The Tragic and the Ecstatic

The Tragic and the Ecstatic : The Musical Revolution of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde

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During the years preceding the composition of Tristan and Isolde, Wagner's aesthetics underwent a momentus turnaround, principally as a result of his discovery of Schopenhauer. Many of Schopenhauer's ideas, especially those regarding music's metaphysical significance, resonated with patterns of thought that had been central to Wagner's aesthetics, and Wagner described the entry of Schopenhauer into his life as a gift from heaven. Chafe argues that Wagner's Tristan and Isolde is a musical and dramatic exposition of metaphysical ideas inspired by Schopenhauer. The first part of the book covers the philosophical and literary underpinnings of the story, exploring Schopenhauer's metaphysics and Gottfried van Strassburg's Tristan poem. Chafe then turns to the events in the opera, providing tonal and harmonic analyses the reinforce his interpretation of the drama. Chafe acts as an expert guide, interpreting and illustrating most important moments for his reader. Ultimately, Chafe creates a critical account of ristan, in which the drama is shown to develop through the more

Product details

  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 154.9 x 238.8 x 27.9mm | 635.04g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • numerous music examples
  • 0195176472
  • 9780195176476

Review quote

One comes away from the book with myriad new ideas and perspectives of the best sort: those that seem so obvious as to occasion surprise that others have not discussed them before. * Stephen McClatchie, Music and Letters Journal *show more

About Eric Chafe

Eric Chafe is a Professor of composition at Brandeis Universityshow more

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