Classical Music Talk

December 22, 2009

Richard Wagner – early years

Filed under: Uncategorized — classicalconnect @ 10:45 am
Wagner

Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig in a family of actors. He studied in Dresden and Leipzig, taking composition lessons with Christian Theodor Weinling. Between 1833 and 1839 Wagner worked for opera theaters in Würzburg, Magdeburg, Königsberg, and Riga, and wrote his first operas Die Feen (‘fairies’, 1834), Das Liebesverbot (“forbidden love”, 1836) and several orchestral pieces. In 1836 he married the actress Minna Planner. Travel more, knowing the major European musical centers. During a hectic travel by sea to England he prepared a work plan for “Flying Dutchman”. After a short stay in London, he went to Paris where he is deeply impressed by the music of Hector Berlioz.

Further, his musical genius was formed and has revealed the influence of the great music of Carl Maria von Weber, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and especially by the symphonic creations of Ludwig van Beethoven. He also paid attention to piano music. His first famous work are Rienzi (1840 – first on October 20 1842 in Dresden), Der fliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman “or “ghost ship “, 1841 – presented for the first time in January 2nd 1843 in Dresden) and imposed him in the artistic life. In 1843 he is set in Dresden, where he became Kapellmeister at the court of King of Saxony. Following works Tannhäuser (1845) and Lohengrin (1848) are more difficult to welcome the public, because the innovative elements in dramatical and musical structure. With the support of Franz Liszt, he will be presented later successfully in Weimar.
Very proud, Wagner had a troubled existence. Under the influence of the writer Heinrich Laube, he adopted the republican ideas of the movement Jungen Deutschland (“Young Germany”), but after the defeat of the revolution of 1848, he is forced to go to Zurich in Switzerland, where he stayed 10 years, until 1858. Here he knows a writer, Mathilde Wesendonck, for which he had a true passion and whose lyrics consist of a cycle of lied. In these circumstances he separates from his wife, Minna; later will marry Cosima, daughter of Franz Liszt. He was a great admirer of Franz Liszt piano music. Since 1864 became the protégé of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, an avid fan of Wagnerian music. King is backing him financially, enabling Wagner to devote only to artistic creation. With the protector help is built a theater at Bayreuth, Wagner’s works hard. This theatre is home – until today – every summer (July-August), to the renowned music festival named “Richard Wagner”.

Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig in a family of actors. He studied in Dresden and Leipzig, taking composition lessons with Christian Theodor Weinling. Between 1833 and 1839 Wagner worked for opera theaters in Würzburg, Magdeburg, Königsberg, and Riga, and wrote his first operas Die Feen (‘fairies’, 1834), Das Liebesverbot (“forbidden love”, 1836) and several orchestral pieces. In 1836 he married the actress Minna Planner. Travel more, knowing the major European musical centers. During a hectic travel by sea to England he prepared a work plan for “Flying Dutchman”. After a short stay in London, he went to Paris where he is deeply impressed by the music of Hector Berlioz.Further, his musical genius was formed and has revealed the influence of the great music of Carl Maria von Weber, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and especially by the symphonic creations of Ludwig van Beethoven. He also paid attention to piano music. His first famous work are Rienzi (1840 – first on October 20 1842 in Dresden), Der fliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman “or “ghost ship “, 1841 – presented for the first time in January 2nd 1843 in Dresden) and imposed him in the artistic life. In 1843 he is set in Dresden, where he became Kapellmeister at the court of King of Saxony. Following works Tannhäuser (1845) and Lohengrin (1848) are more difficult to welcome the public, because the innovative elements in dramatical and musical structure. With the support of Franz Liszt, he will be presented later successfully in Weimar.Very proud, Wagner had a troubled existence. Under the influence of the writer Heinrich Laube, he adopted the republican ideas of the movement Jungen Deutschland (“Young Germany”), but after the defeat of the revolution of 1848, he is forced to go to Zurich in Switzerland, where he stayed 10 years, until 1858. Here he knows a writer, Mathilde Wesendonck, for which he had a true passion and whose lyrics consist of a cycle of lied. In these circumstances he separates from his wife, Minna; later will marry Cosima, daughter of Franz Liszt. He was a great admirer of Franz Liszt piano music. Since 1864 became the protégé of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, an avid fan of Wagnerian music. King is backing him financially, enabling Wagner to devote only to artistic creation. With the protector help is built a theater at Bayreuth, Wagner’s works hard. This theatre is home – until today – every summer (July-August), to the renowned music festival named “Richard Wagner”.

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