Interpreting Wagner

Interpreting Wagner

by James Treadwell
     
 

ISBN-10: 0300098154

ISBN-13: 9780300098150

Pub. Date: 03/20/2003

Publisher: Yale University Press

What do Wagner's operas really mean? How much room do they leave for different perspectives? In this fresh and inventive book, James Treadwell lays open the rich possibilities for interpretation offered across the full range of Wagner's art. Focussing steadily on Wagner's music, dramas and prose writings, rather than on questions of biography or influence, the book…  See more details below

Overview

What do Wagner's operas really mean? How much room do they leave for different perspectives? In this fresh and inventive book, James Treadwell lays open the rich possibilities for interpretation offered across the full range of Wagner's art. Focussing steadily on Wagner's music, dramas and prose writings, rather than on questions of biography or influence, the book carefully traces the tensions and uncertainties embedded within the composer's central themes. The result is a new and vivid depiction of the essential character of Wagner's work.

Addressing both general Wagner enthusiasts and more scholarly students of music, Treadwell identifies and pursues the habitual concerns of Wagner's operas and writings: enchantment, seduction, heroism, victory, transcendence and sacredness. While Wagner's work repeatedly and urgently sets itself to deny various or ambiguous interpretations, the operas themselves are nevertheless far more intricate and conflicted than this denial allows for. In this altered light, the dimensions of Wagner's art are unexpectedly extended, and its enduring vitality is refreshingly reasserted.

James Treadwell was lecturer and junior research fellow at the University of Oxford, and assistant professor of English at McGill University.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300098150
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
03/20/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.75(d)

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
A note on citations and translations
Pt. IRomance1
1The romance of opera3
2Myths of the artist18
3Enchantment34
4Disenchantment51
Pt. IIRevolution65
5Writing the future67
6Staging the future84
7Writing the past101
8Staging the past115
Pt. IIIExile135
9The art of transition137
10Desire156
11Nirvana171
12Politics and fantasy187
Pt. IVReligion203
13Purity205
14Buhnenweihfestspiel224
15Transformation music239
16The Grail255
Notes and further reading270
Index277

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