Portrait: Richard Wagner, composer, theatre director, polemicist, conductor

Wednesday, 23 March 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Portrait
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Wagner bust in Bayreuth © Schubbay/cc-by-sa-3.0

Wagner bust in Bayreuth © Schubbay/cc-by-sa-3.0

Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas (or, as some of his mature works were later known, “music dramas”). Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (“total work of art”), by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).

His compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex textures, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs—musical phrases associated with individual characters, places, ideas, or plot elements. His advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, greatly influenced the development of classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music.

Richard-Wagner-Festspielhaus in Bayreuth © Rico Neitzel - www.rizi-online.de/cc-by-sa-2.5 Villa Wahnfried in Bayreuth © JosefLehmkuhl Richard_Wagner_1871_in_Munich_by_Franz_Hanfstaengl Wagner bust in Bayreuth © Schubbay/cc-by-sa-3.0 Grave of Richard and Cosima Wagner in the Villa Wahnfried garden in Bayreuth © JosefLehmkuhl/cc-by-sa-4.0
<
>
Grave of Richard and Cosima Wagner in the Villa Wahnfried garden in Bayreuth © JosefLehmkuhl/cc-by-sa-4.0
Wagner had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which embodied many novel design features. The Ring and Parsifal were premiered here and his most important stage works continue to be performed at the annual Bayreuth Festival, run by his descendants. His thoughts on the relative contributions of music and drama in opera were to change again, and he reintroduced some traditional forms into his last few stage works, including Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg).

Until his final years, Wagner’s life was characterised by political exile, turbulent love affairs, poverty and repeated flight from his creditors. His controversial writings on music, drama and politics have attracted extensive comment – particularly, since the late 20th century, where they express antisemitic sentiments. The effect of his ideas can be traced in many of the arts throughout the 20th century; his influence spread beyond composition into conducting, philosophy, literature, the visual arts and theatre. Due to his anti-Semitic attitude, Wagner performances are still forbidden (an unwritten law) in Israel today, which leads to the paradoxical situation that an ever-growing Israeli Wagner fan base travels to the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth.

Read more on Wikipedia Richard Wagner (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Old Tbilisi in Georgia

Old Tbilisi in Georgia

[caption id="attachment_208131" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Narikala Fortress © panoramio.com - David Holt/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Old Tbilisi was an administrative district (raioni) in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, from 2007 to 2013. Although the term "Old Tbilisi" has long been used to denote a historical part of the city, it was only in 2007 that it became a distinct administrative entity to incorporate several historical neighbourhoods formerly included in the districts of Mtatsminda-Krtsanisi, Isani-Samg...

[ read more ]

Jumeirah in Dubai

Jumeirah in Dubai

[caption id="attachment_238466" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Jumeirah Archaeological Site © Sahil.latheef/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Jumeirah is a coastal residential area of Dubai, United Arab Emirates mainly comprising low rise private dwellings and hotel developments. It has both expensive and large detached properties as well as more modest town houses built in a variety of architectural styles. The area is popular with expatriates working in the emirate and is familiar to many tourists visiting Dubai. ...

[ read more ]

Portrait: Ayn Rand, the voice of libertarian Objectivism

Portrait: Ayn Rand, the voice of libertarian Objectivism

[caption id="attachment_209867" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Ayn Rand quote - American Adventure - Epcot Center - Walt Disney World © flickr.com - Cory Doctorow/cc-by-sa-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Ayn Rand< was a Russian-American writer and philosopher. Rand was born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum on February 2, 1905, to a Russian-Jewish bourgeois family living in Saint Petersburg. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she named Objectivis...

[ read more ]

Oestrich-Winkel in the Rheingau

Oestrich-Winkel in the Rheingau

[caption id="attachment_161044" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Vinyards and Vollrads Castle © Brühl[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Oestrich-Winkel is a town in the Rheingau-Taunus district in the Darmstadt region in Hesse and is characterized by winegrowing. The Rheingau Music Festival has its office in Oestrich in a former winery, the presshouse (Kelterhalle) converted to a hall for intimitate concerts and events. The Oestricher Kran, Oestrich’s main landmark, is a former wine-loading crane from the 18th century for lo...

[ read more ]

Laon in Picardy

Laon in Picardy

[caption id="attachment_160766" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © bodoklecksel/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Laon is the capital city of the Aisne department in Picardy in northern France with about 26.000 inhabitants. The town has the only fully automated municipal cable car system in the world. It links the upper town (the historical centre, located on a plateau) with the lower town, has three stations and runs on rubber tyres. The holy district of Laon, which rises a hundred metres above the otherwise flat ...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Thailand

Theme Week Thailand

[caption id="attachment_204478" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Yaowarat Road, the centre of Bangkok's Chinatown © flickr.com - Ninara/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Southeast Asian Indochinese Peninsula composed of 76 provinces. At 513,120 km² (198,120 sq mi) and over 68 million people, Thailand is the world's 50th-largest country by total area and the 22nd-most-populous country. The capital and largest city is Ban...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Cyclades - Paros

Theme Week Cyclades - Paros

[caption id="attachment_153470" align="aligncenter" width="443"] Paros Collage © Dimorsitanos/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Paros is a Greek island in the central Aegean Sea. One of the Cyclades island group, it lies to the west of Naxos, from which it is separated by a channel about 8 kilometres (5 miles) wide. It lies approximately 100 mi (161 kilometres) south-east of Piraeus. The Municipality of Paros includes numerous uninhabited offshore islets totaling 196.308 square kilometres (75.795 sq mi) of land. Its neares...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Brunei - Bandar Seri Begawan

Theme Week Brunei - Bandar Seri Begawan

[caption id="attachment_219906" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque © Daniel Weiss/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Bandar Seri Begawan (formerly known as Brunei Town) is the capital and largest city of Brunei. It is officially governed as a municipality (Malay: bandaran). Bandar Seri Begawan has an estimated population of 100,700, and including the whole Brunei-Muara District, the metro area has an estimated population of 279,924, over half the population of the country. Brunei Internationa...

[ read more ]

Panama City

Panama City

[caption id="attachment_162475" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Panama City financial district © Dronepicr/cc-by-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Panama City is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Panama. It has a metro population of 1,5 million, and is located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, in the province of Panama. The city is the political and administrative center of the country, as well as a hub for international banking and commerce. It is considered a "beta-" world city, one of three Central Amer...

[ read more ]

Bodø, north of the Arctic Circle

Bodø, north of the Arctic Circle

[caption id="attachment_154380" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Landegode Lighthouse © Janter/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Bodø is a town and a municipality, the largest urban area and city in Nordland county, and the second-largest in North Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Salten and it is the capital of Nordland county. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Bodø. Other villages in Bodø include Misvær, Skjerstad, Saltstraumen, Løding, Løpsmarka, Kjerringøy, Sørvær, and ...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
High Street © Andreas F. Borchert/cc-by-sa-4.0
Theme Week County Galway – Tuam

Tuam (Irish: Tuaim, meaning 'mound' or 'burial-place') is a town in Ireland and the second-largest settlement in County Galway. It...

© NJR ZA/cc-by-sa-3.0
Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg

The Apartheid Museum is a museum in Johannesburg, South Africa illustrating apartheid and the 20th century history of South Africa....

Connemara National Park from Diamond Hill © Karie Kuiper/cc-by-sa-4.0
Theme Week County Galway

County Galway (Irish: Contae na Gaillimhe) is a county in Ireland. It is in the West of Ireland, taking up...

Schließen