Richard Wagner's Music Dramas by Carl Dahlhaus

By Carl Dahlhaus

Translated through Mary Whittall

Previous stories of Wagner's operas have tended to method the works as chunks of autobiography, philosophical speculations or historical-political reviews at the age during which they have been written. Professor Dahlhaus dissociated himself from all such ventures. His objective is to bare, by means of cautious research of the works from Der fliegende Hollander to Parsifal, the dominant positive factors of 'music drama' and the way Wagner achieves such profound, unified results. Professor Dahlhaus cites song examples simply after they are germane to his argument and calls for from his readers not more than a restricted quantity of technical musical wisdom. this isn't, for this reason, an solely expert examine. really it is going to support the enthusiastic newbie to come back to phrases with those nice artworks in addition to delivering many helpful insights to the skilled Wagnerian. The ebook may be of curiosity to scholars and students of tune historical past, idea, opera and philosophy.

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Just as Senta's ballad in Der fliegende Holländer provided the starting point of the composition, as the 'unifying thematic image', so in Lohengrin, as Wagner explained in the Communication, he attempted to realize a similar unity: only this time I did not already have a complete musical item like the ballad in front in of me, but only first shaped the image, which the thematic radii came together, out of the construction of the scenes, out of their organic growth one from another, and then allowed it to appear everywhere where it was necessary for the comprehension of the principal situations.

Judging by that, an analysis of Lohengrin ought to be able to convert Wagner's metaphor into musical terms and discover the image in which ' ' the 'thematic radii' The number come together. of melodic motives or themes which have a structural role in the inner action conveyed by the music is still very small in the royal fanfares Das Rheingold). ) Another obvious difference between the motivic technique of Lohengrin and the true leitmotivic process first developed in the Ring periodic structures, which is Wagner the retention of regular, 'quadratic' later demned.

The version of the legend of Tannhäuser contained in Des Knaben two parts. In a long introductory dialogue, Tannhäuser away from Dame Venus and her enchanted mountain, the Venusberg, a hell disguised as a paradise, where he has spent a year, possessed by the demons into which the gods of the ancient world had been transformed in the Christian Middle Ages. ) Tannhäuser's leavetaking marked contrast to be infernal powers, not heavenly from Venus is excessively rhetorical, in to the bald, abrupt narration of the legend itself.

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