It's almost a given that in any article about Wagner written by other than an informed Wagnerian outright misstatements or the skewing of fact will be both rife and skewed to the negative. We Wagnerians have become somewhat inured to this phenomenon, and let such things pass mostly without comment. I can't, however, remember ever seeing so many misstatements in so short a piece in a respected periodical as are contained in this 500-word piece by Benjamin Ivry for the "Contentions" section of the periodical, Commentary. To wit:
Must music-lovers look to conductors like Herbert von Karajan or Karl Böhm, to name just two, as the final Wagnerian authorities[!!]? Yes, Wagner was a notorious anti-Semite who probably would have approved of Hitler’s Final Solution[!]. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a fascist to produce great Wagnerian performances.
Try listening to the conductor who was — with good reason — considered the truest Wagnerian at Bayreuth and Salzburg[!], until his anti-Fascist convictions made him refuse to perform there in the 1930’s: Arturo Toscanini (1867–1957).
Another of the greatest Wagnerians is Pierre Monteux[!] (1875–1964), a French Jew whose exultant embrace of life expresses the inherent sensuality in Wagner’s music.
Other must-hear conductors of Wagner include Italy’s Guido Cantelli[!] (1920-1956), who spent most of World War II in concentration camps because of his brave anti-Fascist activities.
[T]hankfully, listeners today need not be limited to historical performances from the Third Reich to find the "real" Wagner[!].
Passing right over the absurd (but typical), "probably would have approved of Hitler’s Final Solution" nonsense, it should be needless to say that none of the above mentioned conductors are today notable for having realized "the 'real' Wagner" in their readings of his scores, including my personal conductor-god, Toscanini, who got supremely right just about everything he ever laid his hands to. Even though deeply devoted to Wagner's music, he was, somehow, never able to capture the true Wagnerian spirit and depth in his readings; a consequence, I think, of his insistence on treating Wagner's scores as if they were "absolute music" in the same way as are, for instance, the symphonies of Beethoven which they most decidedly are not.
But no point bitching and moaning about this instance of the phenomenon even though way over par for the course, and I here make note of it only because of the reputation of the periodical in which the article appeared, and was let stand as written.