La Cieca’s curiosity is always aroused when a journalist probes with really penetrating questions. For example, how long is too long? Is bigger always better? And which is more satisfying: cut or uncut? That’s the thrust of Tony Tommasini‘s hard-hitting column in today’s NYT.
Now, if you’re ejaculating, “This thing looks familiar,” well, that’s about the size of it, because it’s a retooled version of a 2000 piece:
Later in the act, Walther sees Eva and, overcome, sings his song for her straight through. This somewhat spoils the effect of the song in the third act, where it should come upon Eva, and the mastersingers who are judging the contest, as a revelation. You could argue that the first performance is private and the second, more lavishly orchestrated one is public. My guess is that Wagner knew he had a hit tune here and could not help milking it.