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It was precisely this fact that maddened the older men and their friends. Another discomforting circumstance was Wagner's intense Germanism. He was not content to claim Germany for the Germans: he claimed all Europe, or at least all European art, for the Germans.

Eduard von Hartmann, in his recent work, "Die Philosophie des Schönen," has some just remarks on Wagner's mistake in making his operas so long that conductors are obliged to use the red pencil, which is not always done intelligently; whereas if he himself had undertaken the task of condensing his works their organic unity might have been preserved.

In spite of the acknowledged success of 'Rienzi, Wagner's enemies were never tired of repeating that, like Monteverde, he had invented a new system because he could not manipulate the old. It seems hardly possible to us that musicians could ever have been found to deny that the composer of 'Die Meistersinger' was a consummate master of counterpoint.

All this we took in at a look, and without any break in the talk, taking us back as it did to the day when we bade good-by to the college and its professors, and shook hands with each other for the last time. Looking into Wagner's face it did not seem so long ago; while I, floating round the world, had gathered experience enough to make me feel, if not look, something older.

There is something of the same universal tenderness, the same religious linking together of all the world, in some vague enough, but very beautiful, Pantheism. I think it is beside the question to discuss how far Wagner's intentions were technically religious: how far Parsifal himself is either Christ or Buddha, and how far Kundry is a new Magdalen.

No doubt Rosa Sucher's idea of the part was Wagner's idea at one moment of his life. Wagner was a man with hundreds of ideas; he tried them all, retaining some and discarding others. Some half-dozen have fixed themselves immutably in certain minds, and an undue importance is given to them, an importance that Wagner would never have allowed.

According to Wagner's own account he made a handsome bid for success; for nearly all the dramatis-personæ came to an untimely end, and a spectre told one, not yet finished off, that if he moved another step his nose would then and there crumble to powder.

Viola was delighted; her keen ear enjoyed the unusual sound. "Oh, Trevor, that repeated note, how glorious it is! It reminds me of a sustained note in Wagner's Festpiel. I do wish they'd go on." She seated herself by the window listening with rapture in her eyes.

I have so often insisted on the pictorial power of Wagner's music, that, save for one quality of the pictures in the "Ring," and especially in "Siegfried," it would be unnecessary to say more about it now. That quality is their old-world atmosphere, their power of filling us with a sense of the old time before us.

Unfortunately, there are only a few artists as yet who have sufficiently caught Wagner's intentions to be able to sing in this manner. Carl Hill, who created the part of the magician Klingsor at the Parsifal Festival, in 1882, was one of these exceptions.