Beyond Reason relates Wagner’s works to the philosophical and cultural ideas of his time, centering on the four music dramas he created in the second half of his career: Der Ring des Nibelungen, Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Parsifal. Karol Berger seeks to penetrate the “secret” of large-scale form in Wagner’s music dramas and to answer those critics, most prominently Nietzsche, who condemned Wagner for his putative inability to weld small expressive gestures into larger wholes. Organized by individual opera, this is essential reading for both musicologists and Wagner experts.
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