Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The land without Wagner

In The Wall Street Journal, Terry Teachout revists Israel's 60-year-old informal ban on performances of Wagner.

Considering the composer's own anti-Semitic ravings, long predating the Wagner cult of Hitler and the Nazis, "I do think it fitting that there should be one place in the world where Wagner's music is not played in public solely because of the hateful ideas of the man who wrote it. . . . Israel's Wagner ban serves as a still-useful reminder that ideas have consequences – and that those who spread evil ideas should be held responsible for their evil consequences. Even geniuses," Teachout writes: