The motto of the 2004 festival referred to Ludwig II. Today, the King of Bavaria is the archetype of the cliché of the "unrecognized genius", whom it was left to posterity to appreciate in fitting manner. The 2004 Herrenchiemsee Festival was devoted to this cliché and its relationship to the art-reality of the 19th and 20th centuries.
What kind of music did the generation prevailing at any one time feel to be a representative reflection of its own mood? What kind of music was perceived by succeeding generations as the hallmark of this era, and as a visionary anticipation of the future? The Festival tried to come up with an answer.
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