This chapter discusses the life and the work of Richard Wagner. More than any major artist of the nineteenth century Wagner drew together the currents of social discontent, animosity toward bourgeois life, and aesthetics. At the same time, he transformed himself into a contemporary cultural phenomenon whose musical legacy both transports audiences to new heights of aesthetic experience and whose political thought and activity continues to trouble and anger later generations. The thought and aesthetic of Wagner descends primarily from Romanticism with its emphasis on the transcendent artist, medievalism, and the irrational. Wagner made a career of attacking middle-class and philistine values, but he also he saw the power that would revolutionize and transform society as lodged in art and music as he conceived them.
Yale Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.