Suárez García. J.I. Graphic Humour as Musical Criticism: Cartoon and Caricature in the First Wagnerian Reception in Madrid. En Cascudo,T. (ed.), 'Nineteenth-Century Music Criticism´. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers, 2017, pp. 101-132 (ISBN: 978-2-503-57497-4)
Music, Criticism & Politics;3
Graphic humour was a powerful element used by the Madrid press in the last third of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This kind of humour tends to bear a reflective proposal, which is in turn, the manifestation of a critical attitude. Periodicals (newspapers and magazines) used caricatures to criticize the system of the Wagnerian music drama. In addition, comic sheet dealt with topics such as Die Walküre, sometimes treated as true visual parodies of the original work, because the arguments chosen by Wagner for his librettos were seen by many of his Spanish peers as markedly local and excessively German. On the other hand, graphic humour also served as a vehicle to humorously criticise the agents involved in the performance of Wagner's works, such as conductors and stage managers, and even to pick on the opera divo. Finally, it was used as a critique of the Wagnerite trend. Throughout our chapter we have considered these and other topics through a selection of images found in contemporary Spanish press. The chosen cartoons reveal that the cartoon becomes an extremely useful critical and suggestive tool for the music researcher.