Dreams and the Shock of the New: The Genesis of The Rite of Spring

The ballet The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky (1882 – 1971) is one of the most famous and influential pieces in twentieth century music. It sparked a furore on its first performance in Paris in 1913, owing its startling, coruscating score and the controversial theme of a pagan sacrificial rite. It has nevertheless become…

Dreams and Poetic Inspiration in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Sunny, warm, mellifluous and comic are not words one immediately associates with Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883) but these are entirely appropriate for his late opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg which combines philosophical reflections on art and life with a comedic plot and witty, masterly orchestral writing. It is an opera in which dream – and, prefiguring Freud, dream interpretation – play a central role.