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Noon Edition

Wagner: Mastersinger of Nuremberg, Overture

When we think of Wagner, we generally don't think comedy. "The Meistersinger von Nürnberg" holds an odd place as the only comedy amongst Wagner's mature works, and is, in some ways, the exception that proves the rule. Although it is not a comedy in the ‘laugh-a-minute' sense, the realistic historical setting, lighter tone, and plot in which true love wins the day all make this a unique work. Unfortunately, the idea of "heimat" or "homeland," central to the plot, often defines itself as much by whom it excludes as who it includes. Several commentators have claimed that the character of Beckmesser, an artless, arrogantly pedantic singer, is an anti-Jewish caricature. Others have looked even more specifically into Beckmesser's character, finding connections to Wagner's enemy, Viennese music critic Eduard Hanslick.

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