Where to start?
This thread is dedicated to the one and only Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
, my favorite composer, who incited my lifelong passion for classical music.
My first Wagner recording was a collection of overtures in a Laserlight Masters of Classical Music set, my first classical CDs ever. At turns, it represented the utmost joy, despair, and passion, love at first sight for me. At 13, I came across Der Ring des Nibelungen
(the Ring cycle) broadcast on TV and was spellbound. It was overwhelming that someone could create such a thing, as if it had dropped down from another planet fully formed.
Soon I was checking out librettos and biographies from the library, and dreamed of visiting the real Valhalla of Bayreuth (pronounced "Bai-royt"
) - I had become a full-fledged Wagnerite. Each successive work I heard cemented my affection. His sheer ambition was awe-inspiring, shown in the grand scale of his works and the concepts of Gesamtkunstwerk
and the Bayreuth Festspielhaus
. He's certainly a polarizing figure biographically, but I find his scandalous life and writings very interesting. Shocking at times, though personally I separate the man from the music. The effect he left on those who came after him is indelible.
Though I have gravitated toward modern music in recent years, I come back to his music again and again, and it never fails to transport me. Not necessarily the greatest composer, but to me, the one whose work most sings to my soul.
6 Favorite Operas (because I just couldn't do 5!):Tristan & Isolde
Der Fliegende Hollander
Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
6 Favorite Single Pieces (even harder):Der Fliegende Hollander
- OvertureTristan & Isolde
- Prelude & LiebestodDie Meistersinger
- Prelude to Act IIISiegfried
Richard Wagner Links
Welcome all Wagner lovers to the Valhalla!