Who is the most controversial musician

Opera: The creator of myths from Wahnfried


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"Dreary, dreary, dreary! Vagner è morto!" wrote Giuseppe Verdi on February 14, 1883 to the Milanese music publisher Giulio Ricordi. The news of the death of the musical genius Richard Wagner shook the music world. The day before, on the afternoon of February 13, 1883, one of the greatest and most controversial composers in music history, creator of the Tristan and des ring , closed your eyes forever at the Palazzo Vendramin in Venice. He was 69 years old.

"Richard Wagner revolutionized opera in the traditional style, his compositional technique opened up expressive dimensions of music," writes Wagner biographer Walter Hansen. Wagner is the only composer who managed to establish the festival exclusively for the performance of his own works. Music lovers from all over the world scramble for the festival tickets in Bayreuth. His works are an integral part of the repertoire of all opera houses. Each new staging of his 16-hour tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelung , whether in Berlin, New York or Bayreuth, is an event that is recognized by opera fans around the world. Wagner's music is just being discovered in China and the Arab world.

Nazi composer

Bayreuth musicologist Sven Friedrich explains the worldwide interest in Richard Wagner that his work is timeless and universally valid. "His themes and music address feelings that are common to all people, regardless of culture, religion or skin color." And yet, to this day, opinions differ about him and his works. When the conductor Daniel Barenboim in Israel in 2001 Tristan -Overture played as an encore, it was a scandal. The anti-Semite Wagner, favorite composer of the Nazis, was not performed there for decades.



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Wagner's life was as turbulent as the plot of some of his operas. "His life was a chain of heights and falls from hell. He is considered a genius and charlatan, charmer and rascal, creator of myths and music magician," writes Walter Hansen. Richard Wagner was born on May 22, 1813 in Leipzig, the ninth child of police officer Carl Friedrich Wagner. To this day there is speculation that the poet Ludwig Geyer was his biological father.

Always on the run

Wagner decided early on to become a musician. He first made stops in Würzburg, Magdeburg, Königsberg and Riga. The fairies , The prohibition of love and Rienzi were the first, still rather unsuccessful, operas. In 1836 he married the actress Minna Planer. Three years later he fled creditors from Riga via London to Paris. On the stormy crossing he should get the first ideas for Flying Dutchman (Premiered in 1843).