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The Opera
A Sketch of the Development of Opera. With full Descriptions of all Works in the Modern Repertory.

written by "Streatfeild, R. A. (Richard Alexander), 1866-1919"
...rn it in time for the contest. Eva now comes in under the pretence of something being amiss with one of her shoes, and, while Sachs is setting it right, Walther sings her the last verse of his dream-song. The scene culminates in an exquisite quintet in which David and Magdalena join, after which they all go off to the festivities in a meadow outside the town. There, after much dancing and merry-making, the singing contest comes off. Beckmesser tries to sing Walther's words to the melody of his own serenade, the result being such indescribable balderdash that the assembled populace hoots him down, and he rushes off in confusion, Walther's turn then comes, and he sings his song with such success that the prize is awarded to him with acclamation. He wins his bride, but he will have nothing to say to the Mastersingers and their pedantry, until Hans Sachs has shown him that in them lies the future of German art. Although it contains comic and even farcical scenes, 'Die Meistersinger' is in fact not so much a comedy as a satire, with a vein of wise and tender sentiment running through it. It has also to a certain extent the interest of autobiography. It is not difficult to read in the story of Walther's struggles against the prejudice and pedantry of the Mastersingers a suggestion of Wagner's own life-history, and if Beckmesser represents the narrow malice of critics who are themselves composers—and these were always Wagner's bitterest enemies—Sachs may stand for the enlightened public, which was the first to appreciate the nobility of the composer's aim. It is not surprising that 'Die Meistersinger' was one of the first of Wagner's mature works to win general appreciation. The exquisite songs, some of them easily detachable from their context, scattered lavishly throughout the work, together with the important share of the music allotted to the ...

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