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[humanities.music.composers.wagner] Wagner Books FAQ
Section - C. Wagner as Thinker

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%T The Ideas of Richard Wagner : An Examination and Analysis 
%A Alan Aberbach 
%D 2003 (second edition) 
%C Lanham and Oxford 
%I University Press of America 
%G ISBN 0 7618 2524 X ; ML410.W13 A22 2003 
%X As its sub-title indicates, this book examines and analyses the
wide range of ideas that Wagner absorbed, developed and in many cases
made his own. The author presents these ideas largely in Wagner's own
words, as expressed in his prose works and letters. Unlike the authors
of some of the books listed here, Aberbach provides generous, relevant
and revealing quotations, rather than just phrases, from Wagner
himself, in the best translations available.
  The book might be considered a biographical supplement, since it
traces the development of Wagner's thoughts from optimistic youth
through pessimistic middle-age to irascible old-age. The book contains
three sections, entitled respectively: 'The Political Stage', 'The
Spiritual and Religious Stage' and 'The Artistic Stage'. With
bibliography.
%O First edition published 1988.


%T In Search of Wagner 
%T Versuch über Wagner
%M German *
%A Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno
%F Rodney Livingstone
%D 1981 
%C London
%I Verso Books
%G ISBN 0 8609 1796 7 ; ML410.W1 A5953 1981
%X A Marxist viewpoint on Wagner and his works. As far as the editor 
has been able to establish, Adorno was the first to suggest that
Beckmesser and Klingsor might be Jewish caricatures. Michael Tanner
writes: "important because of its author, showing how a thinker of
genius can be led by reacting to Wagner's art into wild postures of
rejection, and sneaking admiration".
 Adorno's writing on Wagner betrays an ideological obsessiveness to 
wrap Wagner up into a Marxist framework. He thus searches for both
progressive and regressive tendencies in Wagner to fit his dialectical
metaphor, relates the atomization of the musical materials to factory
production methods and even recasts Wagner's assumed dual roles of 
poet and composer as a reaction against capitalist division of labour.
%O German original was published in 1952. Translation was last
reprinted in 1991. For an assessment of Adorno's reaction to Wagner,
see the book 'Musica Ficta' by Lacoue-Labarthe, above.


%T Wagner and the Reform of the Opera
%A Edward Dannreuther
%D 1904 (2nd edition)
%C London
%I Augener and Co.
%G ML410.W13 D18
%X Dannreuther was the founder of the London Wagner Society in 1872.
He assisted Wagner in obtaining a dragon and other properties for the
1876 Bayreuth 'Ring' and with his London tour a year later. This book 
is an expanded version of his earlier pamphlet; see below.


%T Richard Wagner : His Tendencies and Theories
%A Edward Dannreuther
%D 1873
%C London
%I Augener and Co.
%G ML55.T2 vol. 6
%X A collection of essays, originally published in the 'Monthly 
Musical Review', in which the author discusses Wagner's aesthetic
theories. Dannreuther emphasised the inspiration that Wagner found in
Greek tragedy, which he believed that Wagner had tried to revitalise
"under the guidance of the spirit of music".


%T The Fertilizing Seed : Wagner's Concept of Poetic Intent
%A Frank W. Glass
%D 1982
%C Ann Arbor MI
%I UMI Research Press
%S Studies in Musicology
%V No.63
%G ISBN 0 8357 1561 2 ; ML410.W19 G46 1983
%X Glass discusses Wagner's theories as presented in his most 
extensive treatise 'Oper und Drama' and examines how his ideas
developed subsequently. The majority of writers about Wagner's theory
and practise have concluded that his ideas underwent a reversal
between 1851 and 1870. Glass prefers to see this as a change of
emphasis. He argues that Wagner consistently held on to one idea: that
the "poetic intent" stimulates a musical response and calls it forth
as drama. Glass calls this the fundamental idea of 'Oper und Drama'
and finds it still present, although with a different emphasis, in the
later theoretical writings.


%T Wagner's Musical Prose : Texts and Contexts
%A Thomas S. Grey
%D 1995 
%C Cambridge UK
%I Cambridge University Press
%G ISBN 0 5214 1738 4 ; ML410.W19 G83 1995
%S New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism
%X A study of the prose writings of Richard Wagner and their relevance
to an understanding of his music and drama, as well as their relation 
to music criticism and aesthetics in the 19th century in general. Grey
considers Wagner's ambivalence concerning the idea of absolute music
and the capacity of music to project meaning or drama; Wagner's
appropriation of a Beethoven legacy, the metaphors of musical gender
and biology in 'Oper und Drama', and the critical background to ideas
of motive and leitmotif in theory and practice. 
%O Table of contents: 
< http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/cam024/94011417.html >

  
%T Richard Wagner and the Music of the Future : History and Aesthetics
%T Richard Wagner und die Musik der Zukunft
%A Francis Hueffer
%D 1971 (reprint)
%C Freeport, NY
%I Books for Libraries Press 
%G ISBN 0 8369 2508 4 ; ML390 .H88 (1874)
%S The Great Musicians
%X According to Hueffer, Schopenhauer's doctrine that music is an
immediate and direct copy of the Will led Wagner to believe that only
music could express the inner life of mankind.
%O English version published by Chapman and Hall, London, in 1874.
German version published by F.E.C. Leuckart, Leipzig, in 1877.


%T A Wagnerian's Midsummer Madness
%A David Irvine
%D 1899
%C London
%I H. Grevel and Co.
%X Essays by a Scottish evangelist for Wagner and Schopenhauer, who
appropriated their ideas for his own philosophical and political ends.
Unlike G.B. Shaw, whose Wagnerism was closely related to his 
Fabianism, Irvine's Wagnerism is metaphysical.


%T Pro and Contra Wagner
%T Wagner und unsere Zeit
%M German *
%A Thomas Mann
%F Allan Blunden
%D 1985
%C London and Chicago
%I Faber
%G ISBN 0 5711 3150 6 hbk, 0 5711 3636 2 pbk ; ML410.W1 M253 1985
%X Includes Mann's 1933 lecture, "The Sorrows and Grandeur of Richard
Wagner". There is a clear tendency in much recent writing about Wagner
and his works to regard Mann as an authority. Although he was often
perceptive, Mann was often wrong on these matters, and many later
writers have been unwise to rely on Mann's judgements. For example,
his claim, made in the above-mentioned essay, that in his Dresden
years Wagner had seen "his whole career carefully mapped out in
advance". In fact, many of the projects that were "mapped out" in
those years, such as 'Wieland der Schmied', were never carried out,
while the romances of Tristan and Parzival respectively were (at most)
two among many possible subjects that Wagner was considering for
operatic treatment.
%O With an introduction by Erich Heller and a preface by Patrick 
Carnegy.


%T Wagner in Thought and Practice
%A Geoffrey Skelton
%D 1992
%C Portland, OR
%I Amadeus Press
%G ISBN 0 9313 4058 6 ; ML410.W13 S54 1992
%X 


%T Richard Wagner and the Synthesis of the Arts
%A Jack M. Stein
%D 1973
%C Westport, Conn.
%I Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.
%G ISBN 0 8371 6806 6 ; ML410.W1 S83
%X Professor Stein considers the development of Wagner's ideas about 
the synthesis of poetry, music, dance and drama from the writings of
his Paris years through to the 'Beethoven' essay of 1870 and the
lecture 'On the Destiny of Opera' in 1871. Stein examines how the
stage-works from 'Rienzi' to 'Parsifal' reflect the development of
Wagner's theoretical ideas.
%O Originally published by Wayne Univ. Press, Detroit, in 1960.


%T Interpreting Wagner
%A James Treadwell
%D 2003
%C New Haven and London
%I Yale University Press
%G ISBN 0 3000 9815 4 ; ML410.W13 T73 2003
%X It is not entirely clear why this book was written, except that the
author obviously wanted to write it. He declares at the outset that it
was not intended as an interpretation of Wagner, nor as a guide to how
Wagner ought to be interpreted. On page 133 he confides, "this is not
a book about what Wagner's work means but *how* it means"; by which he
might mean, how those works work. 
  Much of what Treadwell writes (and he writes well) is insightful. He
finds an appropriate balance of discussion between concepts, words and
(without being too technical) music; and care has been taken with
translations. On the other hand, too much of the book is derivative,
repeating analysis to be found in earlier books listed in this
bibliography. Some might find this book too much influenced by Adorno,
or too conventional, or question some of Treadwell's judgements (for
example, that 'Tristan' is formless). The author has little to say
that has not been said before.
  The text is sometimes inaccurate (e.g. his unqualified assertion that
the 'Parsifal' material was mentioned several times by Wagner in 1856)
or misleading (e.g. when he refers to Parsifal as a "holy fool"), and
the reflective reader will not agree with all of the author's sweeping
generalizations. The best part is a concise analysis of
'Meistersinger'; the weakest parts are those in which the author
reveals a limited grasp of Wagner's ideas about religion.
%O Table of contents: 
< http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/fy043/2003101946.html >


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