Richard Wagner

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Wilhelm Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 - 13 February 1883) was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is primarily known for his operas (or, as some of his later works were later known, "music dramas"). Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionized opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"), by which he sought to synthesize the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama, and which was announced in a series of essays between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realized these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).

His compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex textures rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs—musical phrases associated with individual characters, places, ideas or plot elements. His advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonality, greatly influenced the development of classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music.

Wagner had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which embodied many novel design features. It was here that the Ring and Parsifal received their premieres and where his most important stage works continue to be performed in an Bayreuth Festival run by his descendants. His thoughts on the relative contributions of music and drama in opera were to change again, and he reintroduced some traditional forms into his last few stage works, including Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg The Mastersingers of Nuremberg.

Until his final years, Wagner's life was characterized by political exile, turbulent love affairs, poverty and repeated flight from his creditors. His controversial writings on music, drama and politics have attracted extensive comment in recent decades, especially where they express anti-Semitic sentiments. The effect of his ideas can be traced in many of the arts throughout the 20th century; their influence spread beyond composition into conducting, philosophy, literature, the visual arts and theatre.

Song Cycles, Symphonies, Collections etc.

Cinq Poèmes

  • no. 1. L'ange (Text: Victor Wilder after Mathilde Wesendonck)
  • no. 2. Arrêtez-vous (Text: Victor Wilder after Mathilde Wesendonck)
  • no. 3. Dans la serre (Text: Victor Wilder after Mathilde Wesendonck)
  • no. 4. Souffrances (Text: Victor Wilder after Mathilde Wesendonck)
  • no. 5. Rêves (Text: Victor Wilder after Mathilde Wesendonck)

Sieben Kompositionen zu Goethes Faust, op. 5

  • no. 1. Lied der Soldaten (Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • no. 2. Bauern unter der Linde (Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • no. 3. Branders Lied (Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • no. 4. Lied des Mephistopheles I (Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • no. 5. Lied des Mephistopheles II (Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • no. 6. Meine Ruh ist hin (Gretchen am Spinnrade) (Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • no. 7. Melodram Gretchens (Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

[Vier] Lieder für 1 Singstimme mit Pianoforte

  • no. 1. Schlaf ein, holdes Kind
  • no. 2. Die Rose
  • no. 3. Die Erwartung
  • no. 4. Der Tannenbaum (Text: Georg Scheurlin)

Wesendonck-Lieder (Wesendonck Songs)

  • no. 1. Der Engel (Text: Mathilde Wesendonck)
  • no. 2. Stehe still! (Text: Mathilde Wesendonck)
  • no. 3. Im Treibhaus (Text: Mathilde Wesendonck)
  • no. 4. Schmerzen (Text: Mathilde Wesendonck)
  • no. 5. Träume (Text: Mathilde Wesendonck)

VOCAL WORKS: ALPHABETICAL ORDER (BY TITLE)


A

  • Arrêtez-vous (in Cinq Poèmes) (Text: Victor Wilder after Mathilde Wesendonck)


B

  • Bauern unter der Linde, op. 5 no. 2 (in Sieben Kompositionen zu Goethes Faust) (Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • Branders Lied, op. 5 no. 3 (in Sieben Kompositionen zu Goethes Faust) (Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)


D

  • Dans la serre (in Cinq Poèmes) (Text: Victor Wilder after Mathilde Wesendonck)
  • Das Liebesmahl der Apostel, WWV. 69 (Text: Richard Wagner)
  • Der Engel (in Wesendonck-Lieder) (Text: Mathilde Wesendonck)
  • Der Tannenbaum (in [Vier] Lieder für 1 Singstimme mit Pianoforte) (Text: Georg Scheurlin)
  • Die Erwartung (in [Vier] Lieder für 1 Singstimme mit Pianoforte)
  • Die Rose (in [Vier] Lieder für 1 Singstimme mit Pianoforte)
  • Dors, mon enfant


E

  • Es ist bestimmt in Gottes Rat, WWV 92 (Text: Ernst Freiherr von Feuchtersleben)
  • Extase, WWV 54 (Text: Victor Marie Hugo)


G

  • Gruß seiner Treuen an Friedrich August den Gelibten (Text: Richard Wagner)


I

  • Im Treibhaus (in Wesendonck-Lieder) (Text: Mathilde Wesendonck)


L

  • L'ange (in Cinq Poèmes) (Text: Victor Wilder after Mathilde Wesendonck)
  • L'attente (Text: Victor Marie Hugo)
  • Les adieux de Marie Stuart (Text: Pierre Jean de Béranger)
  • Les deux grenadiers, WWV 60 (Text: François-Adolphe Loeve-Veimar after Heinrich Heine)
  • Lied der Soldaten, op. 5 no. 1 (in Sieben Kompositionen zu Goethes Faust) (Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • Lied des Mephistopheles I, op. 5 no. 4 (in Sieben Kompositionen zu Goethes Faust) (Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • Lied des Mephistopheles II, op. 5 no. 5 (in Sieben Kompositionen zu Goethes Faust) (Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)


M

  • Meine Ruh ist hin (Gretchen am Spinnrade), op. 5 no. 6 (in Sieben Kompositionen zu Goethes Faust) (Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • Melodram Gretchens, op. 5 no. 7 (in Sieben Kompositionen zu Goethes Faust) (Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • Mignonne


R

  • Rêves (in Cinq Poèmes) (Text: Victor Wilder after Mathilde Wesendonck)


S

  • Schlaf ein, holdes Kind (in [Vier] Lieder für 1 Singstimme mit Pianoforte)
  • Schmerzen (in Wesendonck-Lieder) (Text: Mathilde Wesendonck)
  • Souffrances (in Cinq Poèmes) (Text: Victor Wilder after Mathilde Wesendonck)
  • Stehe still! (in Wesendonck-Lieder) (Text: Mathilde Wesendonck)


T

  • Tout n'est qu'images fugitives (Text: Jean Reboul)
  • Träume (in Wesendonck-Lieder) (Text: Mathilde Wesendonck)