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There are many functions of parody in Wagner‘s Meistersinger, parodying itself in its music and stage actions. Probably that was the reason why poets of the 19th century neglected writing parodies on Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. In the score Wagner also cited his own previous opera. At the beginning of the 20th century some composers produced kinds of Meistersinger parodies in their operas. They rejected the term „comic opera“ as a genre for their compositions, as Wagner did, and also cited their own previous operas. A figure like the Night watchman served a specific function of parody in Hans Pfitzner‘s Cafe Lohengrin. Wendelin Weissheimer made E.T.A. Hoffmann‘s novella the forerunner of operatic courtship competitions in his opera Meister Martin und seine Gesellen (Master Martin and his Apprentices). The Meistersinger‘s influence is obvious in certain turns of speech, the instrumental use of the hammer, bar form and the opera‘s finale in praise of the handworker. The libretto of Anton Urspruch‘s Das Unmoeglichste von Allem (The most impossible thing of all) is compared with Lope de Vega‘s drama and its early translations. The humor of the opera and its delimitation from Wagner are analyzed. In Der Pfeifertag (The Pipers‘ Festival), libretto by Ferdinand Graf Sporck, Max von Schillings cites his own previous opera, implementing medieval melodies and leitmotif technique. Ludwig Thuille‘s number opera Lobetanz and the through-composed Gugeline (librettos by Otto Julius Bierbaum) embrace taboos and symbols in a manner representative of Jugendstil. Siegfried Wagner in Herzog Wildfang (Duke Tomboy), libretto by the composer, and Richard Strauss in Feuersnot (In Want of fire), libretto by Ernst von Wolzogen, cite Richard Wagner‘s use of insults in Meistersinger in the libretto and reference musical themes of their own previous operas. Thus the two composers established themselves as individuals through conflict and conformation with Meistersinger. A rather late example of Meistersinger‘s influence is seen in Die Schneider von Schoenau (The tailors of Schoenau) by Jan Brandts-Buys. Squirrely masters and apprentices, as well as a lusted-after married woman, are brought to life with counterpoint and musical caricature. Bruno Warden and Ignaz Michael Welleminsky included in their libretto the breaking of taboo and the insulting of tailors with „Meck-Meck“.
Richard Wagner, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Peter P. Pachl
Frühe Meistersinger-Rezeption und ihre Auswirkungen
auf die komische Oper in der Wagner-Nachfolge