Wagners gesamtkunstwerk essay

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Wagners gesamtkunstwerk essay

Now we hear it Wagners gesamtkunstwerk essay mood music for stage magic. Other people had no special name. The answer is that he evoked, in the sensuous, intimate realm of musical experience, an apocalyptic vision of the Old World.

It is hard to make sense of what has become of the West without engaging Wagner on his chosen terrain in the musical theater, for electronic media are a poor substitute for live performance. To engage Wagner on that chosen terrain is harder to do as directors bury him under supposedly creative interpretations.

Lepage, who directs the Cirque du Soleil, employs circus tricks that Wagner might have envied. His stage presents two dozen parallel planks.

At first view these seem like yet another minimalist setting, but they twist and bend like an Escher drawing into imaginative sets enhanced by lighting and animation. Doubling for the singers, Wagners gesamtkunstwerk essay on wires appear to walk down a staircase at right angles to the stage.

James Levine, conducting his twenty-first Ring cycle, leads the Met orchestra brilliantly. In past generations the Met promoted singers and conductors; now it advertises the special effects.

Gone are the days when the house sold out for a Kirsten Flagstad or Birgit Nilsson; the buzz in the media and the line at the box office today come from the visual rather than the auditory part of the spectacle.

In some ways, Wagner is simpler to analyze than the great classical composers. Because—as Nietzsche said—Wagner is a miniaturist who sets out to intensify the musical moment, his spells, at close inspection, can be isolated.

Wagners gesamtkunstwerk essay

This is true, but trivial. Today we hear Wagner the same way we hear the background music to Star Wars. The lampoon has displaced our perception of the original work.


But there is much more to Wagner than simple musical figuration. His use of leitmotifs is not what makes his music so fascinating. The musical moment served only to propel the composition toward a necessary conclusion.

If we wish to admire him, we should observe him at work here: But in this way he exhausts his strength; the rest is worthless. That is what Rossini meant when he said that Wagner has beautiful moments and awful quarter-hours.

Wagner had a gift, as well as an ideological purpose, for the intensification of the moment. But if a melody has no end, it cannot have a middle—or, indeed, any inherent differentiation in time. It is like a picture without perspective, in which all objects hover in an undefined space. Wagner created the illusion of timelessness—that is, of a musical moment that transcends time—but he did so with the tools of classical composition, with the presumption that his listener expects to hear the long-term teleology of goal-oriented motion.

To understand Wagner, we must put subjective impressions aside and get under the hood of his musical engine and apply the tools of voice-leading analysis to examine his scores.

His musical impact, though, depends on the manipulation of time. No previous composer ventured to elongate a single chord to the span of an operatic overture, allowing the musical moment to overswim its banks and drown our perception of harmonic change.

A profounder program, though, informs this stroke: The First Vatican Council was in session. To establish his rule on earth through the construction of the fortress Valhalla, Wotan must enlist hostile forces—the giants Fasolt and Fafner.

In return for their service, he pledges the goddess Freia, gardener of the golden apples that keep the gods eternally young. The price of earthly power, in short, is to compromise immortality.

Monetary wealth from despoiled nature allows the gods brief respite, but the gold itself is cursed. The old order of the gods rested on the strength of treaties engraved on the spear by which Wotan rules the world. Entangled in his own web, Wotan cannot oppose the newly empowered giants.

He requires heroes who will do so in his stead and so mates with the earth goddess Erda. She bears him the Valkyries, who bring dead heroes from the battlefield to Valhalla. Wotan also fathers the twins Siegmund and Sieglinde by a mortal woman.

Their incestuous love is the subject of the second Ring opera, The Valkyrie. Sieglinde flees into the forest, where she will die giving birth to Siegfried. Siegfried later will challenge Wotan and shatter his spear, ending the old order.

Wagner told them to celebrate rather than mourn its demise, for in the Twilight of the Gods their impulses would be freed from the fetters of the law.Oct 21,  · The term is loosely translated to ‘Total work of art’ and is discussed in Wagner’s essays – ‘Art and Revolution’ and ‘The Artwork of the Future’ in which he argues that works of art that unite media forms strive to give a greater experience.

(Stein, 70) Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwerk called for a poetic verse that was so intimately intertwined with the melody that the text could be considered as musical counterpoint, an indivisible unit to the music. Operaens bestanddele. Musikken er et lige så vigtigt element som sangteksten og skuespillet i en opera.

Opera adskiller sig fra andre . Liebe Frau Sires, vielen Dank für Ihren Hinweis! Dass nicht der Liebestrank der Grund für die Liebe zwischen Tristan und Isolde ist, ist vielen aufgefallen, nicht zuletzt auch Thomas Mann in seinem großen Essay “Leiden und Größe Richard Wagners”.

Der Titel dieses Artikels ist mehrdeutig. Weitere Bedeutungen sind unter Richard Wagner (Begriffsklärung) aufgeführt. Wagner’s first anti-Jewish screed, the essay “Jewishness in Music,” claimed that Jews could imitate but never create. Given Wagner’s debt to Jewish musicians and writers, this was particularly twisted.

Der Ring des Nibelungen – Wikipedia