Music: Clock Watchers

The evenings can grow long at Germany's Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, and many an operagoer has cast a furtive glance at his watch as the Teutonic roll and tumble thundered on. Furtive watch watchers may not know that backstage, opera-house technicians have been keeping their own Teutonically thorough stop watch record of Festival performances since 1876. How the tradition started, or why, no one can remember. But now a former Bayreuth technician has leaked some of the results, affording opera lovers some interesting sidelights on the old question of conductors' tempos and tempers. Items:

Das Rheingold: Conductor Heinz Tiet-jen's fast time of...

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