The Tragic and the Ecstatic

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

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During the years preceding the composition of Tristan and Isolde, Wagner's aesthetics underwent a momentous 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 long 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 that 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 Tristan, in which the drama is shown to develop through the more

Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 165.1 x 238.76 x 25.4mm | 317.51g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 59 black and white line illustrations
  • 019534300X
  • 9780195343007
  • 1,459,537

Review quote

In this comprehensive study of Tristan und Isolde Eric Chafe has created a text that will serve as a point of reference for generations of scholars when they refer to this seminal work...Chafe has created a model investigation that will enable listeners to return to Wagner's familiar score and reclaim for themselves the nuances in the opera. * Tristania *show more

About Eric Chafe

Eric Chafe is a Professor of composition at Brandeis more

Table of contents

1. The Path to Schopenhauer ; 2. Tristan and Schopenhauer ; 3. Tristan and Gottfried von Strassburg I: Minne ; 4. Tristan and Gottfried von Strassburg II: Honor ; 5. The Desire Music ; 6. The Prelude: A Musicopoetic View ; 7. Tragedy and Dramatic Structure ; 8. The Two Death Motives ; 9. Musicopoetic Design in Act One ; 10. Act Two, Scene One: Night and Minne ; 11. The Love Scene in Act Two: Transition and Periodicity ; 12. Tristan's Answer to King Mark: Moral and Philosophical Questions ; 13. Act Three: Musicopoetic Design ; 14. Love as Fearful Torment ; 15. The Road to Salvationshow more

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