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eBook Wagner Remembered download

by Stewart Spencer

eBook Wagner Remembered download ISBN: 0571196535
Author: Stewart Spencer
Publisher: Faber & Faber (July 1, 2000)
Language: English
Pages: 256
ePub: 1502 kb
Fb2: 1814 kb
Rating: 4.9
Other formats: mobi lrf lit lrf
Category: Art and Photo
Subcategory: Music

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FREE shipping on qualifying offers. Nobody', wrote Samuel Johnson, 'can write the life of a man, but those who have eat and drunk and lived in social intercourse with him'. Here is a life of Wagner told by those who rubbed shoulders with him in the course of his turbulent lifetime. Few composers have led such eventful lives or excited such violent views.

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Nobody', wrote Samuel Johnson, 'can write the life of a man, but those who have eat and drunk and lived in social intercourse with him'. Nobody', wrote Samuel Johnson, 'can write the life of a man, but those who have eat and drunk and lived in social intercourse with hi.

Houston Stewart Chamberlain (/ˈtʃeɪmbərlɪn/; 9 September 1855 – 9 January 1927) was a British-born German philosopher who wrote works about political philosophy and natural science; he is described by Michael D. Biddiss, a contributor to the Oxford . . Biddiss, a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, as a "racialist writer". Chamberlain married Eva von Bülow, the daughter of composer Richard Wagner, in December 1908, twenty-five years after Wagner's death.

He is the author of Wagner Remembered. Books by Stewart Spencer. Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung. A Companion Stewart Spencer, Barry Millington.

The book raises profound aesthetic questions about the realization of opera on the stage .

The book raises profound aesthetic questions about the realization of opera on the stage: the authority of the composer vis-a-vis the director and the audience; the sanctity of the text, score and stage directions; and the role of art itself in society. These issues are discussed both theoretically and, referring to specific productions, in terms of their practical consequences.

Martin Geck, Mr. Stewart Spencer. Best known for the challenging four-opera cycle The Ring of the Nibelung, Richard Wagner (1813-83) was a conductor, librettist, theater director, and essayist, in addition to being the composer of some of the most enduring operatic works in history, such as The Flying Dutchman, Tannhauser, and Tristan and Isolde. Though his influence on the development of European music is indisputable, Wagner was also quite outspoken on the politics and culture of his time.

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Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

A superb compendium of primary source material on one of the most famous and controversial composers of all time.

"Nobody," wrote Samuel Johnson, "can write the life of a man but those who have eat and drunk and lived in social intercourse with him." Here, then, is a life of Richard Wagner told by those who rubbed shoulders with him in the course of his turbulent existence.

Few composers have led such eventful lives or excited such violent views as Wagner. No one could be indifferent to him, and his contemporaries were not slow to record their impressions of a man they either idolized or demonized. This is the story of how they remembered Wagner and how they wanted posterity to remember him. But it is also the story of his life told with immediacy, wit, affection, and awe, all qualities that have largely been lost in other accounts of Wagner. Although the choice of reminiscences is necessarily selective, no attempt has been made to impose a unified picture. Instead the image of Wagner in all his vicissitudes is allowed to emerge through a kaleidoscope of recollections--presented by more than sixty contemporaries, from Auguste Renoir to Robert Schumann to Queen Victoria--some never before published, many hitherto unavailable in English, and all scrupulously annotated in the light of the latest research on the subject.

Comments: (5)
Have a very large Wagner library and have read about the whole Wagner family. Book offers a more sympathetic view of his character than I had previously. Worth a reread.
This interesting little book is a collection of rather brief eyewitness accounts of people who actually met Wagner. It is entertaining, and endlessly fascinating. However, the veracity of many of these memories is questionable, so the reader has to be careful about accepting the text at face value. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in Richard Wagner, keeping the previous caution in mind.

Literature about Wagner is not in short supply, and neither are analysis, critiques, and essays about his personality and behavior. It is refreshing to read first hand reports about him from a variety of viewpoints. On the other hand, many of these brief letters and diary entries were written many years or even decades after the fact. Some are obviously colored or altered by the eyewitness for various reasons. The childhood reminisces by Avenarius (Wagner's half-nephew) is a laughable prevarication, yet most writing about Wagner's childhood is based on it. Likewise, the account of Wagner's death by someone who was not there is also manufactured from whole cloth.

I do have a few objections to the book's format. Each chapter merely has a year span as its title (1813-42, 1842-49, 1849-58, 1858-64, 1864-72, and 1872-83). There is no listing in the table of contents or chapter heading of the names in that chapter. Also, the date the reminisce was actually written is usually not listed. Likewise for the specific date the encounter supposedly occurred, even then only in an elliptical footnote.
Here is a fascinating collections of memoirs, letters, diary extracts and articles by people who spent time with Wagner.
They show an extraordinary force of nature, a man of astonishing energy, by turns charming and unbearable, astonishingly quick both to rage and to forgive, and childish beyond belief. A famous example, given here, is the soiree where the guests - not Wagner's guests, by the way - briefly paid attention to another person in the room. Wagner solved the problem by screaming, literally, with rage; when the astonished company turned back to Wagner he carried on his "conversation", or monologue, as if nothing had happened. Other less well-known stories appear here, illustrating a similar outrageousness. The ugly and unpleasant antisemitism is also fully represented. Though the different excerpts all find this mercurial man in different moods, all accounts have one thing in common: the writers are all aware that they have just encountered something absolutely extraordinary.
Not appearing is (I've forgotten the original source and the exact form of the quote, though it's cited in a well-known article on Wagner by Deems Taylor) Wagner's own observation on what people who put up with his demands, financial and emotional could expect: they were well recompensed because they would be able to tell stories about having known Wagner, for the rest of their lives. He was right, of course, as this book, among thousands of others, so richly proves.
This is an excellent portrait and resource book, offering a more vivid and arguably truer picture of Wagner than any of the available biographies. (Wagner may be the historical figure of whom secondary sources are most unreliable. With Wagner it ALWAYS pays to read the original source and NEVER to trust the commentator, some of whom should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.)
A fault is that we should have heard more from the musicians who knew Wagner: not the fellow composers, whose anecdotes are mostly well-known and appear here once again, but the orchestral players and others who played under him or worked with him at London, Dresden and of course Bayreuth: more especially on his rehearsing of the _Ring_ would have been most welcome. Among musicians Wagner is not only at his best as a human being, but also his most fascinating as a talker. His obiter dicta on his contemporaries, and even more on his great ancestors, are worth the price, but there could comfortably have been more.
Still, a book which is both a fascinating read for the Wagner neophyte and a useful resource for the Wagner scholar: a great combination and an excellent book. Highly recommended.
Wagner would be 'the man' for opera buffs, but for the non operatic, including this reviewer, Richard Wagner is a footnote in the historical consciousness from whom we hear an occasional note, vaguely associate with some powerful music out of the late 1800s, and ever that disturbing sense of an anti-Semetic presence. Wagner Remembered brings such vague recollections to life by anthology of sixty something third person accounts about the composer written by friends and acquaintences close in time to some encounter with Wagner. There are included written impressions by such as Queen Victoria, King Ludwig of Bavaria, Nieztsche, the son Siegried, a memorable erudite rendition by Judith Gautier, all ranging from the mundane such as the furniture in the house or the cut of the clothes to complex analysis of the bombastic personality. Rather than haphazard compilation, it seems that Stewart Spencer gives to us a laborious effort of intense scholarship honed in multiple libraries and academic back alleys, and the result of this unusual format in biographical form is a suprisingly complete picture of the total package. Spencer is unable to include everything and seems intentionally to omit anything written by Wagner or the wives, treats (as noted) only superficially with the deeper relationships with Berlioz, Nietszche and Liszt, and deals only thinly with the operas. Also receiving superficial treatment are Wagner's anti-Semetic views, and while from this volume it is clear that he has them, it is unclear whether those views reflect merely the nationalism and isolation of those times, or whether Wagner and this admitted and advertised prejudice from a position of influence contribute in part to the conflagration that was to come. What does transpire in Wagner Remembered is something we all recognize, namely that our perfect expectation of mental genius is too frequently disappointed as we are presented simultaneously with a kind and thoughtful gentleman, but also an intellectual bully, philanderer on both his wives, and unrepentant deadbeat, who viewed his mental qualities as placing him above the ordinary milieu. Perhaps Wagner was correct in this view of himself. Certainly the quintessential experience of listening to a Wagner prelude creates to some extent the illusion or reality, take your pick, that the enormous talent does overshadow everything else. Credit Stewart Spencer with giving us an splendidly successful volume about a fascinating life.