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Richard Wagner Essay, Research Paper

One of the cardinal figures in the history of opera, Wagner was mostly responsible for changing its orientation in the 19th century. His plan of artistic reform accelerated the tendency towards organically conceived, through-composed constructions, every bit good as act uponing the development of the orchestra, of a new strain of vocalist, and of assorted facets of theatrical pattern. As the most influential composer during the 2nd half of the 19th century, Richard Wagner & # 8217 ; s construct of music remains really much with us even a century after his decease.

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He was a singular pioneer both in harmoniousness and the construction of his work, making his ain version of the Gesamtkunstwerk, dramatic composings in which the humanistic disciplines were brought together in a individual integrity. In the ulterior portion of his calling Wagner enjoyed the support of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was eventually able to set up his ain theater and festival at the Bavarian town of Bayreuth. He developed the usage of the Leitmotiv ( taking motif ) as a rule of musical integrity, his dramatic musical construction depending on the interweaving of tunes or fragments of tune associated with characters, incidents or thoughts in the play. It was non Wagner & # 8217 ; s manner of vocal composing in his Music Dramas that has remained so influential, but his orchestral linguistic communication of chromatic tenseness and release, his superb usage of instrumental tone colour, and his genius for dramatic effects balanced with his long, sultrily calm harmonic patterned advances that have become a pillar in the armory of modern composers.

Wagner won his first operatic success in Dresden with the opera Rienzi, based on a novel by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. In Dresden he besides gained much experience carry oning the symphonic musics and overtures of Beethoven.

As a published author, Wagner made his positions known non merely about music but besides about literature, play, and even political and moral issues. For Wagner, the map of music was to function the terminals of dramatic look, and all of his most of import composings were composed for the theatre. Particularly in Tannhauser, Wagner brightly adapted the substance of the German Romantic libretto to the model of expansive opera. The music evoked the opposite universes of wickedness and beatitude with great emotional ardor and a elaborate harmoniousness and colour. The Pilgrim & # 8217 ; s Chorus from this opera contains what is possibly Wagner & # 8217 ; s most popular and widely known tune. Fatefully, despite his musical successes, things took a bad bend for Wagner when, in 1848, he was caught up in political revolution, and the following twelvemonth he fled to Weimar where Franz Liszt helped him. Subsequently he fled to Switzerland and France.

Lohengrin was foremost performed under the way of Franz Liszt at Weimar in 1850, and it is the last of Wagner & # 8217 ; s works that he of all time referred to as an & # 8220 ; opera. & # 8221 ; Lohengrin embodies several alterations prophetic of the Music Dramas that were to follow it. The narrative comes from mediaeval fable, but Wagner & # 8217 ; s intervention is generalized and symbolic. The technique of repeating subjects was further developed, peculiarly with regard to the motivations associated with Lohengrin and the Grail.

Using Weber’s Der Freisch? tz as a theoretical account to a certain extent, Wagner used key with his characters to assist form both the play and the music: Lohengrin’s key is A Major, Elsa’s A-Flat or E-Flat, and the key for the evil personages is F-Sharp minor. Wagner’s usage of changing keys in a symbolic mode greatly heightens the dramatic consequence of the action on phase every bit good as the music itself.

In Zurich during his expatriate of 1850, Wagner wrote his fiercely antisemitic piece of land: Jewishness In Music. In add-on, he completed his basic statement on musical theatre, Opera and Drama. Wagner began chalk outing the text and music for a series of monumental operas based on the Nordic and Germanic myths. By 1853 the texts for this four-night rhythm of Music Dramas, Der Ring diethylstilbestrols Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelungs ) , were completed and published.

Wagner became involved in an adulterous matter with Mathilde Wesendonck who had fallen in love with him. Mrs. Wesendonck wrote love poems to Wagner that he set to music. This matter inspired the music play Tristan and Isolde, which was foremost conceived in 1854 and completed five old ages subsequently. The basic secret plan of Tristan is the subject of out love. Wagner believed in the absolute unity of play and music: that the two are organically affiliated looks of a individual dramatic thought. The orchestration, so, is the main factor in the music, and the vocal lines are portion of the musical texture, non arias with concomitant. The music is uninterrupted throughout each act, non officially divided into the recitatives, arias, and set Numberss. Harmonically, Tristan and Isolde stretches functional chromaticism to its really bounds, and it is thought by many that Wagner & # 8217 ; s intense use of chromatics in this Music Drama represented for the first clip the apogee of tonic harmonic possibilities.

The first two Ringing Music Dramas were foremost performed in 1869 in Munich, on King Ludwig & # 8217 ; s insisting, since Ludwig was still supplying Wagner with an one-year wage old ages after their first familiarity. Wagner was really dying to hold a particular festival opera house constructed for the complete rhythm of The Ring, and he spent much energy seeking to raise money for it. Finally, when he had about despaired, Ludwig came to the deliverance, and in 1874, the twelvemonth Wagner & # 8217 ; s composing of the 4th opera The Twilight of the Gods was finished, King Ludwig provided the necessary financess.

Richard Wagner remains for many the most absorbing figure in 19th century music. His life and his music arouse passion like that of no other composer. Wagner & # 8217 ; s plants are hated every bit much as they are worshiped in the universe, even today. Already at his clip, he was a beginning of argument and contention. When Wagner died in 1883, over 10.000 books and articles were written about him. The sum of research has multiplied after his decease. Wagner inspired non merely instrumentalists and composers but creative persons likewise, excessively. One of the most celebrated creative persons to exemplify Wagner & # 8217 ; s operas was the celebrated nineteenth century German painter Ferdinand Leeke ( 1859-1925 ) . As a adult male, Wagner was prepared to give his household and friends in the cause of his ain music, and he will ne’er be known otherwise.

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