Being Wagner by Simon Callow
The Story of the Most Provocative Composer Who Ever Lived

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“Dangerous and dynamic,” Callow’s Wagner is a “musical genius,” but he “cannot bring comfort. Which is why people fight over him.” An infectiously readable biography.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Simon Callow, the celebrated author of Orson Welles, delivers a dazzling, swift, and accessible biography of the musical titan Richard Wagner and his profoundly problematic legacy--a fresh take for seasoned acolytes and the perfect introduction for new fans.

Richard Wagner's music dramas have never been more popular or more divisive. His ten masterpieces, created against the backdrop of a continent in severe political and cultural upheaval, constitute an unmatched body of work. A man who spent most of his life in abject poverty, inspiring both critical derision and hysterical hero-worship, Wagner was a walking contradiction: belligerent, flirtatious, disciplined, capricious, demanding, visionary, and poisonously anti-Semitic. Acclaimed biographer Simon Callow evokes the intellectual and artistic climate in which Wagner lived and takes us through his most iconic works, from his pivotal successes in The Flying Dutchman and Lohengrin, to the musical paradigm shift contained in Tristan and Isolde, to the apogee of his achievements in The Ring of the Nibelung and Parsifal, which debuted at Bayreuth shortly before his death. Being Wagner brings to life this towering figure, creator of the most sublime and most controversial body of work ever known.
 

About Simon Callow

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Simon Callow is an actor, director, and writer. He has appeared in many films, including the hugely popular Four Weddings and a Funeral. His books include Being an Actor, Shooting the Actor, a highly acclaimed biography of Charles Laughton, a biographical trilogy on Orson Welles (of which the first two parts have now been published), and Love Is Where It Falls, an account of his friendship with the great play agent Peggy Ramsay. His most recent book, My Life in Pieces, won the Sheridan Morley Prize in 2011. www.simoncallow.com
 
Published February 6, 2018 by Vintage. 246 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

Above average
on Nov 12 2017

“Dangerous and dynamic,” Callow’s Wagner is a “musical genius,” but he “cannot bring comfort. Which is why people fight over him.” An infectiously readable biography.

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