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Being Wagner: The Story of the Most Provocative Composer Who Ever Lived

Being Wagner: The Story of the Most Provocative Composer Who Ever Lived

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Author: Callow, Simon

Brand: Vintage

Color: Red

Edition: Illustrated

Format: Illustrated

Number Of Pages: 256

Release Date: 06-02-2018

Details: Product Description Simon Callow, the celebrated author of Orson Welles, delivers a dazzling, swift, and accessible biography of the musical titan Richard Wagner and his profoundly problematic legacy--a fresh take for seasoned acolytes and the perfect introduction for new fans. Richard Wagner's music dramas have never been more popular or more divisive. His ten masterpieces, created against the backdrop of a continent in severe political and cultural upheaval, constitute an unmatched body of work. A man who spent most of his life in abject poverty, inspiring both critical derision and hysterical hero-worship, Wagner was a walking contradiction: belligerent, flirtatious, disciplined, capricious, demanding, visionary, and poisonously anti-Semitic. Acclaimed biographer Simon Callow evokes the intellectual and artistic climate in which Wagner lived and takes us through his most iconic works, from his pivotal successes in The Flying Dutchman and Lohengrin, to the musical paradigm shift contained in Tristan and Isolde, to the apogee of his achievements in The Ring of the Nibelung and Parsifal, which debuted at Bayreuth shortly before his death. Being Wagner brings to life this towering figure, creator of the most sublime and most controversial body of work ever known. Review International Praise for Simon Callow's Being Wagner "Would Callow be able to tell me, in layman's language, what it is about Tristan that makes it so powerful? The answer, I am happy to say, is yes. The perfect introduction for those, like me, who may not be obsessives but who sense that something profound is going on, and would like to know more. . . . A delightful little book." --Craig Brown, The Mail on Sunday (London) "A sparkly written, witty, learned, and absorbing account, Callow brings The Master vividly to life." --The Times (London) "Intelligent, fluent, and buoyant." --The Daily Telegraph (London) About the Author Simon Callow made his stage debut in 1973 and came to prominence in a critically acclaimed performance as Mozart in the original stage production of Peter Shaffer’s  Amadeus at the Royal National Theatre in 1979. He is well known for a series of one-man shows that have toured internationally and featured subjects such as Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, William Shakespeare, Jesus, and Richard Wagner. Among his many film roles is the much-loved character Gareth in the hit film  Four Weddings and a Funeral. Callow has simultaneously pursued careers as a director in theater and opera and is an author of several books, including  Being an Actor,  Love Is Where It Falls, and a biography of Charles Laughton. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. VORSPIEL   On 26 August 1876, as the last notes of the first performance of The Twilight of the Gods died away in the newly built Festspielhaus, in the tiny Bavarian town of Bayreuth, 2,000 people sat shaken, inspired, enchanted – or appalled. Among them were the musical aristocracy of Europe: Liszt, Saint- Saëns, Tchaikovsky, Anton Rubinstein, Grieg and Bruckner, along with a good sprinkling of the actual aristocracy of Europe, two emperors, three kings, a handful of princes, two grand dukes. All of them, or almost all of them, were swept along on a cataclysm of emotion to equal anything that happened on stage that evening.   As the applause grew and grew, and before singers or conductor or designer or choreographer had appeared in front of the curtain to acknowledge it, a diminutive, stooping figure, familiar not just to the faithful but to the cultured world at large, the subject of a dozen photoshoots, two dozen portraits and a thousand cartoons, made his way somewhat lopsidedly to the front of the stage; his disproportionately huge head with its madly bulging eyes was topped by a floppy velvet cap set at a rakish angle. This man, this tiny man, sixty-three years old, but looking, Tchaikovsky thought, ancient and frail, was the hero of the hour, the sole architec

EAN: 9780525436188

Languages: English

Binding: Paperback

Item Condition: UsedLikeNew