9780714837024 / 0714837024

Der Ring Des Nibelungen




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About the book:

The operatic world is full of guides to the psyche and music (not to mention the politics) of Richard Wagner. Can there possibly be an excuse for publishing another one? Indeed there is, when the insights are as fresh (or as well documented) and thoughtfully assembled as in this new companion to the Ring. Der Ring des Nibelungen: A Companion offers obscure details to lure even the most avid Wagnerite, but is brief and accessible enough to be of use to Wagnerian newcomers as well. Rudolph Sabor's survey of Wagner's life is necessarily brief, but still full of interesting details and insights, while his examination of the sources drawn on by the composer-librettist is extremely helpful. Wagner, who was fond of promoting an image of himself as a Jovian creator--in his mythos, his work supposedly sprang from his head full-blown with no preparation needed, like Athena from the pate of Jupiter--was actually a very careful researcher who used every bit of background he could find in his librettos. Interesting parallels are drawn to other works by Wagner, and there is a short but helpful explanation of what leitmotifs are and how they're used. Der Ring des Nibelungen: A Companion also looks at a number of important productions of the Ring, from the leafy and naturalistic to attempts to force-fit a Marxist interpretation on the mythic work; lists resources for further research; and includes a well-done bibliography and discography with the author's comments on each recording.

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