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Books about

Richard Wagner

22 may 1813 (Leipzig) - 13 feb 1883 (Venice)


Books about Richard Wagner and his music

bookM. Owen Lee Wagner's Ring: Turning the Sky Round
Limelight Editions, 2004; ISBN 0879101865; 122 pages
Commentary on and a concise, lucid interpretation of the opera world's most complex masterwork, expanded from the author's popular intermission talks during Met Opera broadcasts. Price indication: $ 8.76
bookErnest Newman The Wagner Operas
Princeton University Press, 1991; ISBN 0691027161; 746 pages Price indication: $ 17.79
bookGeorge Bernard Shaw The Perfect Wagnerite
Dover Publications, 1967; ISBN 0486217078; 136 pages Price indication: $ 7.95
bookArthur Rackham Rackham's Color Illustrations for Wagner's "Ring"
Dover Publications, 1979; ISBN 0486237796; 72 pages Price indication: $ 10.36
bookThomas May Decoding Wagner: An Invitation to His World of Music Drama (includes 2 CDs)
Amadeus Press, 2004; ISBN 1574670972; 220 pages
The cultural controversies he helped to create have long since died down, but Richard Wagner still remains a polarizing icon. Just as he dreamed of combining the arts, his influence extends well beyond the field of classical music to theater, literature, painting, and more. Wagner represents a phenomenon which is hard to ignore. His compulsive need to document his thoughts—apart from his art—finds an echo in the enormous body of explanation Wagner has inspired. Yet even with so much written about him, Wagner continues to be a deeply misunderstood figure. This guide aims to unlock the world of Richard Wagner and his works, his monumental achievements, and, ultimately, the great emotional power inherent in his art. This emotional power is double-edged, often serving as a kind of mirror for what each listener brings to it. The book challenges the assumptions and stereotypes of the "Wagnerian" idea of art. Decoding Wagner presents a straightforward, fresh overview of what Wagner attempted to achieve with his "artwork of the future." Lively discussions of his major works place them in the context of his life and consider the interplay of dramatic and musical elements with philosophical ideas which are so unique to Wagner. Two accompanying full-length CDs illustrate and trace his growth as a composer. Decoding Wagner appraises the enormously expressive richness that continues to make his art compelling and relevant for contemporary audiences. Price indication: $ 18.45
bookBryan Magee Aspects of Wagner (Oxford Paperbacks)
Oxford University Press, 1988; ISBN 0192840126; 112 pages
Many music lovers find Wagner's operas inexpressibly beautiful and richly satisfying, while others find them revolting, dangerous, self-indulgent, and immoral. The man who W.H. Auden once called "perhaps the greatest genius that ever lived" has inspired both greater adulation and greater loathing than any other composer. Bryan Magee presents a penetrating analysis of Wagner's work, concentrating on how his sensational and deeply erotic music uniquely expresses the repressed and highly charged contents of the psyche. He examines not only Wagner's music and detailed stage directions but also the prose works in which he formulated his ideas, as well as shedding new light on his anti-semitism and the way in which the Nazis twisted his theories to suit their own purposes. Outlining the astonishing range and depth of Wagner's influence on our culture, Magee reveals how profoundly he continues to shock and inspire musicians, poets, novelists, painters, philosophers, and politicians today. Price indication: $ 10.36
bookFrederic Spotts Bayreuth : A History of the Wagner Festival
Yale University Press, 1994; ISBN 0300057776; 344 pages Price indication: $ 55.00
bookWilliam Berger Wagner Without Fear: Learning to Love--and Even Enjoy--Opera's Most Demanding Genius
Vintage, 1998; ISBN 0375700544; 464 pages
Do you cringe when your opera-loving friends start raving about the latest production of Tristan? Do you feel faint just thinking about the six-hour performance of Parsifal you were given tickets to? Does your mate accuse you of having a Tannhäuser complex? If you're baffled by the behavior of Wagner worshipers, if you've longed to fathom the mysteries of Wagner's ever-increasing popularity, or if you just want to better understand and enjoy the performances you're attending, you'll find this delightful book indispensable. William Berger is the most helpful guide one could hope to find for navigating the strange and beautiful world of the most controversial artist who ever lived. He tells you all you need to know to become a true Wagnerite--from story lines to historical background; from when to visit the rest room to how to sound smart during intermission; from the Jewish legend that possibly inspired Lohengrin to the tragic death of the first Tristan. Funny, informative, and always a pleasure to read, Wagner Without Fear proves that the art of Wagner can be accessible to everyone. Includes: - The strange life of Richard Wagner--German patriot (and exile), friend (and enemy) of Liszt and Nietzsche - Essential opera lore and "lobby talk" - A scene-by-scene analysis of each opera - What to listen for to get the most from the music - Recommended recordings, films, and sound tracks Price indication: $ 10.20
bookPhilip Kitcher and Richard Schacht Finding an Ending: Reflections on Wagner's Ring
Oxford University Press, 2004; ISBN 0195173597; 256 pages Price indication: $ 16.38
bookJean Shinoda Bolen Ring of Power: Symbols and Themes Love Vs. Power in Wagner's Ring Circle and in Us : A Jungian-Feminist Perspective (Jung on the Hudson Book Series)
Nicolas-Hays, 1999; ISBN 0892540435; 245 pages Price indication: $ 12.89
bookBarry Millington Wagner : (Revised ed.)
Princeton University Press, 1992; ISBN 0691027226; 356 pages
Wagner is one of the most controversial of composers, and much that has been written about him--including his autobiography--is misleading. Barry Millington draws on the best previous scholarship and his own original research to set the record straight. The first part of this book is devoted to biography; the second, to a detailed study of the operas. Millington offers a historical review of the critical interpretation of each opera, including a discussion of recent methods of formal analysis. In this revised edition, two chapters, those on Tannhauser and Die Meistersinger, include significant new material. The bibliography has also been updated. Price indication: $ 13.57
bookSimon Williams Wagner and the Romantic Hero
Cambridge University Press, 2004; ISBN 0521820081; 204 pages Price indication: $ 65.00
bookJoachim Kohler and Stewart Spencer Richard Wagner : The Last of the Titans
Yale University Press, 2004; ISBN 0300104227; 704 pages
“The most stimulating study of Wagner to have been published for years. An enthralling read.”—Barry Millington In this new biography of Richard Wagner, Joachim Köhler draws on social and political analysis, documentary interpretation, and psychological insights to paint a rounded picture of Wagner as both a controversial historical phenomenon and a complex human being. Köhler’s reading of the letters, diaries, and other documents of the main protagonists, some of them unfamiliar even to seasoned Wagnerians, results in some breathtaking but convincing reappraisals. He examines Wagner’s love affairs with Jessie Laussot, Mathilde Wesendonck, and Judith Gautier and assesses their lasting emotional effect. He re-evaluates Wagner’s relationships with his mother, step-father, sister, and—most revealingly—his wife, Cosima, a relationship seen as based on fear rather than love. Köhler explores the philosophical roots of Wagner’s work, which the composer himself deliberately obfuscated. And he analyzes Wagner’s relationship with King Ludwig, whom Wagner is revealed to have blackmailed, and with Nietzsche, whom he tried to destroy. The traumas of his youth haunted Wagner throughout his life, as his emotional development underlay his notorious anti-semitism. Köhler’s interpretation of Wagner’s dreams, as recorded in Cosima’s diaries, offers astonishing insights into the paranoia and insecurity of a man who was one of the leading composers of his age. Joachim Köhler is the author of Nietzsche and Wagner: A Lesson in Subjugation, and Zarathustra’s Secret: The Interior Life of Friedrich Nietzsche, both published by Yale University Press. He is also the author of Wagner’s Hitler. Stewart Spencer is editor of The Selected Letters of Richard Wagner, Wagner’s Ring, and Wagner Remembered. Price indication: $ 29.60
bookDavid J. Levin Richard Wagner, Fritz Lang, and the Nibelungen
Princeton University Press, 1999; ISBN 0691049718; 224 pages
This highly original book draws on narrative and film theory, psychoanalysis, and musicology to explore the relationship between aesthetics and anti-Semitism in two controversial landmarks in German culture. David Levin argues that Richard Wagner's opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen and Fritz Lang's 1920s film Die Nibelungen creatively exploit contrasts between good and bad aesthetics to address the question of what is German and what is not. He shows that each work associates a villainous character, portrayed as non-Germanic and Jewish, with the sometimes dramatically awkward act of narration. For both Wagner and Lang, narration--or, in cinematic terms, visual presentation--possesses a typically Jewish potential for manipulation and control. Consistent with this view, Levin shows, the Germanic hero Siegfried is killed in each work by virtue of his unwitting adoption of a narrative role. Levin begins with an explanation of the book's theoretical foundations and then applies these theories to close readings of, in turn, Wagner's cycle and Lang's film. He concludes by tracing how Germans have dealt with the Nibelungen myths in the wake of the Second World War, paying special attention to Michael Verhoeven's 1989 film The Nasty Girl . His fresh and interdisciplinary approach sheds new light not only on Wagner's Ring and Lang's Die Nibelungen , but also on the ways in which aesthetics can be put to the service of aggression and hatred. The book is an important contribution to scholarship in film and music and also to the broader study of German culture and national identity. Price indication: $ 21.95
bookBryan Magee The Tristan Chord: Wagner and Philosophy
Metropolitan Books, 2001; ISBN 0805067884; 416 pages Price indication: $ 9.95
bookTheodor Adorno In Search of Wagner (Verso Modern Classics)
Verso, 1991; ISBN 0860917967; 159 pages Price indication: (used only): from $ 16.94
bookRichard Wagner and Mary Whittall and Andrew Gray My Life
Da Capo Pr, 1992; ISBN 0306804816; 800 pages Price indication: (used only): from $ 40.00
bookMartin Gregor-Dellin Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century
Harcourt, 1983; ISBN 0151771510; 575 pages Price indication: (used only): from $ 12.71
bookRudolph Sabor The real Wagner
A. Deutsch, 1987; ISBN 0233978704; 312 pages Price indication: $ 99.86

Sheet music, libretti, etc.

Die Meistersinger Von Nurnburg: Complete Vocal and Orchestral Score - Dover Publications

Gotterdammerung in Full Score - Dover Publications

Ring of the Nibelung - W. W. Norton & Company

Siegfried in Full Score - Dover Publications

The Flying Dutchman in Full Score - Dover Publications

Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung - Thames & Hudson



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