Telramund, again, is no ordinary operatic villain; there is genuine tragedy in his moral ruin; and even the melodramatic Ortrud is a much more life-like intrigante than might be inferred from Wagner's hyperbolical stage-directions, which almost always show his manner at its worst.
The orchestration is already almost classically Wagnerian; though there remains an excessive amount of tremolo, besides a few lapses into comic violence, as in the yelpings which accompany Ortrud's rage in the night-scene in the second act.
Again, the anti-Wagnerians were entirely justified in penetrating below the splendidly simple and original orchestration of the night-scene between Ortrud and Telramund, and pointing out how feebly its music drifts among a dozen vague keys by means of the diminished 7th; a device which teachers have tried to weed out of every highflown exercise since that otiose chord was first discovered in the 17th century.
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