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On Music and Drama

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Richard Wagner made the most of his life in every way he could. Rarely has a self-promoter had such a self. Composer, conductor, dramaturge, court composer, revolutionary fugitive, adored husband, vicious enemy, and national icon he impressed him imprint so deeply on Western music that a century later argument still rages about whether his imprint is a scar or a monument.

Wagner was one of the first composers to recognize the importance of establishing a public persona to ...

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Overview

Richard Wagner made the most of his life in every way he could. Rarely has a self-promoter had such a self. Composer, conductor, dramaturge, court composer, revolutionary fugitive, adored husband, vicious enemy, and national icon he impressed him imprint so deeply on Western music that a century later argument still rages about whether his imprint is a scar or a monument.

Wagner was one of the first composers to recognize the importance of establishing a public persona to advance his work. He wrote extensively on a wide range of topics to prepare his audiences for his music, especially his operas. A potent polemicist, he paid as much attention to his reputation as to his genius, and took previous time from composition to write essays and books, including his autobiography.

This collection provides contemporary readers with ample evidence of the silk and thistles of Wagner's ideas. It includes numerous short works on myth, Mozart, opera, folk art, and politics, his notorious essays "Jews in Music" and "The Necessity of Revolution," generous selections from his artistic manifesto, The Artwork of the Future, autobiographical sketches, and letters to friends about the intent and performance of his works.

Much revered and abused, Wagner here speaks for himself. As with his music his prose demands a hearing.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803297395
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1992
  • Pages: 448

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