Mark Twain, who thought that "Wagner's music is better than it sounds," humbly proposed to improve the master's operas by performing them in the manner of pantomime plays.
Mark Twain on Parsifal:
The entire overture, long as it was, was played to a dark house with the curtain down. It was exquisite; it was delicious. But straightway thereafter, or course, came the singing, and it does seem to me that nothing can make a Wagner opera absolutely perfect and satisfactory to the untutored but to leave out the vocal parts. I wish I could see a Wagner opera done in pantomime once. Then one would have the lovely orchestration unvexed to listen to and bathe his spirit in, and the bewildering beautiful scenery to intoxicate his eyes with, and the [silent] acting couldn’t mar these pleasures, because there isn’t often anything in the Wagner opera that one would call by such a violent name as acting; as a rule all you would see would be a couple of silent people, one of them standing still, the other catching flies. Of course I do not really mean that he would be catching flies; I only mean that the usual operatic gestures which consist in reaching first one hand out into the air and then the other might suggest the sport I speak of if the operator attended strictly to business and uttered no sound.
Woody Allen: “Every time I listen to Wagner, I get the urge to invade Poland.”
The controversial composer's music has never found its way to my heart.
I am not sure the below arrangements are likely to change my attitude much.
21 hours of Wagner music in a little over 4 minutes, this is what the below performance offers all those who have not been able to get tickets for the famous Bayreuth festival dedicated to Wagner.