Friday, February 22, 2013

The Wagner Caveat

Summary and links to the series of Wagner character posts:

I believe that Richard Wagner has been the victim of character assassination, which was started in his era but has come to full fruition in our own. While certainly Wagner does have character flaws, he is accused—casually, ubiquitously, and with no or little supporting evidence—of a whole host of faults, most of them exaggerated, and rarely counterbalanced with any sense of his goodness beyond musical genius. The result is that his true personality and character have been buried under an avalanche of mud. This is my introduction to that topic. A short introduction to his personality and character so that you can better understand the various charges is here. I cover these traits: megalomania here; sexist, womanizer and wife-stealer part 1 here, part 2 herehis problems with money and, consequently, friendship is herethe charges that he was amoral or immoral, hypocritical and a liar here; the issue of anti-Semitism is herethe first part of how his reputation got into the mess it is can be found here and the second here. The series concludes here with some thoughts about biography and a selected bibliography.

Over the past several decades, in virtually everything written about Wagner (except, bless them, Wikipedia), there is a caveat about his character, no matter what the subject matter. Usually the caveat comes at the very beginning. Here is a example, par for the course unfortunately, from a book called Classical Music: The 50 Greatest Composers and Their 1,000 Greatest Works by Phil Goulding. Now, the book is intended for the general audience and is not academic in nature. This is the beginning of the generally positive review of Wagner's music (ranked 4th on his list by the way): 
Richard Wagner was a dreadful human being. He was a liar, a cheat, a wife-stealer, a home-wrecker, and a betrayer of friends. He was anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic and anti-French. He was immoral and dis-honorable. No one in music had a bigger ego, and he properly belongs high on the list of the World's Most Unpleasant men.
Or here is another one from another introductory book, Opera for Dummies by David Pogue and Scott Speck :
How do you assess a person like Richard Wagner? He was an arrogant, dishonest, jealous, hypocritical, racist, sexist, and passionately anti-Semitic human being.
Ok, just one more from The Rough Guide to Opera by Matthew Boyden and Nick Kimberley (who to their credit start with some positive things unlike the latter two, but their attacks are the most vicious and unhinged):
By most accounts, the man who did all this was a monster. Analyzing Wagner from a safe distance in 1872, Theodor Puschmann, a Munich psychiatrist, concluded that the composer suffered from “chronic megalomania, paranoia... and moral derangement.” He was a vicious racist and an infamous womanizer, fathering countless illegitimate children. He tyrannized his first wife then stole another man's wife, finding in her an echo of his limitless self-adoration (he habitually referred to himself in the third person). He was an animal-loving vegetarian (like Hitler), but behaved abominably to anyone who treated him with less than unquestioning devotion, and he seemed oblivious to the welfare of his family, cultivating an obsession for silks and other luxuries that kept them in perpetual debt.
What is a reader, new to opera, who is glancing through these books to think? Well, obviously, I think I will pass on this guy. And thus, the audience for Wagner is greatly suppressed from what his music deserves, truly. This sort of ad hominem attack of Wagner is ubiquitous. I've checked out dozens of introductory music books, looking for ones that didn't do this, and they are very rare.

Try it yourself in a bookstore sometime. I could give further, multiple examples, but it seems silly as the usual attacks are supplied in the three examples set forth above. Though tempted to rebut the absolute falsehoods here, I need to be patient and make the case more systematically. Which I will do, as the Wicked Witch of the West said, “all in good time.”

Of course, none of the books supply any footnotes to prove—or at least support in any way— their multi-front attacks. They just assert it. You don't have to prove the case because, the assumption is, this stuff must have come from somewhere and therefore must be true. Except that much of it is clearly untrue or twisted beyond recognition (the Rough Guide stuff is particularly nuts if you know the true story). Some, yes, is partially true and some, while true, deserves to be put in context and is much more complicated, compelling and interesting than these sentences imply. It is impossible to counter this character assassination quickly. They dump this crap all over him, and it will take quite a bit of work to clean it up.

What is missing with these mindless, lazy catalogs of faults is the real human being—only a botched caricature remains. Lost to history is any real sense of his personality and his humanity, or that he even had good traits at all (beyond musical genius, which everyone acknowledges). Let me do a full reverse and just give you an introductory paragraph with only mentioning things I consider positive (and all this is true, unlike some of the items in the quotes above):

Wagner was a well-read intellectual, profoundly interested in the world of ideas and the arts. Beyond being a composer, he was an activist, an author of multiple essays and books, an influential conductor and theatrical director. He was a passionate and charismatic man, with extraordinary vitality. Wagner was fun-loving and possessed a keen sense of humor, particularly reveling in word play and black humor. His tremendous love of nature led to an on-going concern for the degradation of the environment brought about through the excesses of capitalism, which was one of the most important themes of his monumental work, Der Ring des Nibelungen. He loved animals and crusaded against their mistreatment throughout his life. His greatest gift to humanity, no doubt, is that he was a focused and organized visionary; a man, beyond all else, true to himself and his ideals, and willing to risk all—fame and fortune, health and potential wealth—for his beliefs and his art.

(I drew this summary portrait from many sources but see thispages 13-15, 23-24, 56-64, 76, 186-190, 263-237; this, pages 79, 85, 86, 138-143; and this.)

I do want to make this general point now: if you read from primary sources (his and others’ letters to or about him, his writings, contemporaries writing about him), Wagner comes off so much better, so much more likable and real, and so much more well-rounded than in virtually all short accounts, even the relatively fair ones (of which the Wikipedia entry is the only example I have found). This monster they have constructed is just not the authentic person. If you want to know the real guy, there is a great book that does that called Wagner Remembered (also cited above). It is excerpts from letters or memoires from a number people who knew or met him, the gamut of voices runs from Queen Victoria to one of Wagner servants. You get a real idea of his strengths and his weaknesses like no where else.

Of course, many people do not care at all about any composer’s character when they listen to his or her music. It’s irrelevant to them. In most cases, I share that feeling. But with Wagner, I do think it is relevant. First, many people do not divorce his character from his music. If I say I like Wagner, they often respond with something inane like this, “How can you like him? Wasn’t he a Nazi?” But if I say, “I love Richard Rogers' music” no one says, “but wasn’t he a rather cold man who was a depressed alcoholic and often unfaithful to his wife?”  (All of that was true but I really don't care, of course.) The rules are different for Wagner, so the character question must be addressed.

A significant reason that the rules are different for Wagner is that he was different from other composers, and so there is some logic that he be treated differently. For Wagner, his music was political. He absolutely believed that art should be—his art was intended to be— a means for social change, setting down his views in a series of essays such as Art and Revolution, Opera and Drama, and The Artwork of the Future. His art sprang from his deeply held convictions, and it is virtually impossible to divide his character from his work. So, he himself invited the character discussion.

Consider this the introduction to the section of this blog about his character. I will be covering the good, the bad and the ugly of Wagner’s temperament and political views in a number of subsequent posts. Plus, I will be addressing how Wagner’s reputation got into the fix it is. I think the next post will be on the first thing you would notice if you were at a cocktail party with him: his remarkable megalomania.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wagner's Musical Effects 4: Loud, Long, and Boring?

The title of this post is the reputation of Wagner's music, and if you change the middle phrase to longwinded, of the composer himself. I will leave the latter to the posts about his character, but I will take up the issues of his music here.

His reputation in one graphic by André Gill, 1869:
his music assaults the ear.


At this point in time, this reputation is a quite silly on the musical front. In the age of rock and roll, his music cannot be considered particularly loud. And, unlike rock, the musical peaks in orchestral music—including Wagner—are relatively short compared to the consistently high decibel levels at a rock concert. I always use ear plugs at rock concerts and have never felt the need at Wagner operas.  (Though for orchestral players, there is a real problem with the decibel level of the modern orchestras, and Wagner is but one who contributes to that problem.)

The most salient fact is that his music has, like most orchestral music, a very wide dynamic range. Anyone who thinks Wagner is just boomingly loud ought to listen to him in a car, where his music is often maddeningly soft and impossible to hear. It's true that compared to many earlier composers, Wagner's orchestra is much bigger, ergo louder, when he writes a forte. That said, it was Beethoven who expanded the orchestra greatly, and Wagner just followed in that path, as did the vast majority of composers after Beethoven. In fact, the modern orchestra has continued to expanded past Wagner's peaks. So, yes, he and many others can, indeed, be fortississimo. To say that he is particularly so is just nonsense if you base your comparison on composers who came after him.

I think a perfect example of Wagner's musical dynamic range is Siegfried's Funeral March. He may have crescendos that go as loud, but surely none louder (from 6:19-6:40 in the excerpt).  The piece—and this pattern is typical for Wagner's music— starts very quietly, builds and creates a small, but booming, peak, then pulls back. This is repeated until he finally builds to a towering climax, and then resolves quietly. You be the judge if it is “too loud.”  Personally, I love it!

All that said, many do feel that Wagner's music, particularly the singing, assaults their ears, even if it isn't related to decibel level. In a truly wonderful Mark Twain essay from 1891 entitled “The Shrine of St. Wagner”—the shrine being Bayreuth, Wagner's summer music festival— he makes that case, with Parsifal as the object of derision:

The entire overture, long as it was, was played to a dark house with the curtain down. It was exquisite; it was delicious. But straightway thereafter, of course, came the singing, and it does seem to me that nothing can make a Wagner opera absolutely perfect and satisfactory to the untutored but to leave out the vocal parts.

Later Twain goes into some depth on the subject of the singing:

I trust that I know as well as anybody that singing is one of the most entrancing and bewitching and moving and eloquent of all the vehicles invented by man for the conveying of feeling; but it seems to me that the chief virtue in song is melody, air, tune, rhythm, or what you please to call it, and that when this feature is absent what remains is a picture with the color left out. I was not able to detect in the vocal parts of ‘Parsifal’ anything that might with confidence be called rhythm or tune or melody; one person performed at a time—and a long time, too—often in a noble, and always in a high-toned, voice; but he only pulled out long notes, then some short notes, then another long one, then a sharp, quick, peremptory bark or two—and so on and on...If two of them would but put in a duet occasionally and blend the voices; but no, they don't do that. The great master, who knew so well how to make a hundred instruments rejoice in unison and pour out their souls in mingled and melodious tides of delicious sound, deals only in barren solos when he puts in the vocal parts.

What Twain doesn't appreciate is that Wagner uses the voice as a part of the orchestra, much as when a jazz singer scats, her voice becomes part of the ensemble. Twain clearly heard and loved the orchestral music underneath the singing, but was not comfortable with this use of the voice on that initial hearing of the opera. However, he changed his tune by the end of the week at Bayreuth:

I have seen my last two operas... I was supposing that my musical regeneration was accomplished and perfected, because I enjoyed both of these operas, singing and all, and, moreover, one of them was ‘Parsifal.’

Twain, of course, lived in an era in which their were no subtitles, so much of the drama was lost on him. As well, this sort of opera, with continuous music and without the set-pieces de rigueur in opera to this point, was still quite foreign. The reaction to Wagner's music then is much like the reaction of many—my parents for instance— to rock n' roll: it's just noise, and there is no melody. Clearly, with any musical development, to enjoy it one must have an open mind, and gain an ear. I think it is clear that Twain was well on his way to becoming a Wagnerian.


The reputation of Wagner's operas as being long is but an extension of the belief that operas in general are long. However, since operatic lengths vary widely, this is clearly not always the case. Many operas, including Wagner's two shortest (both about 2 ½ hours), The Flying Dutchman and Das Rhinegold are, in fact, shorter than many theatrical productions, concerts and sporting events and, increasingly, movies. For instance, this year, The Hobbit, Les Misérables and Zero Dark 30 were all longer than many operas, including those two by Wagner.

However, the fact is that, in general, Wagner wrote longer operas than most composers, so they are long relative to the standard opera, and long relative to most events with audiences. His longest opera, which is also the longest in the standard opera repertoire, is Die Meistersinger, which is about 4 ½ hours without intermissions.

So, objectively, I concur that they are long. But the feeling of time is subjective. And, to me, when absorbed by Wagner's music dramas, time seems to stand still as I am completely in the moment, and yet when it is over, hours have gone by and I have barely noticed. The conductor Daniel Barenboim makes the same point here about music:

If you are really able to concentrate totally on it, to grab the sound and hold onto it...and if you stay fully attached to the sounds as they develop, as they unfold, you are basically coming out of time. You must be able to do it with all your faculties, physical and psychic, with total concentration. And suddenly, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony takes 33 minutes, and for those 33 minutes you are out of physical reality. Music gives you the physical and metaphysical possibility of totally detaching yourself from the world.

This is why, in 1986, I happily stood to see Die Meistersinger two times in San Francisco, and then flew across the country to see it—again standing—two more times in New York that season. I was entranced all four times, and my feet didn't even notice. However, I remember going to the Mozart opera, Cosi Fan Tutte (three hours with intermissions), around the same time and feeling it was interminable. I kept busily shifting my feet from side to side to create more physical comfort, and was thrilled when the ordeal was over.

When enthralled by one's passion, it is a common experience for time to seem to fly. Did fans of The Lord of the Rings resist the extended version? No, they did not. They were thrilled by more of it! That's the way I think of Wagner's music. Could I hear the extended version, maestro? That said, I don't think you need to be enthralled to be perfectly content at Wagner's operas. You just need to watch, listen and be open to it as a music drama. And eat a snack and use the restroom between acts. I would suggest a matinée.


[Parsifal] is an opera that begins at five-thirty. Three hours later you look at your watch. And it's only twenty to six. (Attributed to critic George Jean Nathan here, page 377.)

Of course, time crawls when something is considered a drudge. Like factory work.  Like a hated class.  Clearly this is completely subjective, and certainly can be related to the length, but also to expectation. If you are sure you won't like something, then that is much more likely to be the case. And the longer the thing goes on, the more boring you are apt to find it. So if you are dragged to a Wagner opera with such expectations, the chances are your expectations will come true: it will be boring.

There are three sorts of Wagner listeners:
  1. Those who think, or assume, he is loud, long and boring and avoid his works. Many of those people, of course, have barely listened, knowing his work only through popular culture. If they are convinced to try a opera of his, trust me, they will not like it.
  2. Those who have listened and do appreciate him in limited amounts. Rossini speaks for these people with his famous quote: “Monsieur Wagner a de beaux moments, mais de mauvais quart d'heures.” (English translation: Monsieur Wagner has some good moments, but some bad quarter of hours. By the way, it is usually translated as “awful quarter of hours!”, which is the translator inserting editorial content via a word change and added exclamation point.  My French professor—and Leslie's sister—confirms that this isn't a translation that should be made.) Those “bad quarter of hours” were in reference to the Wagner monologues—or, occasionally, duologues—that are at the emotional heart of his music dramas, as I described in my three musical effects posts, particularly this one.
  3. The folks who love Wagner’s rich and beautiful orchestration—“the good moments”—but also the deep emotions that come only from opening your heart to those “bad quarter of hours.” The conductor James Levine was asked about these monologues: “I'm crazy about them. I can always feel, as the orchestra settles down and Woton begins the monologue in the second act of Walküre, you can hear all the people who were dragged to the performances turning off and all the Wagnerites turning on.”
In sum: for Wagner’s music, whether you consider the music assaultive or enriching, whether time crawls or flies, whether you are enthralled or bored, it’s all about your perspective. Obviously, to me, it is none of those.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Wagner's Musical Effects, Part 3: Ecstasy

Below is a picture capturing the moment Phil Mickelson–after a decade of tryingfinally broke through and won a major at the 2004 Master's tournament. 

I love this picture as it clearly captures not only the ecstasy Phil felt, but also that of the entire crowd. They were feeling exactly what Phil was feeling at that moment in timemagnificent relief and pure unadulterated joy. It was such a wonderful moment. I'm not even a fan, but I did at home exactly what everyone else did at the tournamentwhich was to throw up my arms and yell “yes!”—because he had been denied this victory for such a long time.

His moniker, until this defining moment, was “the best golfer to never win a major.”  I am quite sure that everyone in Boston did the exact same thing when the Red Sox finally broke the cursealso in 2004and won the World Series after 86 years. 

The euphoric payoff is certainly one of the big reasons, if not the key reason, people love to watch sports. The payoff is particularly sweet coming after a long streak of denial, after agony. If Phil had won a major much earlier in his career, he might have looked the same in the photo, but the audience wouldn't have. There would have been disappointed fans of Ernie Els, for instance, whom he defeated by a stroke. Some might have shrugged, or clapped politely, but not everyone would have been united in joy as they were here.

So what does this have to do with Wagner? As I described in my last post, Wagner has a unique ability to create an empathetic connection to his characters. While true of agonized grief (like in my King Marke example last post) and a myriad of other emotions, it is particularly true of ecstasy. He is a master at developing the feeling of bliss. In my initial chapter on Wagner's musical effects, I quoted various people saying they felt “uplifted,” “besotted” and “enraptured” by listening to his music. This effect is the reason; when a character feels euphoria, we Wagnerians do also. While we politely stay in our seats during Wagner's many rapturous moments, in our heads we are throwing up our hands up and soaring into the heavens. This is the crack that makes people come back repeatedly to Wagner.

I will give excerpts, but I must warn you that without the build-up, the release doesn't really work the same, anymore than Mickelson's putt in the 2004 Master's would have worked to create the crowd euphoria without build up of frustration. True ecstasy needs agony or it just doesn't have that feeling of divine relief and release.

Wagner had a masterful ability to slowly build a drama, sustaining and intensifying suspense, towards a rapturous climax, or multiple climaxes, as is evident in Tristan and Isolde—the supreme example of this being the finale of the opera, “The Liebestod.”  (Here with Birget Nillson.) This ability to build towards an ecstatic release is striking in all of his mature works.

I don't want to imply that the build-up to the climax is somehow simply in service to this effect, and not extraordinary itself. For instance, at the beginning of Die Walkure, Siegmund meets Sieglinde and they fall in love. A universal story, but the manner in which is is done is “a masterpiece of rhapsodic melody joined to a tight plan of steadily rising tension released in successive climaxes as the two are drawn to each other and reveal their pasts.” (Quoted from here.) Exactly so. The journey to the moment of them proclaiming their love is enthralling in and of itself, the various peaks just making it more so. Here is Sieglinde (sung by Jessye Norman) declaring her love for Siegmund, which comes about an hour after the gorgeous orchestral music has already made us feel what is in her heart.

Of course, one of the reasons he was successful in creating his emotional effects is that he had the ability to write melodies perfect for the emotional moment, and that is particularly true of euphoria. As an example, listen to this music from Die Walküre that begins at 1:25. Build-up or no, it always sends ripples of elation through me. (The subtitles are in German so, without recapitulating too much of the story, the gist is that Brünnhilde, who has just saved Sieglinde from the wrath of Woton, is telling her that she is pregnant with the destined-for-heroic Siegfried. Sieglinde responds by singing of her tremendous veneration of and gratitude to Brünnhilde. This clip is with Hildegard Behrens and Jessye Norman.)

Wagnerians have been trying for over 150 years to explain the whys and the hows, as well as the mere fact of the incredible feelings one can get from listening to Wagner's music. This and the two posts before were my stab at it, and quite inadequate I am sure. Truly, it is ineffable.  But let me summarize by quoting my favorite Wagner author, Bryan Magee, from his outstanding book, The Tristan Chord:
Music of this greatness is a directly felt experience as profound as any that it is possible for us to have.
That's it in a nutshell.

I can guess what some may be thinking at this point: If Wagner is so damn good, how come his reputation is that his music is loud, long and boring? That's the subject of the next post.

End notes

I always have things to say that are off-point. So I am going to add this section to my posts to round those up.

  • I hope Phil Mickelson loses badly from now on. I hate whiny, rich guys.  As a Californian, all I can say is good riddance. 

  • Our dog, Ziggy, is named after Sieglinde from Die Walküre and does respond to her full name. We didn't spell it Siegy because no one would know how to pronounce it.

  • I had found my musical examples for this post by just trolling through Youtube, seeing who had a version I liked. I had never heard Jessye Norman sing any Wagner, but thought she did a great job with these musical moments. While I was working on this post, Leslie was shopping. About an hour after I found those clips, she came home with a VHS collection of a New York Met Der Ring des Nibelungen for $8 from the Goodwill with Jessye Norman as Sieglinde (the same one as the two clips). Cool happenstance.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Musical Effects, part 2: Mind-meld

All operas aim to give expression to profound human emotions and feelings. Traditionally, the emotions of opera were primarily contained in the musical set-pieces, such as the aria. Typically, arias expressed just one or, sometimes, two central emotions, as in most popular song. If two emotions were displayed, the singer would generally go from, say, love to anger and back again, with different music for the love and anger portions. If the musical set-piece was multi-part, such as a trio or quintet, then each character would sing their particular point of view and emotion, and in that way conflicting emotions could be overlapped. These set-pieces often seemed to virtually stop time and forward momentum to give a chance for the singer or singers to (emotionally) comment on what was going on.

Wagner, on the other hand, by using completely different dramatic and musical techniques, is able to show human emotion in a more natural and complex way. Essentially, he uses a musical stream of consciousness, via ever forward, developing melody. (The literary stream of consciousness movement came directly from Wagner, but that will be a much later post.) Through both the voice and the orchestra, he is able to really pierce the emotional mind of his characters, and so the listener experiences their thoughts in a way that feels extraordinarily true to life. To create the most compelling and moving effects, he put his characters repeatedly in highly charged emotional situations, often on one of the most pivotal days of that person's life—often a wretched day, sometimes a peak moment, occasionally both. At its best, it can feel like a veritable mind-meld, a kind of super empathy. (This effect is particularly accentuated and strengthen by hallucinogens, as the ego is weakened in this state so the boundaries of me/other are much more fluid.) To me, this aspect of Wagner is just as important, maybe even more so, than the leitmotif technique.

Here is a concrete example from Tristan and Isolde of “King Marke's lament.” (Please ignore the set and costumes; that is what is known as "eurotrash.") Or, for another version but with Spanish subtitles, King Marke is sung by the great Rene Papé: part 1 and part 2.

To set the scene of this example: Tristan has brought Isolde—at Tristan's insistence—from Ireland  to marry his mentor and closest friend, King Marke of Cornwall. But soon after the voyage, Marke, through the machinations of Tristan's "friend," Melot, finds Tristan and Isolde in delicto flagrante. These alternate clips takes up at that point.

Marke is devastated by this betrayal and sings through his torment, expressing why it is so inexplicable to him. The orchestra underpins and emphasizes the emotional truth behind his lyrics, showing the changing tumult of feelings. He begins with utter shock and sadness and a hint of anger. Music of great tenderness plays underneath his words as he questions how this could possibly come about given what he and Tristan have meant to each other. When addressing the issue of the arranged marriage to Isolde, music of yearning and frustration along with woe develops. Eventually, his anguish turns to anger and bitterness and self-pity, even a touch of madness, but soon pulls back to incredulity and sadness. The tender music reemerges, showing the depth of his love for Tristan and, finally, a return to just utter disconsolation.

King Marke has feelings he simply does not know what to do with. Most people have had such feelings of agonized grief. It's that feeling that you just want to die; life feels unbearable at that moment in time. Wagner brings you to a place—for those who give him a chance—where you can actually feel Marke's pain as your own. True empathy.

I picked this example not because it is considered a celebrated excerpt; it is not. Rather, even some Wagnerians consider it fairly dull (particularly compared with the fireworks of most of Tristan and Isolde). I, however, cannot listen to this “boring” piece without crying, as it brings me emotionally back to moments of tormented grief when I was likewise hurt, seemingly inexplicably, by someone I loved.

This piece is Marke's first entry on the stage and it is very easy to understand his emotions but, also, to take the measure of the man. You understand that he is at the darkest moment of his life, and—though he has the power to exact revenge and is encouraged to do so by Melot—the only thing he truly seeks is understanding. Though he is angry, and for a few moments close to crazy, what really comes through is that he is a kind and compassionate man who is simply tormented by trying to make sense of “the deep reason” for Tristan's betrayal.

In those 15 minutes, I learn far more about King Marke than I ever learn about, say, Rodolfo in La Boheme or countless other opera characters. And so it goes for most Wagner characters—his techniques lead to much more complex character development, and much more empathy, than is possible in most of opera.

So why do I like this feeling of super-empathy? I believe the feeling of empathy is the bedrock of morality. An empathic connection to one individual leads directly to both understanding and compassion for all people in similar situations. It isn't quite, to quote Madame de Stael, savoir tout c'est tout pardonner ( to know all is to forgive all), but empathy opens one's heart and that leads to compassion, and often, forgiveness. In King Marke's case, if he could have understood what was in Tristan's heart, the empathy would have been healing to him. Instead, he is in torment. 

Okay, so King Marke had a very bad day. What about somebody who has had an extremely good day? That's the subject of the next blog: Wagner and ecstasy.