In this programme
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Books on Wagner are plentiful, but the saga of the Wagner family continues at Bayreuth today and writers persist in revisiting the legendary Wagner history. In the latest of these reassessments, John Deathridge attempts to move the story forward and he explains his new findings to Tom Service.
Bayreuth festival-watcher Shirley Apthorp also joins Tom on the telephone from Germany to update him on the current state of play at the Wagner festival as the announcement of Wolfgang Wagner's successor approaches and Bayreuth joins the digital age in offering a live webcast of a performance of Katharina Wagner's controversial production of Die Meistersinger.
John Deathridge: Wagner- Beyond Good and Evil, pub. University of California Press, h.b. £23.95.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of Arnold Dolmetsch's birth. Dolmetsch is a name best known through the Dolmetsch recorders. However, Arnold devoted his life to reviving instruments and repertoires that were previously the preserve of antiquarianism. Born in France, his workshop and home for the last years of his life was in Haslemere, Surrey, where the Dolmetsch dynasty continues today. Tom visits the house to meet Dolmetsch's twin grand-daughters, Jeanne and Marguerite, along with Marguerite's husband, Brian Blood. Together, they keep the traditions of the Dolmetsch family going and reveal an immense pride in the incredible achievements of their ancestor.
With specially recorded musical illustration from Jeanne and Marguerite Dolmetsch and Brian Blood.
Love and Other Demons
Glyndebourne and BBC Radio 3 have co-commissioned a new opera from Hungarian composer Peter Eotvos, based on Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel Of Love and Other Demons. It's a tale of forbidden love between a young girl and the priest who is sent to exorcise her after she is bitten by a rabid dog and is supposedly possessed by demons. But it is soon the demon of love that possesses both of them.
The opera premieres in August, so Tom visits Glyndebourne during the early stages of rehearsals to talk with Eotvos, conductor Vladimir Jurowski and singers Marisol Montalvo and Nathan Gunn about the new production.
You can see Love and Other Demons in one of eight performances at Glyndebourne, 10th-30th August 2008, and hear it on BBC Radio 3's Opera on 3 in the Autumn.
Music Matters returns after the Proms on Saturday 13th September 2008.