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Sunday, September 01, 2013


"Tannhauser" is an opera written by Richard Wagner, the German composer who some say was the greatest composer who ever lived. While I disagree with that assessment, the opening instrumental overture to this piece is, indeed, one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written.

In his personal life Wagner was a complicated man, to say the least. He is also known for his antisemitism, although he had many Jewish friends and supporters. But as with all great compositions, one must separate the composers from the works that proceeded from their pens. The greatness in those works often far exceed and overshadow the personal issues of the individuals who wrote them.

I am convinced that great music such as this can help bring some sanity back to a world in chaos. Listen to it. You might be touched.

This is Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra in their amazing rendition of Wagner's Tannhauser. Click here to go directly to YouTube if the embedded video below does not work.

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