Do you think Wagner’s idea for an all encompassing art form is still strived for in today’s musical landscape?
How has the corporate atmosphere of today’s music business interfered with the realization of Wagner’s ideal?
I am not certain that Wagner's belief of the all encompassing art form is something that artists today strive to create. Certainly from a cynical point of view, music producers and executives would love to see their productions become an all encompassing art form because this would translate into greater control of the market place and more economic profit. Yet, seeing that this is not Wagner's primary motivation, the belief of a musical art form that speaks to everyone in a universal format might not be immediately recognized today as something which is of primary importance to artists. With the need to develop music as a form of income, focus groups and the targeting of audiences helps to design music as an art form of specialization that reaches a particular group of people that would be guaranteed to purchase it. Some might argue that this is not a deliberate attempt on the part of the music business minds, but rather a realistic aspect of the modern setting where different people crave different music. In this articulation of the subjective experience, universality might be denied.