This collection of literature attempts to compile many of the classic works that have stood the test of time and offer them at a reduced, affordable price, in an attractive volume so that everyone can enjoy them.
This reprint is of the first English paperback edition of Richard Wagner's autobiography. This is a primary document of enormous importance for all Wagner enthusiasts, being virtually the sole source of information of the composer's childhood and youth. Written for Wagner's second wife, Cosima, and his patron, King Ludwig II, the autobiography runs from the composer's birth up to the eve of his fifty-first birthday in 1864. Given the intended readership and the circumstances of its composition it is hardly surprising that Wagner should either omit or distort facts from time to time: he does not linger over previous affairs, he portrays his relationship with his first wife, Minna, as a good deal more distant than it really was and he plays down his involvement in the Dresden uprising of 1849. Despite all this, the book presents a panoramic view of Wagner's times and contemporaries and offers a unique perspective on the operas themselves. This translation is of the complete edition published in Munich in 1963 and based on the manuscript in the Wagner Archives in Bayreuth. Wagner's slips of memory are noted, as are references to obscure names and events.
Author(s): Richard Wagner, Mary Whittall, Andrew Gray
Wagner is one of the most controversial of composers, and much that has been written about him—including his autobiography—is misleading. Barry Millington draws on the best previous scholarship and his own original research to set the record straight. The first part of this book is devoted to biography; the second, to a detailed study of the operas. Millington offers a historical review of the critical interpretation of each opera, including a discussion of recent methods of formal analysis. In this revised edition, two chapters, those on Tannhauser and Die Meistersinger, include significant new material. The bibliography has also been updated.
It is well known that Richard Wagner, the renowned and controversial 19th century composer, exhibited intense anti-Semitism. The evidence is everywhere in his writings as well as in conversations his second wife recorded in her diaries. In his infamous essay "Judaism in Music," Wagner forever cemented his unpleasant reputation with his assertion that Jews were incapable of either creating or appreciating great art.Wagner's close ties with many talented Jews, then, are surprising. Most writers have dismissed these connections as cynical manipulations and rank hypocrisy. Examination of the original sources, however, reveals something different: unmistakeable, undeniable empathy and friendship between Wagner and the Jews in his life. Indeed, the composer had warm relationships with numerous individual Jews. Two of them resided frequently over extended periods in his home. One of these, the rabbi's son Hermann Levi, conducted Wagner's final opera-Parsifal, based on Christian legend-at Wagner's request; no one, Wagner declared, understood his work so well. Even in death his Jewish friends were by his side; two were among his twelve pallbearers.The contradictions between Wagner's antipathy toward the amorphous entity "The Jews" and his genuine friendships with individual Jews are the subject of this book. Drawing on extensive sources in both German and English, including Wagner's autobiography and diary and the diaries of his second wife, this comprehensive treatment of Wagner's anti-Semitism is the first to place it in perspective with his life and work. Included in the text are portions of unpublished letters exchanged between Wagner and Hermann Levi. Altogether, the book reveals astonishing complexities in a man long known as much for his prejudice as for his epic contributions to opera.