Enlighten Me On Wagner.

IsaacIsaac Posts: 3,088
my first exposure to music was classical, and my first instrument was the piano. i do want to try and expos myself to music other than straight up rock and metal. i've been delving into fusion, and i think its time to add some wagner into my library of music. i'm listing to a random song on youtube now, and the whole sounds is just HUGE!

what pieces do you guys recommend?

which performers?


  • cvansicklecvansickle Posts: 6,221
    Wagner is killer alright, but don't ignore the obvious either. Bach, Mozart and Beethoven really move me, especially Beethoven. And I've never heard a bad rendition of any of it, by any orchestra.
    Death Or Glory - Who Dares Wins!
  • IsaacIsaac Posts: 3,088
    [quote author=cvansickle link=topic=9399.msg143477#msg143477 date=1257476823]
    Wagner is killer alright, but don't ignore the obvious either. Bach, Mozart and Beethoven really move me, especially Beethoven. And I've never heard a bad rendition of any of it, by any orchestra.

    i've heard that stuff though. i've studied and played their music. never wagner. today on youtube was my first time hearing his work.
  • Seven MoonsSeven Moons Posts: 8,797
    This is an immense body of work to explore...  Where to start from?  Maybe Lohengrin conducted by Solti.

    For a quick introduction, the overtures conducted by Solti are delightful:
  • LegacyLegacy Posts: 878
    Where's Haffner when you need him?  :chuckle:
  • Seven MoonsSeven Moons Posts: 8,797
    [quote author=Legacy link=topic=9399.msg143517#msg143517 date=1257508233]
    Where's Haffner when you need him?  :chuckle:

    He hasn't been posting for a while.  I wonder where he is, really.  :sad:
  • LegacyLegacy Posts: 878
    I dunno but it's not the first time he's left, I emailed him and he did come back after that, but he's disappeared again.

    Shame because he's a really cool dude!
  • oh wow... Wagner is most definitely one of the heavy hitters when it comes to those thick harmonies.  Tristan und Isolde is definitely a big one.  But I would also urge you to give composers like Brahms and Richard Strauss a listen as well.  These guys invented heavy music.
  • and also, whether you've already played Bach or not, there's ALWAYS more to learn from him.  no doubt if he was still alive he'd be playing keyboards in some absurdly complex heavy band.
  • SirionSirion Posts: 3,115
    I know I'm a bit late to the party, but I don't care, because Wagner is awesome!

    I think the easiest "starter opera" is Tannhäuser. I would recommend you to see it on tape (or even better, live) before trying to analyze it from a purely musical point of view; Wagner's methods of letting the music represent inner feelings, and using special motifs for different characters and events makes it a bit harder to appreciate the music on it's own terms, without having knowledge of the story first. At least I feel that way. After Tännhauser I would progress to Lohengrin, after which I think your potty trained should be considered finished. A word of warning though: While it is the most frequently dissected in music appreciation books and the like, I think you should let Tristan and Isolde rest until you feel you have a very good grasp of the style. The reason is that there's actually very little action going on; the majority of the drama in my opinion is going on in the psychology of the characters. This means that it is infinitely rewarding, but I also think too early exposure to it is why even many of my fellow musicolofy students shy away from Wagner.

    I must admit I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to recordings, so I won't give any advice on that matter (I am, however, familiar with the overtures cd Seven Moons mentioned, and I like it very much). When it comes to litterature, however, I've benefitten immensely from the following book:


    If you bend that way, Dover Publications have the scores for all of the mature Wagner operas at extremely reasonable prices (or, I actually think The Meistersinger von Nürnberg is currently being reprinted; The other ones are available).
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