The German Hour
The Radio Program with a Difference
The German Hour brings you 'Richard Wagner a Legend' in German language. G.Y. Land made extensive research about the composer and his life that often was marred by his mental state. A rather dubious affair was his relationship with the Bavarian King Ludwig. The rather mentally ill King supported the works of Richard Wagner and found a close associate in Wagner. The pompous and ostentatious Operas and other works by Wagner have been used by the German Nazis to promote German ancient history and mythology. Here we can see a clear character similarity between Wagner, King Ludwig and the megalomaniac Adolf Hitler. From a psychological viewpoint Richard Wagner, King Ludwig, and Mr Hitler were rather week personalities suffering from some state of manic depression.
When thinking about the works of Richard Wagner the best know work is ' Der Ring der Nibelungen' and The Ring Cycle. The entire Ring Cycle is made up of four operas combined and it takes agonising 18 hours to listen and it is a pain to endure when sitting on the uncomfortable chairs at the Bayreuth Wagner Opera House that was designed by the composer. The music is not only a pleasant torture but also the set up of the Opera House is rather Spartan. The seats are made without upholstery and from bare wood. This said Wagener to gain the best acoustics for the large stage and the seats were designed to force the listener to concentrate at the happening on stage. In other words the visitor is engulfed in musical agony and you can believe me so it is.
Spartan Seats and Simplicity at Wagner Festspielhaus
The Bayreuth Festival is an international event to be attended and to be seen. Kings and Queens, Industrials, Politicians, Movie Stars and also high level Criminals are participating not the scene on stage but the theatre around Wagner and his faithful followers. Every year as a young person I had the misfortune to visit the Festspiele unwillingly together with my foster-family . There are only two opinion about the music and the personality of Richard Wagner: either you like it or you don't. I personally belong to the latter ones.
Participants in this Broadcast are:
Jochen Stossberg, CEO Deutsche Gramophon-Universal-Philips, Wolfgang Meissner, Director Goethe Institute, Wolfgang Wiethoff, Culture Attaché German Embassy, Prof. G.Y. Land, Host, Author and Producer of the Program. Technical supervision and intro Dr. M.A. Hannah. The Program was broadcasted on the 360 Radio Stations of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, CBAA, University Radio, Berlin, Germany, and worldwide syndicated Radio Stations via COMRADSAT Satellite. The 'German Hour' is available on CD and Cassette at the Library of the Goethe Institute and via the RMP website on the Internet.
Wagner Festival House at Bayreuth, Bavaria, Germany