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The quest for the Gesamtkunstwerk and Richard Wagner

Author: H M Brown
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2016.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : First editionView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"The Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"), once a key concept in Wagner studies, has become problematic. This book sheds light on this conundrum by first tracing the development of the concept in the 19th century through selected examples, some of which include combinations of different art forms. It then focuses on the culmination of the Gesamtkunstwerk in Wagner's theories and in the practice of his late music  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Named Person: Richard Wagner; Richard Wagner
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: H M Brown
ISBN: 019932543X 9780199325436
OCLC Number: 930824737
Description: x, 287 pages, 4 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), music ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction: the nature of the quest --
The landscape garden --
Romantic drama and the visual arts --
Goethe's Faust: Gesamtkunstwerk or Universaltheater? --
Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century theoretical approaches --
Moment and Motiv: critical approaches to the Ring cycle --
Analysis of the Erda scenes --
Adolphe Appia: a watershed in the evolution of the Gesamtkunstwerk --
Wieland Wagner: the Appia heritage and the Gesamtkunstwerk --
The centenary Ring: deconstruction and the Gesamtkunstwerk.
Responsibility: HIlda Meldrum Brown.

Abstract:

This study examines the nature of the interdisciplinary procedures implicit in 'Gesamtkunstwerk' and suggests a new critical methodology to illuminate the processes and techniques which Wagner used  Read more...

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   schema:description ""The Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"), once a key concept in Wagner studies, has become problematic. This book sheds light on this conundrum by first tracing the development of the concept in the 19th century through selected examples, some of which include combinations of different art forms. It then focuses on the culmination of the Gesamtkunstwerk in Wagner's theories and in the practice of his late music dramas, of which Der Ring des Nibelungen is the most complete representation. Finally, the book contrasts the view of the Ring as a fusion of dramatic text and music with the 20th century trend towards Deconstruction in Wagnerian productions and the importance of Régie. Against this trend a case is made here for a fresh critical approach and a reconsideration of the nature and basis for the fundamental unity which has hitherto been widely perceived in Wagner's Ring. Approaches through Leitmotiv alone are no longer acceptable. However, in conjunction with another principle, Moment, which Wagner insisted on combining with Motive, these can be ingeniously "staged" and steered to dramatic ends by means of musical dynamics and expressive devices such as accumulation. Analysis of the two Erda scenes demonstrates how this complex combination of resources acts as a powerful means of fusion of the musical and dramatic elements in the Ring and confirms its status as a Gesamtkunstwerk.""@en ;
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