Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music

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Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music
Title Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music
Author
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release DateSeptember 15, 2020
Category Biographies & Memoirs
Total Pages 784 pages
ISBN 978-0374285937
Book Rating 5 out of 5 from 83 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

Alex Ross, renowned New Yorker music critic and author of the international bestseller and Pulitzer Prize finalist The Rest Is Noise, reveals how Richard Wagner became the proving ground for modern art and politics―an aesthetic war zone where the Western world wrestled with its capacity for beauty and violence. For better or worse, Wagner is the most widely influential figure in the history of music. Around 1900, the phenomenon known as Wagnerism saturated European and American culture. Such colossal creations as The Ring of the Nibelung, Tristan und Isolde, and Parsifal were models of formal daring, mythmaking, erotic freedom, and mystical speculation. A mighty procession of artists, including Virginia Woolf, Thomas Mann, Paul Cézanne, Isadora Duncan, and Luis Buñuel, felt his impact. Anarchists, occultists, feminists, and gay-rights pioneers saw him as a kindred spirit. Then Adolf Hitler incorporated Wagner into the soundtrack of Nazi Germany, and the composer came to be defined by his ferocious antisemitism. For many, his name is now almost synonymous with artistic evil. In Wagnerism, Alex Ross restores the magnificent confusion of what it means to be a Wagnerian. A pandemonium of geniuses, madmen, charlatans, and prophets do battle over Wagner’s many-sided legacy. As readers of his brilliant articles for The New Yorker have come to expect, Ross ranges thrillingly across artistic disciplines, from the architecture of Louis Sullivan to the novels of Philip K. Dick, from the Zionist writings of Theodor Herzl to the civil-rights essays of W.E.B. Du Bois, from O Pioneers! to Apocalypse Now. In many ways, Wagnerism tells a tragic tale. An artist who might have rivaled Shakespeare in universal reach is undone by an ideology of hate. Still, his shadow lingers over twenty-first century culture, his mythic motifs coursing through superhero films and fantasy fiction. Neither apologia nor condemnation, Wagnerism is a work of passionate discovery, urging us toward a more honest idea of how art acts in the world.

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Wagnerism by Alex Ross

Title Wagnerism
Author Alex Ross
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date 2020-09-15
Category Music
Total Pages 784
ISBN 9781429944540
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Alex Ross, renowned New Yorker music critic and author of the international bestseller and Pulitzer Prize finalist The Rest Is Noise, reveals how Richard Wagner became the proving ground for modern art and politics—an aesthetic war zone where the Western world wrestled with its capacity for beauty and violence. For better or worse, Wagner is the most widely influential figure in the history of music. Around 1900, the phenomenon known as Wagnerism saturated European and American culture. Such colossal creations as The Ring of the Nibelung, Tristan und Isolde, and Parsifal were models of formal daring, mythmaking, erotic freedom, and mystical speculation. A mighty procession of artists, including Virginia Woolf, Thomas Mann, Paul Cézanne, Isadora Duncan, and Luis Buñuel, felt his impact. Anarchists, occultists, feminists, and gay-rights pioneers saw him as a kindred spirit. Then Adolf Hitler incorporated Wagner into the soundtrack of Nazi Germany, and the composer came to be defined by his ferocious antisemitism. For many, his name is now almost synonymous with artistic evil. In Wagnerism, Alex Ross restores the magnificent confusion of what it means to be a Wagnerian. A pandemonium of geniuses, madmen, charlatans, and prophets do battle over Wagner’s many-sided legacy. As readers of his brilliant articles for The New Yorker have come to expect, Ross ranges thrillingly across artistic disciplines, from the architecture of Louis Sullivan to the novels of Philip K. Dick, from the Zionist writings of Theodor Herzl to the civil-rights essays of W.E.B. Du Bois, from O Pioneers! to Apocalypse Now. In many ways, Wagnerism tells a tragic tale. An artist who might have rivaled Shakespeare in universal reach is undone by an ideology of hate. Still, his shadow lingers over twenty-first century culture, his mythic motifs coursing through superhero films and fantasy fiction. Neither apologia nor condemnation, Wagnerism is a work of passionate discovery, urging us toward a more honest idea of how art acts in the world.

Title Failures of State The Inside Story of Britain s Battle with Coronavirus
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*THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER* ‘An astonishing book’ James O’Brien ‘A gripping, devastating read’ Sunday Times ‘This is a scandal’ Piers Morgan

Listen To This by Alex Ross

Title Listen to This
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Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date 2010-09-28
Category Music
Total Pages 384
ISBN 1429977612
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

One of The Telegraph's Best Music Books 2011 Alex Ross's award-winning international bestseller, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, has become a contemporary classic, establishing Ross as one of our most popular and acclaimed cultural historians. Listen to This, which takes its title from a beloved 2004 essay in which Ross describes his late-blooming discovery of pop music, showcases the best of his writing from more than a decade at The New Yorker. These pieces, dedicated to classical and popular artists alike, are at once erudite and lively. In a previously unpublished essay, Ross brilliantly retells hundreds of years of music history—from Renaissance dances to Led Zeppelin—through a few iconic bass lines of celebration and lament. He vibrantly sketches canonical composers such as Schubert, Verdi, and Brahms; gives us in-depth interviews with modern pop masters such as Björk and Radiohead; and introduces us to music students at a Newark high school and indie-rock hipsters in Beijing. Whether his subject is Mozart or Bob Dylan, Ross shows how music expresses the full complexity of the human condition. Witty, passionate, and brimming with insight, Listen to This teaches us how to listen more closely.

Wagner Androgyne by Jean-Jacques Nattiez

Title Wagner Androgyne
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Publisher Princeton University Press
Release Date 2014-07-14
Category Music
Total Pages 380
ISBN 9781400863242
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

That Wagner conceived of himself creatively as both man and woman is central to an understanding of his life and art. So argues Jean-Jacques Nattiez in this richly insightful work, where he draws from semiology, music criticism, and psychoanalysis to explore such topics as Wagner's theories of music drama, his anti-Semitism, and his psyche. Wagner, who wrote the libretti for the operas he composed, maintained that art is the union of the feminine principle, music, and the masculine principle, poetry. In light of this androgynous model, Nattiez reinterprets the Wagnerian canon, especially the Ring of the Nibelung, which is shown to contain a metaphorical transposition of Wagner's conception of the history of music: Siegfried appears as the poet, Brunnhilde, as music, and their union is an androgynous one in which individual identity fades and the lovers revert to a preconflictual, presexual state. Nattiez traces the androgynous symbol in Wagner's theoretical writings throughout his career. Looking to explain how this idea, so closely bound up with sexuality, took root in Wagner's mind, the author considers the possibility of Freudian and Jungian interpretations. In particular he explores the composer's relationship with his mother, a distant woman who discouraged his interest in the theater, and his stepfather, a loving man whom Wagner suspected was not only his real father but also a Jew. Along with psychoanalysis, Nattiez critically applies various structuralist and feminist theories to Wagner's creative enterprise to demonstrate how the nature of twentieth-century hermeneutics is itself androgynous. Originally published in 1993. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

The Rest Is Noise by Alex Ross

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The scandal over modern music has not died down. While paintings by Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock sell for a hundred million dollars or more, shocking musical works from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring onward still send ripples of unease through audiences. At the same time, the influence of modern music can be felt everywhere. Avant-garde sounds populate the soundtracks of Hollywood thrillers. Minimalist music has had a huge effect on rock, pop, and dance music from the Velvet Underground onward. Alex Ross, the brilliant music critic for The New Yorker, shines a bright light on this secret world, and shows how it has pervaded every corner of twentieth century life. The Rest Is Noise takes the reader inside the labyrinth of modern sound. It tells of maverick personalities who have resisted the cult of the classical past, struggled against the indifference of a wide public, and defied the will of dictators. Whether they have charmed audiences with the purest beauty or battered them with the purest noise, composers have always been exuberantly of the present, defying the stereotype of classical music as a dying art. Ross, in this sweeping and dramatic narrative, takes us from Vienna before the First World War to Paris in the twenties, from Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia to downtown New York in the sixties and seventies. We follow the rise of mass culture and mass politics, of dramatic new technologies, of hot and cold wars, of experiments, revolutions, riots, and friendships forged and broken. In the tradition of Simon Schama's The Embarrassment of Riches and Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club, the end result is not so much a history of twentieth-century music as a history of the twentieth century through its music.

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Hot Cold Heavy Light collects 100 writings—some long, some short—that taken together forma group portrait of many of the world’s most significant and interesting artists. From Pablo Picasso to Cindy Sherman, Old Masters to contemporary masters, paintings to comix, and saints to charlatans, Schjeldahl ranges widely through the diverse and confusing art world, an expert guide to a dazzling scene. No other writer enhances the reader’s experience of art in precise, jargon-free prose as Schjeldahl does. His reviews are more essay than criticism, and he offers engaging and informative accounts of artists and their work. For more than three decades, he has written about art with Emersonian openness and clarity. A fresh perspective, an unexpected connection, a lucid gloss on a big idea awaits the reader on every page of this big, absorbing, buzzing book.

Title Richard Wagner Tristan und Isolde
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Seven leading international writers discuss the genesis, libretto and music, and performance and reception history of Wagner's Tristan.

Aspects Of Wagner by Bryan Magee

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The man whom W.H. Auden called `perhaps the greatest genius that ever lived' has inspired extremes of adulation and loathing. In this penetrating analysis, Bryan Magee outlines the range and depth of Wagner's achievement, and shows how his sensational and erotic music expresses the repressedand highly charged contents of the psyche. He also examines Wagner's detailed stage directions, and the prose works in which he formulated his ideas, and sheds interesting new light on his anti-semitism.This new edition has been extensively revised. It includes a fresh chapter, `Wagner as Music'.

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Category Biography & Autobiography
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Wagner is one of the most controversial of composers, and much that has been written about him--including his autobiography--is misleading. Barry Millington draws on the best previous scholarship and his own original research to set the record straight. The first part of this book is devoted to biography; the second, to a detailed study of the operas. Millington offers a historical review of the critical interpretation of each opera, including a discussion of recent methods of formal analysis. In this revised edition, two chapters, those on Tannhauser and Die Meistersinger, include significant new material. The bibliography has also been updated.

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This Companion provides an overview and in-depth analysis of Wagner's Ring using traditional critical analysis alongside more recent approaches.

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Author Barry Millington
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Release Date 2012-10-29
Category Music
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9780199986958
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) is one of the most influential - and also one of the most controversial - composers in the history of music. Over the course of his long career, he produced a stream of spellbinding works that challenged musical convention through their richness and tonal experimentation, ultimately paving the way for modernism. This book presents an in-depth but easy-to-read overview of Wagner's life, work and times. It considers a wide range of themes, including the composer's original sources of inspiration; his fetish for exotic silks; his relationship with his wife, Cosima, and with his mistress, Mathilde Wesendonck; the anti-semitism that is undeniably present in the operas; their proto-cinematic nature; and the turbulent legacy both of the Bayreuth Festival and of Wagnerism itself. Making use of the very latest scholarship - much of it undertaken by the author himself in connection with his editorship of The Wagner Journal - Millington reassesses received notions about Wagner and his work, demolishing ill-informed opinion in favour of proper critical understanding. It is a radical - and occasionally controversial - reappraisal of this most perplexing of composers. The volume's arrangement - unique among books on the composer -combines an accessible text, intriguing images and original documents, thus ensuring a consistently fresh approach. Bringing new insights to an endlessly fascinating subject, The Sorcerer of Bayreuth will charm anyone interested in music and in the wider cultural life of the 19th century and beyond.

Art And Politics by Richard Wagner

Title Art and Politics
Author Richard Wagner
Publisher U of Nebraska Press
Release Date 1995-01-01
Category Art
Total Pages 415
ISBN 0803297742
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A master of mystery and paradox, Wagner spent his life composing himself while composing music. Written between 1864 and 1878, the essays in Art and Politics converge upon Wagner?s desire to define and reform German culture. He was deeply annoyed that Germany seemed to satisfy itself with cheap theater, vulgar songs, and clumsy imitations of French art. In ?What Is German?? he declared that German culture must rise above the common ruck. Citing ?Music?s wonderman? Johann Sebastian Bach as his precursor, Wagner fought to persuade his readers that German culture had a historic destiny, and that destiny was shaped first and foremost by music. ø As usual, embroiled in the defense of his operas and his person, Wagner recognized that his rescue from attack and poverty could not be expected from ?Franco-Judaico-German democracy.? He instead fixed his hopes elsewhere: ?the embodied voucher? for fundamental law, the Monarch. He found himself at a turning point in his career. In 1864 King Ludwig II of Bavaria befriended Wagner and gave him badly needed financial support. This alliance aroused Wagner?s enemies into further fits of jealousy. Yet, amid the public scorn, he worked on the production of Tristan und Isolde, drafted the libretto for Parsifal, and composed sections of Siegfried and Die Meistersinger. ø In these essays Wagner resumes his considerations of the close ties between religion and art. He calls art ?the kindly Life-saviour who does not really and wholly lead us out beyond this life, but, within it, lifts us up above it and shews it as itself a game of play.? These essays express his artistic credo and the knowledge of German literature that underpinned his claims for German genius. Following his ideals, he proclaimed his intention to raise the quality of German opera, by himself if necessary. ø This edition includes the full text of volume 4 of the translation of Wagner?s works commissioned in 1895 by the London Wagner Society.

Title Richard Wagner s Women
Author Eva Rieger
Publisher Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Release Date 2011
Category Music
Total Pages 239
ISBN 9781843836858
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Looks at the life of composer Richard Wagner, showing how the women he loved inspired the music he created.

Art And Revolution by Richard Wagner

Title Art and Revolution
Author Richard Wagner
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2008-10
Category Music
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ISBN 1409937100
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813-1883) was a German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (later called music dramas). Wagner s musical style is often considered the epitome of classical music s Romantic period, due to its unprecedented exploration of emotional expression. He transformed musical thought through his idea of Gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork), the synthesis of all the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, epitomized by his monumental four-opera cycle The Ring of the Niebelung (1876). Wagner even went so far as to build his own opera-house to try to stage these works as he had imagined them. His literary friendship with Franz Liszt led to a long-lived correspondence later compiled in the two volumes of Corrrespondence of Wagner and Liszt (1889); a book that was attributed to both musicians. Among his other famous works are Tristan and Isolde, which broke important new musical ground, My Life (in two volumes) (1880), and The Flying Dutchman.

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Author Tim Rutherford-Johnson
Publisher Univ of California Press
Release Date 2017-02-01
Category Music
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9780520959040
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"...the best extant map of our sonic shadowlands, and it has changed how I listen."—Alex Ross, The New Yorker "...an essential survey of contemporary music."—New York Times "…sharp, provacative and always on the money. The listening list alone promises months of fresh discovery, the main text a fresh new way of navigating the world of sound."—The Wire 2017 Music Book of the Year—Alex Ross, The New Yorker Music after the Fall is the first book to survey contemporary Western art music within the transformed political, cultural, and technological environment of the post–Cold War era. In this book, Tim Rutherford-Johnson considers musical composition against this changed backdrop, placing it in the context of globalization, digitization, and new media. Drawing connections with the other arts, in particular visual art and architecture, he expands the definition of Western art music to include forms of composition, experimental music, sound art, and crossover work from across the spectrum, inside and beyond the concert hall. Each chapter is a critical consideration of a wide range of composers, performers, works, and institutions, and develops a broad and rich picture of the new music ecosystem, from North American string quartets to Lebanese improvisers, from electroacoustic music studios in South America to ruined pianos in the Australian outback. Rutherford-Johnson puts forth a new approach to the study of contemporary music that relies less on taxonomies of style and technique than on the comparison of different responses to common themes of permission, fluidity, excess, and loss.

White Girls by Hilton Als

Title White Girls
Author Hilton Als
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2019-07-09
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9780525506560
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"This book will change you." --Chicago Tribune White Girls is about, among other things, blackness, queerness, movies, Brooklyn, love (and the loss of love), AIDS, fashion, Basquiat, Capote, philosophy, porn, Eminem, Louise Brooks, and Michael Jackson. Freewheeling and dazzling, tender and true, it is one of the most daring and provocative books of recent years, an invaluable guide to the culture of our time.

An Unsocial Socialist by Bernard Shaw

Title An Unsocial Socialist
Author Bernard Shaw
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 1887
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ISBN OXFORD:590903424
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Title Writings on Music 1965 2000
Author Steve Reich
Publisher Oxford University Press
Release Date 2002
Category Music
Total Pages 254
ISBN 9780195151152
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From Reich's 1968 essay, ¿7FMusic as a gradual process," which was the founding call for the development of minimalism, to his work on non-Western music such as the Balinese and African influences that contributed to "Drumming."

Vested Interests by Marjorie B. Garber

Title Vested Interests
Author Marjorie B. Garber
Publisher Psychology Press
Release Date 1997
Category Art
Total Pages 443
ISBN 9780415919517
Language English, Spanish, and French
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A revolutionary and wide-ranging examination of transvestism ranging from Shakespeare and Mark Twain to Oscar Wilde and Peter Pan, from transsexual surgery and transvestite sororities to Madonna and Flip Wilson. The author examines the nature and importance of cross-dressing and society's recurring fascination with it. 40 pages of inserts, 8 in color.

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Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing USA
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Category Music
Total Pages 624
ISBN 9781635570250
Language English, Spanish, and French
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For readers of Mozart in the Jungle and Year of Wonder, a new history of and guide to classical music. Paul Morley made his name as a journalist covering the rock and pop of the 1970s and 1980s. But as his career progressed, he found himself drawn toward developing technologies, streaming platforms, and, increasingly, the music from the past that streaming services now made available. Suddenly able to access every piece Mozart or Bach had ever written and to curate playlists that worked with these musicians' themes across different performers, composers, and eras, he began to understand classical music in a whole new way and to believe that it was music at its most dramatic and revealing. In A Sound Mind, Morley takes readers along on his journey into the history and future of classical music. His descriptions, explanations, and guidance make this seemingly arcane genre more friendly to listeners and show the music's power, depth, and timeless beauty. In Morley's capable hands, the history of the classical genre is shown to be the history of all music, with these long-ago pieces influencing everyone from jazz greats to punk rockers and the pop musicians of today.

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