Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt by Richard Wagner
(Vols 1 & 2)

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1853 edition. Excerpt: ...for an artistic enterprise, which I should dedicate to you and to those of my friends comprised in " the local idea: Weimar." The timidity of Messrs. Hartel, the publishers of the book, has taken exception to certain passages in that preface to which I did not wish to have any demonstrative intention attributed, and which I might have expressed just as well in a different way; and the appearance of the book has in consequence been much retarded, to my great annoyance, for special reasons. For the public declaration as to the intended destiny of my next dramatic work would, owing to my latest resolution, require an essential modification if it were to be quite in accordance with actual circumstances. But, although the preface, written at the beginning of last August, appears in the present circumstances too late, the aforesaid declaration will be given to the public without any change; and if I cannot fulfil the promise given in it in the manner there stated, it may at least serve you and my Weimar friends as a proof of the genuine sincerity of the intention then held by me. I should also be glad to think that in that public declaration I have furnished a sign of my gratitude for the sympathy they have shown to me, even if, as I said before, I cannot prove that gratitude in the exact manner there promised. To you, my dear Liszt, I am now compelled to confess that my resolution of writing a new opera for Weimar has been so essentially modified as scarcely to exist any longer in that form. Hear then the strictly veracious account of the artistic enterprise in which I have been engaged for some time, and the turn it had of necessity to take. In the autumn of 1848 I sketched for the first time the complete myth of the Nibelungen, such as it...

About Richard Wagner

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Richard Wagner, one of the most influential German composers, was born in Leipzig in 1813. His stepfather brought the world of the theater into Wagner's life, and it fascinated him. As a youth, he began studying musical composition and wrote a number of pieces. His professional music career began in 1833 with an appointment as chorusmaster of the Wurzburg Theater. This was followed by several positions producing operas---his own and those of other composers. After success with his opera Rienzi in 1842 and The Flying Dutchman in 1843, Wagner became director of the opera at Dresden. During his stay there, he wrote Tannhauser (1845) and Lohengrin (1846--48). Political troubles in Germany in 1848 forced Wagner to leave Dresden and flee to Switzerland, where he remained for several years. While in exile, Wagner wrote a series of essays about opera and also began work on The Ring of the Nibelung, a cycle of four musical dramas based on ancient Germanic folklore. Among the other notable operas Wagner wrote are Tristan und Isolde (1857--59), Die Meister__singer von Nurnberg (1862--67), and Parsifal (1882). In 1870, following a series of love affairs, Wagner married Cosima, Franz Liszt's daughter. Wagner wrote both music and libretto for all his operas. Calling these operas "music-dramas," he sought to achieve a complete union between music and drama. In so doing, he created a new operatic form and transferred the center of the operatic world from Italy to Germany. In 1876 Wagner opened the Festival Theater in Bayreuth, which was dedicated to the preservation of his operas. Wagner's operatic music is highly dramatic and builds to amazing climaxes. His work symbolizes the synthesis of all of the arts in opera---the dramatic content and the scenery as well as the music---and had a great influence on all operatic composers who came after him. Especially significant was Wagner's view of opera as drama, with all components working in harmony. Equally significant was his use of continuous music throughout the opera, with the orchestra maintaining continuity within the divisions of the drama. Wagner died on February 13, 1883, of a heart attack.
Published January 1, 1969 by Haskell House Publishers Ltd. 720 pages
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