Using Wagner’s wide-ranging engagement with mythology as a starting point, Raymond Furness explores the composer’s music and prose writings. He delves deeply into Wagner’s essential operas, such as The Ring and Tristan and Isolde, offering fascinating insight into these works. Because the great operatic pieces often overshadow the rest of Wagner’s compositions, Furness also considers neglected fragments like “Wieland the Smith,” “The Mines at Falun,” and “The Visitors,” producing a more rounded critical picture of the composer. With up-to-date dissections of recent Bayreuth productions and a refreshingly uncluttered approach to a much-misunderstood life, Richard Wagner is an engaging look at one of music’s most beguiling figures.
About the Author
Raymond Furness is former chair of German at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, and the author or coeditor of many books on German literature and culture.
Table of Contents
1. The Beginnings
2. Paris and Dresden
3. Revolution, Exile and Reform
4. Exploration and Consolidation
5. World Fame