Judaism in Music and Other Essays

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Musical genius, polemicist, explosive personality—that was the nineteenth-century German composer Richard Wagner, who paid as much attention to his reputation as to his genius. Often maddening, and sometimes called mad, Wagner wrote with the same intensity that characterized his music.
The letters and essays collected in Judaism in Music and Other Essays were published during the 1850s and 1860s, the period when he was chiefly occupied with the creation of The Ring of the Nibelung. Highlighting this collection is the notorious 1850 article “Judaism in Music,” which caused such a firestorm that nearly twenty years later Wagner published an unapologetic appendix. Other prose pieces include “On the Performing of Tannhauser,” written while he was in political exile; “On Musical Criticism,” an appeal for a more vital approach to art undivorced from life; and “Music of the Future.” This volume concludes with letters to friends about the intent and performance of his great operas; estimations of Liszt, Beethoven, Mozart, Gluck, Berlioz, and others; and suggestions for the reform of opera houses in Vienna, Paris, and Zurich.
The Bison Book edition includes the full text of volume 3 of William Ashton Ellis’s 1894 translation commissioned by the London Wagner Society.

Originally published: Richard Wagner's Prose Works ; v. 3, The theatre. London : Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1907.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803297661
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 1.00 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Translator's Preface
Author's Introduction 1
On the "Goethe-Stiftung" 5
A Theatre at Zurich 23
On Musical Criticism 59
Judaism in Music 75
Mementoes of Spontini 123
Homage to L. Spohr and W. Fischer 145
Gluck's Overture to "Iphigenia in Aulis" 153
On the Performing of "Tannhauser" 167
Remarks on Performing "The Flying Dutchman" 207
Explanatory Programmes 219
1 Beethoven's "Heroic Symphony" 221
2 Beethoven's Overture to "Coriolanus" 225
3 Overture to "Der fliegende Hollander" 228
4 Overture to "Tannhauser" 229
5 Prelude to "Lohengrin" 231
On Franz Liszt's Symphonic Poems 235
Epilogue to the "Nibelung's Ring" 255
Preface to the "Ring" Poem 274
A Letter to Hector Berlioz 285
"Zukunftsmusik" ("Music of the Future") 293
On the Production of "Tannhauser" in Paris 347
The Vienna Opera-House 361
Summary 387
Index 405
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