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GER 2555 01 - Richard Wagner: Culture, Politics, Music: Home

Information on library resources and Zotero for students enrolled in Richard Wagner: Culture, Politics, Music.

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A Few Books on Wagner:

Book cover with a color photograph from a Wagnerian opera production.

The Trouble with Wagner

In this unique and hybrid book, cultural and music historian Michael P. Steinberg combines a close analysis of Wagnerian music drama with a personal account of his work as a dramaturg on the bicentennial production of The Ring of the Nibelung for the Teatro alla Scala Milan and the Berlin State Opera. Steinberg shows how Wagner uses the power of a modern mythology to heighten music's claims to knowledge, thereby fusing not only art and politics, but truth and lies as well. Rather than attempting to separate value and violence, or "the good from the bad," as much Wagner scholarship as well as popular writing have tended to do, Steinberg proposes that we confront this paradox and look to the capacity of the stage to explore its depths and implications.   Drawing on decades of engagement with Wagner and of experience teaching opera across disciplines, The Trouble with Wagner is packed with novel insights for experts and interested readers alike.  

Black book cover with a color photograph from a Wagnerian opera production.

The Cambridge Companion to Wagner

Richard Wagner is remembered as one of the most influential figures in music and theatre, but his place in history has been marked by a considerable amount of controversy. His attitudes towards the Jews and the appropriation of his operas by the Nazis, for example, have helped to construct a historical persona that sits uncomfortably with modern sensibilities. Yet Wagner's absolutely central position in the operatic canon continues. This volume serves as a timely reminder of his ongoing musical, cultural, and political impact. Contributions by specialists from such varied fields as musical history, German literature and cultural studies, opera production, and political science consider a range of topics, from trends and problems in the history of stage production to the representations of gender and sexuality. With the inclusion of invaluable and reliably up-to-date biographical data, this collection will be of great interest to scholars, students, and enthusiasts.

Gray book cover with a black and white photograph of Richard Wagner.

Richard Wagner and His World

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) aimed to be more than just a composer. He set out to redefine opera as a "total work of art" combining the highest aspirations of drama, poetry, the symphony, the visual arts, even religion and philosophy. Equally celebrated and vilified in his own time, Wagner continues to provoke debate today regarding his political legacy as well as his music and aesthetic theories. Wagner and His World examines his works in their intellectual and cultural contexts. Seven original essays investigate such topics as music drama in light of rituals of naming in the composer's works and the politics of genre; the role of leitmotif in Wagner's reception; the urge for extinction in Tristan und Isolde as psychology and symbol; Wagner as his own stage director; his conflicted relationship with pianist-composer Franz Liszt; the anti-French satire Eine Kapitulation in the context of the Franco-Prussian War; and responses of Jewish writers and musicians to Wagner's anti-Semitism. In addition to the editor, the contributors are Karol Berger, Leon Botstein, Lydia Goehr, Kenneth Hamilton, Katherine Syer, and Christian Thorau. This book also includes translations of essays, reviews, and memoirs by champions and detractors of Wagner; glimpses into his domestic sphere in Tribschen and Bayreuth; and all of Wagner's program notes to his own works. Introductions and annotations are provided by the editor and David Breckbill, Mary A. Cicora, James Deaville, Annegret Fauser, Steven Huebner, David Trippett, and Nicholas Vazsonyi.

Red and orange cover with a figure standing against smoke and flame.

The Sorcerer of Bayreuth

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) is one of the most influential - and also one of the most controversial - composers in the history of music. Over the course of his long career, he produced a stream of spellbinding works that challenged musical convention through their richness and tonal experimentation, ultimately paving the way for modernism. This book presents an in-depth but easy-to-read overview of Wagner's life, work and times. It considers a wide range of themes, including the composer's original sources of inspiration; his fetish for exotic silks; his relationship with his wife, Cosima, and with his mistress, Mathilde Wesendonck; the anti-semitism that is undeniably present in the operas; their proto-cinematic nature; and the turbulent legacy both of the Bayreuth Festival and of Wagnerism itself. Making use of the very latest scholarship - much of it undertaken by the author himself in connection with his editorship of The Wagner Journal - Millington reassesses received notions about Wagner and his work, demolishing ill-informed opinion in favour of proper critical understanding. It is a radical - and occasionally controversial - reappraisal of this most perplexing of composers. The volume's arrangement - unique among books on the composer -combines an accessible text, intriguing images and original documents, thus ensuring a consistently fresh approach. Bringing new insights to an endlessly fascinating subject, The Sorcerer of Bayreuth will charm anyone interested in music and in the wider cultural life of the 19th century and beyond.

Plain black book cover.

Wagner and Cinema

The work of Richard Wagner is a continuing source of artistic inspiration and ideological controversy in literature, philosophy, and music, as well as cinema. In Wagner and Cinema, a diverse group of established and emerging scholars examines Wagner's influence on cinema from the silent era to the present. The essays in this collection engage in a critical dialogue with existing studies--extending and renovating current theories related to the topic--and propose unexplored topics and new methodological perspectives. The contributors discuss films ranging from the 1913 biopic of Wagner to Ridley Scott's Gladiator, with essays on silent cinema, film scoring, Wagner in Hollywood, German cinema, and Wagner beyond the soundtrack.

Blue book cover with title in white.

Richard Wagner: A Research and Information Guide, 2nd ed.

Richard Wagner: A Research and Information Guide is an annotated bibliography concerning both the nature of primary sources related to the composer and the scope and significance of the secondary sources which deal with him, his compositions, and his influence as a composer and performer.

Purple book cover with black and white photograph of Richard Wagner.

The New Grove Guide to Wagner and His Operas

One of the most controversial figures in the history of ideas as well as music, Richard Wagner continues to stimulate debate whenever his works are performed. Drawing upon the scholarship of The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, the most comprehensive dictionary of opera in the world, Barry Millington offers a concise, portable survey and guide, which will make a welcome addition to the shelf of anyone who loves opera. Millington has completely updated the original pieces and contributed four new chapters on Wagner, including a summary of Wagner productions from 1876 to the present day, a suggested listening and viewing gyide, complete chronology of Wagner's operas, and a glossary of terms that will delight any opera-goer. In addition, there are detailed entries on each of Wagner's operas, a main biographical section, and a group of separate articles on such topics as Leitmotif and Gesamtkunstwerk, as well as a newly revised updated article on Bayreuth. Complete with a new preface, updated bibliography, glossary, and discography--including first release dates of each recording--The New Grove Guide to Wagner and his Operas furnishes both seasoned Wagner-lovers and neophytes with all they require for an in-depth appreciation of this unique historical figure.

Green book cover with Richard Wagner's signature in white.

The Wagner Compendium

The grandiose operas of Richard Wagner - Tannhauser, the Ring Cycle and Tristan und Isolde - still affect audiences with their deeply symbolic dramatic expressions of love, fate and religious fervor. Yet, because of the association of his music with National Socialism and his own anti-Semitism, Wagner himself remains deeply controversial.

Plain white book cover with black text.

Wagner and the Romantic Hero

Few major artists have aroused the ire and adulation of successive generations as persistently as Richard Wagner. He was the centre of controversy during his lifetime and yet, when he died, he was the most idolized man in Germany. The situation has not changed much since then. Simon Williams explores the reasons for this adulation and antipathy by examining an aspect that may be a fundamental cause for this radical division in the reception of Wagner's work, the phenomenon of heroism. Williams analyses this heroism as a function of Wagner's theatre and music, beginning with a definition and examination of the concept of the heroic. The book also discusses all thirteen stage works by Wagner and the phenomenon of heroism and Wagner's adaptation of the figure of the Romantic hero. Williams offers a theatrical, musical, and cultural re-evaluation of one of the most enduring figures in the arts. -- Description from ProQuest e-book record.

The Library Catalog:

The Library Catalog allows you to search for physical materials in the collections (like books and audiovisual recordings), but also provides access to journal and newspaper articles, book chapters, reviews, and more by simultaneously searching a wide variety of open access repositories and many (but not all) of the subscription databases provided by the Heard Libraries. You can learn more about the Library Catalog here.

Music Databases:

There are several subject-specific databases that will help you with your research on Wagner and his operas. The content found in RILM and Oxford Music Online are not included in the library catalog search, so you need to search them separately using the links below. Much of the content from the Music Periodicals Database is in the catalog, but it's often easier to search in the ProQuest interface.

 

Questions? Ask Me!

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Sara Manus
Contact:
Music Librarian for Education and Outreach / Anne Potter Wilson Music Library, 2134B / Blair School of Music / 2400 Blakemore Avenue, Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-8686
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Subjects:Music