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The Quest for the Gesamtkunstwerk and Richard Wagner - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Quest for the Gesamtkunstwerk and Richard Wagner

Hilda Meldrum Brown


The Gesamtkunstwerk (‘total work of art’), once a key concept in Wagner studies, has become problematic. This book sheds light on this conundrum by first tracing the development of the concept in the nineteenth century through selected examples, some of which include combinations of different art forms. It then focuses on the culmination of the Gesamtkunstwerk in Wagner’s theories and in the practice of his late music dramas, of which Der Ring des Nibelungen is the most complete representation. Finally, the book contrasts the view of the Ring as a fusion of dramatic text and music with the 20t ... More

Keywords: Gesamtkunstwerk, Richard Wagner, Der Ring des Nibelungen, Faust, Goethe, Adolphe Appia, Wieland Wagner, Erda, Philipp Otto Runge, Wörlitz

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199325436
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199325436.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Hilda Meldrum Brown, author
Emeritus Professor of German, St Hilda's College, Oxford

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