Samtag, 4th (January 1919)

What a surprise this Rhine climate has been – the people say it hardly ever snows.  Not being myself, I saw Dr., and he has given me orders to starve and keep quiet.  I have been treated to a delicious draught of castor oil, and have a box of pills for future reference.

9 p.m.  Back from the Flying Dutchman.  Being seedy and sitting next to a Canadian ass who made long remarks in the midst of the performance, I could not give it my best attention.  The scenery in the first and third acts was amazing and, the music was no means behind it; tremendous bursts and crashings upon the unready ear, weird winding undercurrents of meaningful harmony – delightful and unexpected melodies – all Wagnerian, yet with an element of immaturity.  One requires several hearings to properly appreciate these works.

3 thoughts on “Samtag, 4th (January 1919)”

  1. How much opera could Lee have possibly heard in New Zealand before the war? He seems to know and appreciate a wide variety of music.

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  2. I am not sure. There were gramophones of course, and likely Wellington and Auckland had Opera performances, as well as general classical concerts. It is not something I know anything about – although come to think of it, there is someone I know who probably does. I’ll ask.

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    1. I would not want to suffer through a Wagnerian opera on an early gramophone. At a couple of minutes per disc side or cylinder that is a lot of flipping!

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