By Francis Hueffer
Francis Hueffer (1845-89) used to be born and studied song in Germany, yet moved to London in 1869 to pursue a occupation as a critic and author on tune. He edited the sequence 'The nice Musicians' for Novello and Co., was once song critic of the days, wrote libretti for a few now-forgotten operas, and was once an early suggest and interpreter to the British of Wagner. among his Richard Wagner and the tune of the longer term (1874) and his translation of the correspondence of Wagner and Liszt (1888), he wrote Wagner in his personal 'Great Musicians' sequence in 1881 (two years sooner than the composer's death). The ebook surveys Wagner's lifestyles and his musical writings, and a separate bankruptcy is dedicated to every of the operas (except Parsifal, which was once no longer played until eventually 1882). this can be a attention-grabbing modern evaluation of the standard-bearer of the 'music of the future'.
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Additional info for Richard Wagner
They were written, before Wagner became acquainted with the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, which plays so important a part in his later writings, and gives as it were the finishing touch to his theory of musical art. Any account of Wagner's system would be incomplete without reference to Schopenhauer's influence on the great composer's opinion, and although the results of that influence were first embodied in Wagner's pamphlet on Beethoven, published in 1870, it will be best to treat this side of the subject first.
Certain established forms of absolute music, such as finale or duet, were bodily transferred into the action of the piece without any regard to their poetical propriety. In the course of time the poet became the bondsman of the musician, and had to arrange his libretti (as they were ignominiously called) entirely according to the arbitrary decision of the latter. Even the human voice, the last stronghold of the poetical element in music, was treated like any other instrument, only with a view to displaying its beauties of sound.
The prelude, and in a certain sense the opera itself, are based on one melodious phrase—the Graal-motive—or, one might even say, on the change of the two chords (A major and F sharp minor) which form the harmonious foundation of that prominent melody. e. leading motive or melody. For every important idea or passionate impulse of his characters Wagner introduces a certain striking harmonious or melodious combination, as the musical complement of their dramatic force. Wherever in the course of the drama this impulse comes into action, we hear at once its corresponding motive, either sung by the voice or played by the orchestra, and in manifold variations, according to circumstances.