Although both Wagner and Gluck are two prominent operatic reformers who contributed between the eighteenth century and the nineteenth century, Franz Brendel and probably a number of other observers perceived how the first encounter of these two was not without certain conflicts. Wagner, although he was well-aware of how Gluck was a significant figure in the music scene and how his contributions cannot be undermined, was able to make relatively harsh comments because of his disappointment in Gluck’s works. Wagner, however, felt the need to appreciate Gluck’s works although he could not reconcile the progressive spirit of the works. This chapter shows how Wagner could not accept how Gluck was considered a “classic,” and that he had to deal with this situation by modifying the link between music history and tradition in performances.
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