Spring is coming and with it the need for sexual pleasure. The German composer Richard Wagner understood that better than anyone – and yet he felt ashamed of his lust, living in a conservative society. That is why his music became his own area of sexual freedom.
Denmark’s very best expert on Wagner is the retired lawyer Henrik Nebelong. He is not afraid to give his view on how Wagner’s falling in love with his elder sister has developed the composer’s ambivalent relationship to the female body; as the very best and still most horrifying object, all to be heard in his famous pieces of music.
In Wagner’s world all the best parts are hidden from what eye will obviously see … Forbidden attractions is concealed behind masks of glamour at parties, the intense search for “the Holy Grail” (female sex) and the (presumably) innocent sounds of music with feminine strings and masculine horns sharing their common climax. However, most thought-provoking is his critics of the industrial society – which he witnessed and hated for all the time and effort spent at work, which caused a great deal of unreleased love. Does that ring a scary bell to modern times?
The afternoon’s lecture was kindly hosted by Rigshospitalet. Normally, this enormous hospital would not be your number one place to go if you feel like having fun, but the staff at the hospital are actually quite happy to open their doors to curious culture-searchers. For free.