I'm sure you'll like this:
How about this:
Can't forget this:
So I say lots of people are making that now. Most of those clips have dragged the music out of the movie, but I think that's similar to playing the overture there without the rest of the opera.
But let's consider Wagner again: Listen to Tannhauser, and you're listening to 1845.
Let's go back a bit:
That's 1724. And I'm going to make a wild ass guess and say Wagner never heard that. But you just did. (Maybe Wagner did hear that, but I betting not because I don't think anyone was playing the Viola de Gamba in 1845 in Germany, in a style of music written a century earlier, in France, for a French King.)
And why did you hear that? Its the technology.
Let's go back another 100 years:
I wonder if Wagner ever heard Monteverdi. Anybody know if Monteverdi got performed in mid 19th century Germany?
And go back even earlier:
I'm sure Wagner never heard that. But now we have.
Now watch these guys mash it up:
Looks pretty fearless too. I wonder what they've heard that influenced and inspired them and how they heard it--and who are they going to inspire someday? Sure, it isn't Wagner, but hell, he was a genius. I bet if Wagner was alive today he'd be making films.
Its the technology part everybody misses here. Its part of the problem with 'classical' music in the 20th century. The original article walked right past it:
We all know that the invention of recorded sound around 1900 made possible an extraordinary dissemination of the riches of the classical repertoire – largely composed for the rich and powerful – to the mass of ordinary people. On the gramophone, the radio, television and, subliminally and hence more powerfully, through the movies, the classical sound in all its variants (even the supposedly rebarbative confections of the Second Viennese School) has insinuated itself into the culture at large. Never before have so many people listened to, or liked, so-called classical music. Yet this extraordinary triumph has culminated in a malaise, a feeling, widespread in the musical profession and elsewhere, that classical music is in crisis and that things have never been so bad. Classical music feels abandoned, left behind as history has moved on, sulking in its tent as the real cultural action happens somewhere else.(emphasis mine)
Through the technology, everything old is new again. There is so much of it, that one could not listen to it all. And because we are all different, we can now follow our different likes. And through the technology, we don't have to go to an opera house to listen to Piercello play Tannhauser. We can record him and listen to him while typing our blog posts.
So what's been lost? Its not so much lost as it is found. We as listeners have access to all styles of music from all history now. And other cultures too. All because of the technology.
Grim asks "Where are the geniuses like Wagner now?" Which is a fair question (although I'd not call it a "problem" per se).
I don't have a answer, only a hunch. And that hunch is that those geniuses are out there, but they're doing something else. What? well, what ever they want to. The time and place that Wagner grew up in was a more circumscribed culture than was now exists in nearly any Western country Maybe any country. Perhaps he's playing on his xbox right now. I'm not sure.
As to what happened in the 20th century--well, there were close to 100 million people killed off before their time, and who knows what they would have done. Those thread were snipped. One cannot know what would have happened.
Also, musical tastes and forms have changed. Wagner was writing for an orchestra, which is just one kind of musical form. When Piercello gets back, perhaps he can give us some idea of how that has changed over the years.
Or take Jordi Savall, the guy in that video you so liked. He's not composing anything new, he's reviving old stuff. he maybe arranging it, and intrepreting it, but its not really the creation of "new" music, the way it would be if he say, wrote an new opera about the Reconquista or something, even if was in the style of Monteverdi. And that idea there, the revival of the old--especially in terms of music developed in the last century, and to my observation that was new. Before, the old went out style and stayed that way, for the most part.
I googled this phrase: "revival of ancient music" and look what popped up:
WASHINGTON LIKES OLD TUNES.; A Revival of Ancient Strauss Music Due to Mrs. McKinley. (Open the .pdf file) That was in 1899, and Strauss' "Blue Danube" is described as "Ancient". (And notice that the Marine band was chucking Tannhauser aside to play Blue Danube). The New York Times thought it was noteworthy enough to comment on it. Think about that for a minute.
And if this wikipedia article on Early Music Revival is anywhere near accurate, although it started in the 19th century, it seems to have taken off with the advent of recording, and is described as 'fully underway' in the 1950's. When you could record anything you'd ever want to record. To reiterate: this had to have an effect on 'new' music.