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Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883)


Influential German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his groundbreaking "music dramas", he led a life characterised, until his last decades, by political exile, turbulent love affairs, poverty and repeated flight from his creditors.
Richard Wagner
Certain things in Mozart will and can never be excelled.
Wagner quotes
Monsieur Wagner a de beaux moments, mais de mauvais quart d'heures.
Wagner
The oldest, truest, most beautiful organ of music, the origin to which alone our music owes its being, is the human voice.




Wagner Richard quotes
"Property" has acquired an almost greater sacredness in our social conscience than religion: for offence against the latter there is lenience, for damage to the former no forgiveness. Since Property is deemed the base of all stability, the more's the pity that not all are owners, that in fact the greater proportion of Society comes disinherited into the world. Society is manifestly thus reduced by its own principle to such a perilous inquietude, that it is compelled to reckon all its laws for an impossible adjustment of this conflict; and protection of property — for which in its widest international sense the weaponed host is specially maintained — can truly mean no else than a defence of the possessors against the non-possessors. Many as are the earnest and sagacious brains that have applied themselves to this problem, its solution, such as that at last suggested of an equal division of all possessions, has not as yet been found amenable; and it seems as if the State's disposal of the apparently so simple idea of Property had driven a beam into the body of mankind that dooms it to a lingering death of agony.
Wagner Richard
Is Wagner a human being at all? Is he not rather a disease? He contaminates everything he touches - he has made music sick.
Richard Wagner quotes
Heartless sterility, obliteration of all melody, all tonal charm, all music. This revelling in the destruction of all tonal essence, raging satanic fury in the orchestra, this demoniacal, lewd caterwauling, scandal-mongering, gun-toting music, with an orchestral accompaniment slapping you in the face. Hence, the secret fascination that makes it the darling of feeble-minded royalty, of the court monkeys covered with reptilian slime, and of the blasé hysterical female court parasites who need this galvanic stimulation by massive instrumental treatment to throw their pleasure-weary frog-legs into violent convulsion. The diabolical din of this pig-headed man, stuffed with brass and sawdust, inflated, in an insanely destructive self-aggrandizement, by Mephistopheles' mephitic and most venomous hellish miasma, into Beelzebub's Court Composer and General Director of Hell's Music - Wagner!
Richard Wagner
It is necessary for us to explain the involuntary repugnance we possess for the nature and personality of the Jews … The Jews have never produced a true poet. Heinrich Heine reached the point where he duped himself into a poet, and was rewarded by his versified lies being set to music by our own composers. He was the conscience of Judaism, just as Judaism is the evil conscience of our modern civilization.
Wagner Richard quotes
I am writing Parsifal only for my wife — if I had to depend on the German spirit, I should have nothing more to say.
Wagner
Oh, I hate the thought of all those costumes and grease paint! When I think that characters like Kundry will now have to be dressed up, those dreadful artists' balls immediately spring into my mind. Having created the invisible orchestra, I now feel like inventing the invisible theatre!
Wagner Richard
Music has taken a bad turn; these young people have no idea how to write a melody, they just give us shavings, which they dress up to look like a lion's mane and shake at us... It's as if they avoid melodies, for fear of having perhaps stolen them from someone else.
Richard Wagner
This possibility, of always drawing from the pristine fount of our own nature, that makes us feel ourselves no more a race, no mere variety of man, but one of Manhood's primal branches, — 'tis this that ever has bestowed on us great men and spiritual heroes, as to whom we have no need to trouble whether fashioners of foreign fatherless civilisations are able to understand and prize them; whilst we again, inspired by the deeds and gifts of our forefathers, and gazing with unclouded eye, are able to rightly estimate those foreigners, and value them according to the spirit of pure Humanity indwelling in their work.




Richard Wagner quotes
It should not be presumed that these people (the Jews), who are so separated from us by their religion, have any right to make our laws. But why blame the Jews? It is we who lack all feeling for our own identity, all sense of honour.
Richard Wagner
I believe in God, Mozart, and Beethoven.
Wagner quotes
A political man is disgusting, but a political wife, horrible.
Wagner Richard
The utter childishness of our provincial public's verdict upon any art-manifestation that may chance to make its first appearance in their own theatre — for they are only accustomed to witness performances of works already judged and accredited by the greater world outside — brought me to the decision, at no price to produce for the first time a largish work at a minor theatre. When, therefore, I felt again the instinctive need of undertaking a major work, I renounced all idea of obtaining a speedy representation of it in my immediate neighbourhood: I fixed my mind upon some theatre of first rank, that would some day produce it, and troubled myself but little as to where and when that theatre would be found.
Wagner Richard quotes
After the last notes of Gotterdammerung I felt as though I had been let out of prison.
Richard Wagner
I can't listen to that much Wagner, ya know? I start to get the urge to conquer Poland.
Richard Wagner quotes
I like Wagner’s music better than any other music. It is so loud that one can talk the whole time, without people hearing what one says.
Richard Wagner
This is Alberich's dream come true — Nibelheim, world dominion, activity, work, everywhere the oppressive feeling of steam and fog.
Wagner Richard
I had translated the first twelve books of the Odyssey. For a while I learnt English also, merely so as to gain an accurate knowledge of Shakespeare; and I made a metrical translation of Romeo's monologue. Though I soon left English on one side, yet Shakespeare remained my exemplar, and I projected a great tragedy which was almost nothing but a medley of Hamlet and King Lear. The plan was gigantic in the extreme; two- and-forty human beings died in the course of this piece, and I saw myself compelled, in its working-out, to call the greater number back as ghosts, since otherwise I should have been short of characters for my last Acts. This play occupied my leisure for two whole years.


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