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By William Kinderman, Katherine R. Syer

Richard Wagner's Parsifal continues to be an inexhaustible but hugely arguable paintings. This "stage consecration competition play," because the composer defined it, represents the fruits of his efforts to deliver medieval fable and smooth song jointly in a dynamic dating. Wagner's engagement with religion--Buddhist in addition to Christian--reaches a climax the following, as he seeks via inventive capacity "to rescue the essence of faith by way of perceiving its legendary symbols . . . based on their figurative worth, allowing us to determine their profound, hidden fact via idealized representation." The members to this assortment holiday clean flooring in exploring the textual content, the track, and the reception background of Parsifal. Wagner's borrowings-and departures-from the medieval resources of the Grail legend, Wolfram's Parzival and Chr?©tien's Perceval, are thought of intimately, and the tensional relation of the paintings to Christianity is probed. New views emerge that undergo at the lengthy genesis of the textual content and track, its affinities to Wagner's prior works, quite Tristan und Isolde, and the ideal approach during which the tune was once composed. Essays deal with the work's daring, modernistic musical language and its unheard of soundscape regarding hidden choruses and different unseen resources of sound. The turbulent, spectacular, and occasionally hectic historical past of Parsifal performances from 1882 till 2004 is traced in brilliant element for the 1st time, demonstrating the abiding fascination exerted by way of this uniquely hard murals. members: Mary A. Cicora, James M. McGlathery, Ulrike Kienzle, Warren Darcy, Roger Allen. William Kinderman and Katherine Syer educate on the college of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and sometimes lead examine seminars in the course of the Wagner pageant in Bayreuth, Germany.

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Additional info for A Companion to Wagner's Parsifal (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)

Sample text

It portrays the conflict between sensuality and salvation, and is, as mentioned, a musical-dramatic document of Wagner’s fascination with the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, whose work had influenced his thinking beginning in the mid-1850s. Thus, in Wagner’s version of the Parzival legend, King Arthur has been dethroned by Arthur Schopenhauer. A survey of some basic parameters indicates the vast difference in worldview in the two works. In Wolfram’s romance, time is an important structural element that the author deliberately used to craft his narrative.

As Ulrich Müller observes, Wagner was, on the one hand, fascinated by Wolfram’s romance, but on the other reduced the multifaceted work to a few main ideas, formulating his own interpretation of the legend. Thus he criticized Wolfram for failing to narrate (in the Middle Ages) the version of the Parzival legend that Wagner (from his nineteenth-century perspective) 21 Wapnewski, Der traurige Gott, 231. 42 MARY A. 22 He radically reduced Wolfram’s huge cast of characters to a manageable number, in some cases by combining several of them into a composite character, or, as in most cases, disposing of them entirely.

CICORA and notebooks, and in Cosima’s diaries. These sources also provide valuable statements about Wagner’s thoughts concerning the project, the special problems that it posed and how he solved them, and at least hints at, if not clear statements of, his intended meanings. These documents contain much material useful to the critic concerned with the genesis and the interpretation of the work. The influence of his past reading is unmistakable; at the same time, though, Wagner had his own aims in writing Parsifal, and ideas about the legend that differed vastly from the source materials and went far beyond the worlds portrayed in any of them.

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