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The Tragic and the Ecstatic:
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The Tragic and the Ecstatic:: The Musical Revolution of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde



During the years preceding the composition of Tristan and Isolde, Wagner’s aesthetics underwent a momentous turnaround, principally as a result of his discovery of Schopenhauer. Many of Schopenhauer’s ideas, especially those regarding music’s metaphysical significance, resonated with patterns of thought that had long been central to Wagner’s aesthetics, and Wagner described the entry of Schopenhauer into his life as “a gift from heaven.” This book argues that Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde is a musical and dramatic exposition of metaphysical ideas inspired by Schopenhauer. The first part of the b ... More

Keywords: Tristan and Isolde, Wagner, Schopenhauer, aesthetics, Gottfried van Strassburg, opera

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780195343007
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195343007.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Chafe, author