The Cambridge Companion to Wagner

The Cambridge Companion to Wagner

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Richard Wagner is remembered as one of the most influential figures in music and theatre, but his place in history has been marked by a considerable amount of controversy. His attitudes towards the Jews and the appropriation of his operas by the Nazis, for example, have helped to construct a historical persona that sits uncomfortably with modern sensibilities. Yet Wagner's absolutely central position in the operatic canon continues. This volume serves as a timely reminder of his ongoing musical, cultural, and political impact. Contributions by specialists from such varied fields as musical history, German literature and cultural studies, opera production, and political science consider a range of topics, from trends and problems in the history of stage production to the representations of gender and sexuality. With the inclusion of invaluable and reliably up-to-date biographical data, this collection will be of great interest to scholars, students, and enthusiasts.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 19 b/w illus. 1 table 70 music examples
  • 1139797042
  • 9781139797047

Table of contents

Chronology; Part I. Biographical and Historical Contexts: 1. Wagner lives: issues in autobiography John Deathridge; 2. Meister Richard's apprenticeship: the early operas (1833-40) Thomas S. Grey; 3. To the Dresden barricades: the genesis of Wagner's political ideas Mitchell Cohen; Part II. Opera, Music, Drama: 4. The 'Romantic operas' and the turn to myth Stewart Spencer; 5. Der Ring des Nibelungen: conception and interpretation Barry Millington; 6. Leitmotif, temporality, and musical design in the Ring Thomas S. Grey; 7. Tristan und Isolde: essence and appearance John Daverio; 8. Performing Germany in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg Stephen McClatchie; 9. Parsifal: redemption and Kunstreligion Glenn Stanley; Part III. Ideas and Ideology in the Gesamtkunstwerk: 10. The urge to communicate: the prose writings as theory and practice James Treadwell; 11. Critique as passion and polemic: Nietzsche and Wagner Dieter Borchmeyer; 12. The Jewish question Thomas S. Grey; Part IV. After Wagner: Influence and Interpretation: 13. 'Wagnerism': responses to Wagner in music and the arts Annegret Fauser; 14. Wagner and the Third Reich: myths and realities Pamela M. Potter; 15. Wagner on stage: aesthetic, dramaturgical, and social considerations Mike Ashman; 16. Criticism and analysis: current perspectives Arnold Whittall.
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Review quote

"This volume provides a balanced introduction to the composer's life, times, works, and reception. A useful chronology ... The repolitiizing of the 'Wagner question' is unquestionably one of this book's strengths and certain to make it compelling to a wide variety of readers."
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About Thomas S. Grey

Thomas S. Grey is Associate Professor in Music at Stanford University.
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