Wagner and Wiener
On May 22, we mark the bicentenary of the birth of Richard Wagner, the noted German composer.
Note that we said "mark," and not "celebrate." He died 130 years ago, but his anti-Semitism make him controversial still, and his music, although performed frequently and to acclaim, is not without its detractors. The nineteenth century American humor writer Edgar Wilson Nye famously said that Wagner's music is "actually better than it sounds."
Wager is perhaps best known for the Ring Cycle, four operas based on the Germanic legends of Siegfried and the ring of the Niebelungs. This legend became a bit better known this past year when it was cited in Quentin Tarantino's latest film, Django Unchained.
In 1904, a mock operetta called The Merry Niebelungs was staged in Vienna, in a production that featured a dachshund as the dragon slain by Siegfired.
And in the spirit of our theory that everything is connected with dachshunds if you just work hard enough at establishing that connection, here's a YouTube video we found that features a dachshund "singing" along to the theme Wagner wrote for Siegfried's sword.
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