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Ever since my first introduction to and subsequent exploration of Wagner's music and art I've felt something uniquely seductive about his works that set him apart from most other composers or artists of any field for that matter. Although I still haven't been able to pin down what makes him so extraordinary, I'm sure it's a quality that all Wagnerians pick up on to some extent, and why he plays a significant role in our lives. I can see why in a sense his work is dangerous and potentially addictive. It is so absorbing, so various, and seemingly so inclusive that it can be tempting to want to live life through the music dramas themselves. They do contain a sort of thriling and vigourous energy that I imagine most people's lives lack on a day to day basis. It is an astonishing quality of Wagner's art that it can provide enough emotional and spiritual nourishment to make people feel like they possibly don't need anything else; however, taking this route is most certainly detrimental in the long run. Like most of my fellow Wagnerians I'm sure, I've discovered the true value of his operas is in their ability of to enrich life: they are full of revelations, directives and challenges which help me make better sense of my experiences and to think with renewed clarity on wider existential questions.
It's simply the transcendental quality, the same quality of some drugs and religions, which lure in and entrance Wagnerians.
 

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I went from The Beach Boys to Mozart... and then to Wagner. What's next is a very tough question. I'm going to give Bruckner a shot.
 

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If you're a former addict, of which I know there are many, where did you go after your blurred obsession with Wagner?

I mean this sincerely and out of curiosity, I'm not interested in litigating the relative fandom of composers or whether Wagner had 'something wrong' with him. I mean plainly where did former Wagner obsessors go afterward?

For instance when I joined this forum I listened to all sorts, mostly late baroque through Romantic, and heavily based on what I played when I was younger. For the last couple of years it's just Wagner I listen to. Yes there's occasional late Beethoven, Brahms chamber, Bach organ or piano, or Romantic piano - especially at work. But beyond that I just listen to Wagner, watch it, etc.

So for those ladies and gents who experienced Wagner like this in their 20s, 30s, 40s or even later, what came next?
I don't think it's any coincidence that both Wagner and Verdi were born in 1813. I see them as a necessary and valuable counterbalance to each other in life. I find them considerably different with Wagner wisely writing both the music and librettos, and Verdi writing something based on Othello, which I consider a masterpiece. Both portray the human condition in different ways and can benefit the understanding of each other. Both have greatly benefited the world with their respective outlooks and their own musical vocabularies. I don't believe in coincidences of birth.
 

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I don't think it's any coincidence that both Wagner and Verdi were born in 1813. I see them as a necessary and valuable counterbalance to each other in life. I find them considerably different with Wagner wisely writing both the music and librettos, and Verdi writing something based on Othello, which I consider a masterpiece. Both portray the human condition in different ways and can benefit the understanding of each other. Both have greatly benefited the world with their respective outlooks and their own musical vocabularies. I don't believe in coincidences.
Wagner might have been better off if he'd have had help with his librettos. Verdi's are generally much better as he and his librettists were able to play off against each other. With Boito they reached a level of almost perfection
 

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Wagner wisely writing both the music and librettos
i don't believe he wrote librettos... well, at least someone helped him.

a man who created such music just would not have been able to write librettos so complex.

same for a man who penned such librettos wouldn't have been capable of composing music so grand.
 

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^^He wrote both.
 
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i don't believe he wrote librettos... well, at least someone helped him.

a man who created such music just would not have been able to write librettos so complex.

same for a man who penned such librettos wouldn't have been capable of composing music so grand.
And your evidence for this is?
 

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i don't believe he wrote librettos... well, at least someone helped him.

a man who created such music just would not have been able to write librettos so complex.

same for a man who penned such librettos wouldn't have been capable of composing music so grand.
In all fairness to Wagner, you're just guessing. With regard to his major works that's something you could have easily looked up. It was a good move because he didn't have to put up with wretched and ridiculous librettos like so many other composers had to use. Whether one agrees with them or not, I think he made the right choice because at least they're involved and intelligent, what he wanted and was satisfied with, though also at times highly controversial. But sometimes it takes controversy to wake people up like art is capable of doing. His librettos also exposed others to the dark side of human nature, which everyone has whether they admit to it or not, because in order to feel alive sometimes you have to break rules, preferably without hurting others.
 

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Wagner not only wrote his own librettos, but to a great extent he conceived words and music simultaneously. Who could possibly have collaborated on works of such vision and originality? Who could have found words to accommodate music of such technical complexity and expressive scope? Who but Wagner himself could have taken the rambling, sprawling romances of medieval literature and boiled them down into such terse, intense dramas? Given the diffuse raw material of old stories passed down in diverse forms, his works exhibit a remarkable clarity of purpose and unity of intention, and represent their composer in a personal way that few other operas do. Whatever his works say is what he meant to say.
 

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So we have on one hand those who think that it would have been better if Wagner hadn't written his own libretti and had someone to help cut them down a bit and those who think he couldn't possibly have written them on his own!!!

Oh vay!

Ain't life wonderful. :lol:
 

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So we have on one hand those who think that it would have been better if Wagner hadn't written his own libretti and had someone to help cut them down a bit and those who think he couldn't possibly have written them on his own!!!

Oh vay!

Ain't life wonderful. :lol:
I think most people outside of the Wagner faction think his libretti leave something to be desired.
 

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I think most people outside of the Wagner faction think his libretti leave something to be desired.
I think people other than Wagner haters think they're genius.
 

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I think people other than Wagner haters think they're genius.
Interesting this emotive word 'hater' is now used quite freely to describe people from politicians to music lovers. Saying Wagner's libretti were not works of literary genius (which many people would agree they were not) does not make one a 'hater'. Just saying that his literary ability did not match his musical genius. Labelling people 'haters' tends to restrict debate.
 
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