Death in Venice

In the third volume of his memoirs, An Orderly Man (1983), the actor Dirk Bogarde tells the story of the first screening for Warner Bros. studio executives of the film Death in Venice, directed by Luchino Visconti. Naturally they were curious to see how their money had been spent.

Transfigured Night

During his years of permanent exile in America, Arnold Schoenberg (1874 – 1951) once remarked “There is nothing I long for more intensely than to be taken for a better sort of Tchaikovsky. People should know my tunes and whistle them”.

The Four Temperaments

The Danish composer Carl Nielsen (1865 – 1931) once noticed a panel of four amateurishly coloured pictures hanging on the wall of a village inn. “I laughed out loud and belittled these pictures”, he later recalled “but my mind constantly returned to them … these crude pictures contained some type of seed or idea”. His…

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.