring to of the four early ones? Was it WWV.26 in A Major? But that wasn't even the first that was published (Wagner's Op.1 was WWV.21 in B-Flat, his third known piano sonata). Smyslov (talk) 18:40, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

B flat first pblished, as you say - now edited, and other corrections made. Thanks for pointing this out.--Smerus (talk) 05:47, 29 October 2010 (UTC)