Massenet’s Werther

Thackeray thought Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther was so boring and idiotic that he wrote a satirical poem about it (you can find it at the bottom of the page). ¬†Massenet’s reaction, alas, was to write a three hour opera based on it. ¬†Add to the implausible and dull plot (altered but slightly from Goethe’s original) Massenet’s overblown romantic music and penchant for any sentimentality he can find (at the end, a children’s chorus sings a Christmas song while Werther is bleeding to death in Charlotte’s arms) and it’s well nigh unbearable.

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