This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1899. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER V WAGNER'S THEORY OF MUSIC, POETRY, AND MUSIC-DRAMA I THIS is probably the most convenient point for entering upon the discussion of Wagner's theoretical ideas upon poetry and music and their combination in music-drama. Towards the end of 1849, during his exile in Switzerland, he seems to have conceived the idea of putting into connected exposition his reflections upon the arts. Various schemes and titles seem to have suggested themselves to him, and finally in a letter to Uhlig, dated 9th October 1850, we read:--"My would-be article on opera is becoming rather a voluminous piece of writing, and will perhaps be not much less in size than the Kunstwerk der Zukunft. I have decided to offer this writing under the title Das Wesen der Oper to J. J. Weber.... I have only finished the first half; unfortunately I am now quite hindered from continuing the work."1 Two months later he writes again to Uhlig:--"You would not believe what trouble I give myself with this object, to call forth full understanding from all those who only half understand; yes, even to make myself intelligible to my enemies who do not or will not understand me; and lastly, I rejoice merely because I am always myself coming to a better understanding. My book, which now is to be called Oper und Drama, is not yet ready; it will be at least twice as big as the Kunstwerk der Zukunft. I have still the whole of December to devote to the conclusion, and then certainly the whole of 1 Letter 17 to Uhlig; Eng. trans, p. 74. January for copying and revising. In advance I can only give you the outline. (1) Exposition of the nature of the opera up to our time, with the conclusion, 'Music is a reproductive organism' (Beethoven has used it, as it were, to give birth to melody)--'therefore a female o...
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The first of several in-depth studies of Wagner and his music by the music critic Ernest Newman, author of the four-volume biography published 1933-1947. This early work presents a critical analysis of the composer's aesthetics and philosophy and their expression through his musical development and theoretical writings.
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