’Art & Soul

Richard Wagner and the persistence of memories

His life steeped in controversy, composer Richard Wagner is credited with some of the most famous works of Western music

Richard Wagner and the persistence of memories

House Wahnfried in Bayreuth, Germany (where the Bayreuth Wagner Festival is held every year)

BN Goswamy

Wagner could not keep quiet. He had an enormous gift of the gab … but was full of oppressive ideas and impossible to listen to for any length of time. — Robert Schumann on Robert Wagner

Wagner was a man without boundaries, a man connected to his ‘inner infant’; a master dramatist of his life and an actor of astounding gifts (“more an actor than a composer,” Nietzsche thought); a man who, for better or worse, imposed himself and his work on the world as perhaps no other artist in history had done. ... He was, as his operas were meant to be, a Gesamtkunstwerk, a total, all-embracing work of art: a great work of his own imagination that he performed endlessly. He could not stop himself. — From Simon Callow’s essay on Wagner