In this classic guide, the foremost Wagner expert of our century discusses ten of Wagner's most beloved operas, illuminates their key themes and the myths and literary sources behind the librettos, and demonstrates how the composer's style changed from work to work. Acclaimed as the most complete and intellectually satisfying analysis of the Wagner operas, the book has met with unreserved enthusiasm from specialist and casual music lover alike. Here, available for the first time in a single paperback volume, is the perfect companion for listening to, or attending, The Flying Dutchman, Tannhauser, Lohengrin, Tristan and Isolde, Die Meistersinger, the four operas of the Ring Cycle, and Parsifal. Newman enriches his treatment of the stories, texts, and music of the operas with biographical and historical materials from the store of knowledge that he acquired while completing his numerous books on Wagner, including the magisterial Life of Richard Wagner. The text of The Wagner Operas is filled with hundreds of musical examples from the scores, and all the important leitmotifs and their interrelationships are made clear in Newman's lucid prose.
"This is as fine an introduction as any ever written about a major composer's masterpieces. Newman outlines with unfailing clarity and astuteness each opera's dramatic sources, and he takes the student through the completed opera, step by step, with all manner of incidental insight along the way."--Robert Bailey, New York University
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(235mm x 155mm x 41mm)
Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
Newman is the author of the standard four volume biography of Wagner, published over the years 1933-1946. In the course of his research, in the publication and availability of new source material, he has come across primary data which enables him to see Wagner's work as Wagner himself viewed it. And for this reason he is publishing this new analysis of the operas, beginning with The Flying Dutchman and going on through Parsifal. Enormous erudition - profound understanding of the man, his period, the forces operating at the time each opera was composed and produced. A book for close students of the scores- for listeners who want to share Newman's own determination to get from the operas that last ounce of what went into their creation. Special market. (Kirkus Reviews)
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