Echi di Tasso. Wagner a Venezia tra proiezioni e realtà
Among the self-elected Venetians who continue to fuel the myth of the gondoliers and their marvellous singing is Richard Wagner; perpetuated from the times of Rousseau and Goethe, this myth recurs in sublimated form even in Tristan. The romantic and decadent image of musical loneliness in the nocturnal silence of the Grand Canal emerges from the writings of Wagner and his cultural milieu, as also from compositions here analysed in the context of his death in Venice: an example is Franz Liszt’s La Lugubre Gondola. Contrasting with this myth are the vitality of musical life in Venice and its commercial aspects, as documented in contemporary newspapers by the programmes of serenate on the Grand Canal and concerts in Piazza San Marco, often attended by Wagner. In this context, the tradition of the barcarole takes its place alongside the well-known melodies of Wagner’s operas.