As a prelude to the merriment of WagnerWorldWide, here is Clément Doucet's immortal Bayreuthian medley "Wagneria," as orchestrated by Morten Gunnar Larsen and executed by his Ophelia Orchestra. You can buy a crisp recording of the piece on iTunes; it has given me no end of joy. And here's the original, recorded by Doucet in 1927:
Doucet, who played in a famous duo with Jean Wiéner, also wrote "Isoldina," which Marc-André Hamelin and Alexandre Tharaud have lately taken up. In the same vein is Donald Lambert's astounding "Pilgrim's Chorus." The tradition of Wagnerian foolery goes back to Offenbach's "Symphonie de l'avenir" of 1860; highlights are Chabrier's Souvenirs de Munich, Fauré and Messager's Souvenirs de Bayreuth, Debussy's "Golliwog's Cakewalk," and, more recently, Peter Schickele's beloved Last Tango in Bayreuth.
Previously: Star-Spangled Wagner.