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Wagner: The Last of the Titans

Wagner: The Last of the Titans

By Joachim Kohler
Translated by Stewart Spencer

"A Titan Wagner remains, but this human portrait may well make him more approachable for many."—Andrew Green, Classical Music

“The present volume draws on newly discovered sources, such as Cosima Wagner’s diaries, which lead to reappraisals of the composer’s relationships with family members and friends. . . . The translation by Spencer from the original German is masterly. Wagner emerges as even more complex, insidious, and odious than ever. Indispensable for all music collections.”—Library Journal

"Mr. Köhler has perceptive insights into Wagner’s letters and essays. The discussions of his life and works are enriched by Mr. Köhler’s Olympian knowledge of German history, philosophy and politics. His analysis of the 'Ring,' at nearly 100 pages, takes the form of an engrossing retelling of the story, complete with fascinating comments drawn from his readings of the early drafts of Wagner’s librettos."—Anthony Tommasini, New York Times

This major new biography of Richard Wagner is iconoclastic, astringent and bold. It explores the philosophical roots of Wagner's work, which the composer himself deliberately obfuscated. It re-evaluates Wagner's relationships with his mother, step-father and - most revealingly - his wife, Cosima, standing received opinion on its head. And he meets head on, and confirms, the controversy over Wagner's anti-semitism. At the same time, and notwithstanding, Kohler profoundly acknowledges Wagner's genius. His biography should become the standard account for a good many years.

Hardback
704 pages
Yale University Press, 2001
6.4 x 2.3 x 9.5 inches
ISBN 9780300104226
Biography, Music 

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