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Richard Wagner in Paris
Title Details

219 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

1 b/w. 21 line. Illustrations

Imprint: Boydell Press

Richard Wagner in Paris

Translation, Identity, Modernity

by Jeremy Coleman

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  • Contents
  • Reviews
How did Wagner's experiences in Paris influence his works and social character? And how does his sometime desire for recognition by the French cultural establishment square with his German national identity and with the related idea of a universally valid art?
Friedrich Nietzsche more than once claimed that Wagner's only true home was in Paris. This book is the first major study to trace Wagner's relationship with Paris from his first sojourn there (1839-1842) to the Paris Tannhäuser (1861). How did Wagner's experiences in Paris influence his works and social character? How does his sometime desire for recognition by the French cultural establishment square with his German national identity and with the related idea of a universally valid art?

This book presents Wagner's perennial ambition of an international operatic success in the "capital city of the nineteenth century" and the paradoxical consequences of that ambition upon its failure. Through an examination of previously neglected source materials, the book engages with ideas in the so-called "Wagner debate" as an ongoing philosophical project that tries to come to terms with the composer's Germanness. The book is in three main parts arranged broadly in chronological sequence. The first considers Wagner's earliest years in Paris, focusing on his own French-language drafts of Das Liebesverbot and Der fliegende Holländer. The second part explores his stance towards Paris "at a distance" following his return to Saxony and subsequent political exile. Arriving at Wagner's most often discussed "Paris period" (1859-61), the third part interrogates the concert performances under the composer's direction at the Théâtre-Italien and revisionist aspects of their reception.

JEREMY COLEMAN is Lecturer in Music in the School of Performing Arts, Universityof Malta.
Introduction: Wagner Against the Grain
Part I. Paris Years, 1839-1842
1. Through Babel's Arcades: Early Entanglements
2. Translating German Opera: Le Freyschütz
Part II. Dresden and Zurich, 1843-1852
3. "...in ein fernes Land": German Identity Between Paris and Dresden
4. Exile, Internationalism and Media After the Revolution
Part III. Paris Years, 1859-1861
5. Wagner Without Theatre: Aporias of Translation
6. All About Venus: Another Look at the "Paris" Tannhäuser
Conclusion: Universality at the Crossroads
Bibliography
"Original, valuable and highly absorbing, especially where it unpacks new and exhilarating discourses from fields other than musicology...a fascinating story." THE WAGNER JOURNAL
"The Parisian part of Wagner's journey is just that - a part - and Jeremy Coleman persuades us that it's not just a part that matters, but a part without which the whole could have been very different." Arnold Whittall, MUSICAL TIMES
"Coleman's study provides a significant contribution to Wagner Studies. Setting aside established forms of reception history, some of which have sought to present the composer's relationship with Paris in the potentially reductionist terms of rivalry and ambition, Coleman instead foregrounds Wagner's intentions as seen through his music. What emerges instead . . . is a focused, precise and geographically inspired portrait of the composer in the city." Michael Craske, VOLUPTÉ: INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF DECADENCE STUDIES

Hardcover

9781783274420

October 2019

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$90.00 / £50.00

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Ebook (EPDF)

9781787445895

October 2019

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£19.99 / $24.99

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Title Details

219 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

1 b/w. 21 line. Illustrations

Imprint: Boydell Press