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The Quest for the Gesamtkunstwerk and Richard Wagner

The Quest for the Gesamtkunstwerk and Richard Wagner (Hardback)

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Synopsis

The Gesamtkunstwerk ('total work of art'), once a key concept in Wagner studies, has become problematic. This book sheds light on this conundrum by first tracing the development of the concept in the 19th century through selected examples, some of which include combinations of different art forms. It then focuses on the culmination of the Gesamtkunstwerk in Wagner's theories and in the practice of his late music dramas, of which Der Ring des Nibelungen is the most complete representation. Finally, the book contrasts the view of the Ring as a fusion of dramatic text and music with the 20th century trend towards Deconstruction in Wagnerian productions and the importance of Regie. Against this trend a case is made here for a fresh critical approach and a reconsideration of the nature and basis for the fundamental unity which has hitherto been widely perceived in Wagner's Ring. Approaches through Leitmotiv alone are no longer acceptable. However, in conjunction with anot

Music & DanceMusic BooksMusic: styles & genresIndividual composers & musicians, specific bands & groupsMusic & DanceMusic BooksMusic: styles & genresWestern "classical" music Publisher: Oxford University Press Publication Date: 28/04/2016 ISBN-13: 9780199325436  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Professor Hilda Meldrum Brown, Emeritus Professor of German at the University of Oxford, is internationally known for her work on Heinrich von Kleist. She has published widely on German literary topics from Goethe to Christa Wolf. Her research has for some years had a strong interdisciplinary bias and involves studying connections between literature, drama, music, the visual arts, especially in the field of German Romanticism and Richard Wagner. Her new book on the Gesamtkunstwerk and Richard Wagner combines a number of these areas of research and has been supported by The Leverhulme Trust (Emeritus Research Fellowship) and a Hawthornden Fellowship at The International Retreat for Writers.

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