All of his life, Nietzsche loved music--and he even declared that life without music is an error... Already in his early youth, he learned to play the piano and he became quite skillful at it. He also continued to play piano for a long time; for example, it is known that, still in Basel, he liked to play piano four-handed with his best friend, Franz Overbeck.
Very early, he began to acquaint himself with the music literature of his time, particularly with the music of Wagner with whom he became acquainted as a student in Leipzig, and he even composed, himself: he wrote music to poems and wrote a "Hymnus an die Freundschaft" [Hymn to Friendship] for piano, and, following Schumann's example, a "Manfred" meditation. Of these compositions, you will find selected excerpts here that will be frequently exchanged. You can listen to them or download them. However, Nietzsche did not view his own musical creations without criticism--rather, he sent his "Manfred Meditation" to the famous conductor and pianist Hans von Bülow. The latter attested that he had a certain facility for the composition of music to poems, was, however, of the opinion that his "Manfred" composition was "Notzucht an Euterpe" [a crime of rape committed on Euterpe]. On another occasion, he presented one of his compositions to the Wagners in Tribschen--and, with it, was not met with a great deal of approval.
With such a love of music in Nietzsche it does not come as a surprise that he voiced his opinion on it during all of his life, and, above all, with respect to Wagner--two of his works even feature his name in their titles:
* the "Vierte Unzeitgemäße Betrachtung", entitled "Richard Wagner in Bayreuth"
* the writings that he left behind and which were edited posthumously, namely "Der Fall Wagner" and "Nietzsche contra Wagner".
Therefore, on this page, in addition to Nietzsche's music itself that you can listen to or download after clicking on the links below, Nietzsche will speak for himself in letters and writings that have been selected from his philosopical-poetical works. (Read more on http://www.virtusens.de/walther/musik_eng.htm.)
Ever heard of Nietzche's music? Get this week's featured free track from http://www.classicsonline.com. It is entitled Da geht ein Bach (version for piano solo) performed by Michael Krucker, from the album NIETZSCHE, F.: Piano Music (Complete) (Krucker).