In this classic guide, the foremost Wagner expert of our century discusses ten of Wagner's most beloved operas, illuminates their key themes and the myths and literary sources behind the librettos, and demonstrates how the composer's style changed from work to work.
Acclaimed as the most complete and intellectually satisfying analysis of the Wagner operas, the book has met with unreserved enthusiasm from specialist and casual music lover alike.
Here, available for the first time in a single paperback volume, is the perfect companion for listening to, or attending, The Flying Dutchman, Tannhauser, Lohengrin, Tristan and Isolde, Die Meistersinger, the four operas of the Ring Cycle, and Parsifal.
Newman enriches his treatment of the stories, texts, and music of the operas with biographical and historical materials from the store of knowledge that he acquired while completing his numerous books on Wagner, including the magisterial Life of Richard Wagner.
The text of The Wagner Operas is filled with hundreds of musical examples from the scores, and all the important leitmotifs and their interrelationships are made clear in Newman's lucid prose. "This is as fine an introduction as any ever written about a major composer's masterpieces.
Newman outlines with unfailing clarity and astuteness each opera's dramatic sources, and he takes the student through the completed opera, step by step, with all manner of incidental insight along the way."--Robert Bailey, New York University