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Search within Article contents 1. Character and personality.
Introduction to the works. Larger dramatic choral works. Other choral works. Orchestral music. Other works. Musical style. Other stylistic aspects. The critic. Standing and research.
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Berlioz, (Louis-)Hector | Grove Music
Monthly Musical Record. Acta musicologica. Wagner built on this foundation and applied his gifts for coaxing totally committed performances from his singers.
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Early Operas After his stepfather died in , Wagner was sent to the Dresdner Kreuzchor boarding school. After his fourteenth birthday, the family resettled in Leipzig and regularly attended performances at the Leipzig Theater, which had an orchestra of thirty-three and a mixed chorus of thirty.
That Greece Might Still Be Free
He changed his last name to Wagner, studied composition at Leipzig University sketching a dramatic tragedy, Leubald and an opera, Die Hochzeit , and assisted the Cantor at the Thomasschule, where Bach had taught a century earlier. Although a successful conductor, especially in Riga, Latvia , Wagner ran up such huge debts that his passport was confiscated and he had to flee from creditors. His next project, begun in Riga and finished in Paris, was to become his third completed opera, Rienzi.
Words, music, religious processions, crowds, executions, sunrises, revolutions, sunsets, and ballet were combined to maximum spectacular effect. Although Wagner did not present any work in Paris, Meyerbeer recommended Rienzi to the Dresden Court Theater, where all six hours were staged to considerable acclaim in The premiere enabled Wagner to return home, and he was appointed the Royal Court Composer of Saxony the following year. Wagner was an ambitious and determined man of 32 that summer; by the time he began writing the music for Parsifal, he had reached his mids, a weathered and withdrawn composer suffering from angina.
He completed the full score in January , just a little more than a year before his death in Venice. While in Dresden, Wagner got involved in leftist politics, and after the unsuccessful revolutions of , Wagner, Smetana, and other composers fled the region he was not allowed to return until All of his political and racially charged writings date from these years of exile, after the completion of Rienzi.
Parsifal took advantage of the distinctive sonority and immersive experience of the Bayreuth space: its sound world reverberates with colors, nuances, and textures unlike anything else found in Wagner. In , responding to a request from King Ludwig II, his patron, Wagner produced a detailed sketch of Parsifal—including the backstory pertaining to the Holy Grail and the origin of the medieval chivalric order of knights assigned to protect it.
He wrote the libretto in January , following the first-ever staging of the Ring cycle the previous summer. The score of Parsifal is an extraordinary blend of musical transcendence and dramatic cohesion with bells and offstage choruses evoking a liturgical atmosphere. The magnificent and expansive Vorspiel conveys the important role the orchestra will play in creating a world in which time itself is experienced in an unusual way. Wagner, Richard.