Aspects of Wagner, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


The man whom W.H. Auden called 'perhaps the greatest genius that ever lived' has inspired extremes of adulation and loathing.

In this penetrating analysis, Bryan Magee outlines the range and depth of Wagner's achievement, and shows how his sensational and erotic music expresses the repressed and highly charged contents of the psyche.

He also examines Wagner's detailed stage directions, and the prose works in which he formulated his ideas, and sheds interesting new light on his anti-semitism.

This new edition has been extensively revised. It includes a fresh chapter, 'Wagner as Music'.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Opera
  • ISBN: 9780192840127



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Excellent short study of some aspects of Wagner. In clear, opinionated and non-academic prose, it examines some of the key issues in dealing with Wagner and his legacy. The most noticeable section is the one on "Jews -- Not Least in Music", which looks at the roots of Wagner's undeniable anti-Semitism, and argues that among those most damaged by it was Wagner itself. It also considers Wagner's musical theory and its relationship to his music, Wagnerolatry, Wagner's pervasive influence, Wagner's music, and Wagner in performance. For someone interested in learning something about Wagner without committing to a massive biography, this is a terrific book.