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Richard Wagner

Data de nascimento: 22. Maio 1813
Data de falecimento: 13. Fevereiro 1883

Wilhelm Richard Wagner foi um maestro, compositor, diretor de teatro e ensaista alemão, primeiramente conhecido por suas óperas . As composições de Wagner, particularmente essas do fim do período, são notáveis por suas texturas complexas, harmonias ricas e orquestração, e o elaborado uso de Leitmotiv: temas musicais associados com caráter individual, lugares, ideias ou outros elementos. Por não gostar da maioria das outras óperas de compositores, Wagner escreveu simultaneamente a música e libreto, para todos os seus trabalhos.

Inicialmente estabeleceu sua reputação como um compositor de trabalhos como Der fliegende Holländer e Tannhäuser, transformando assim as tradições românticas de Carl Maria von Weber e Giacomo Meyerbeer em um pensamento operístico de seu conceito de Gesamtkunstwerk. Isso permitiu atingir a síntese de todas as artes poéticas, visuais, musicais e dramáticas e foi anunciada uma série de ensaios entre 1849 e 1852. Wagner percebeu esse conceito mais plenamente na primeira parte do monumental ciclo de quatro partes da ópera Der Ring des Nibelungen. Entretanto, seus pensamentos sobre a importância da música e drama mudaram novamente e ele reintroduziu algumas formas tradicionais da ópera em seu último estágio de trabalhos, incluindo Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

Wagner foi o pioneiro em avanços da linguagem musical, tais como o cromatismo extremo e a rápida mudança dos centros tonais, que muito influenciou no desenvolvimento da música erudita europeia. Sua ópera Tristan und Isolde é algumas vezes descrita como um marco do início da música moderna. A influência de Wagner vai além da música, é também sentida na filosofia, literatura, artes visuais e teatro. Ele teve sua própria casa de ópera, o Bayreuth Festspielhaus. Foi nessa casa que Ring e Parsifal tiveram suas premières mundiais e onde suas obras mais importantes continuam a ser produzidas até hoje, em um festival anual dirigido por seus descendentes. Sua extensa obra sobre música, drama e política tem atraído extensos comentários, em recentes décadas, especialmente onde existe o conteúdo anti-semita.

Wagner conquistou tudo isso, apesar de viver até suas últimas décadas em exílio político, amores turbulentos, pobreza e fuga de seus credores. O impacto de suas ideias pode ser sentido em muitas artes do longo de todo o século XX.

Citações Richard Wagner

„It's as if they avoid melodies, for fear of having perhaps stolen them from someone else.“

—  Richard Wagner

21 June 1880
Contexto: Music has taken a bad turn; these young people have no idea how to write a melody, they just give us shavings, which they dress up to look like a lion's mane and shake at us... It's as if they avoid melodies, for fear of having perhaps stolen them from someone else.

„If gold here figures as the demon strangling manhood's innocence, our greatest poet shews at last the goblin's game of paper money. The Nibelung's fateful ring become a pocket-book, might well complete the eerie picture of the spectral world-controller.“

—  Richard Wagner

Know Thyself (1881)
Contexto: Clever though be the many thoughts expressed by mouth or pen about the invention of money and its enormous value as a civiliser, against such praises should be set the curse to which it has always been doomed in song and legend. If gold here figures as the demon strangling manhood's innocence, our greatest poet shews at last the goblin's game of paper money. The Nibelung's fateful ring become a pocket-book, might well complete the eerie picture of the spectral world-controller. By the advocates of our Progressive Civilisation this rulership is indeed regarded as a spiritual, nay, a moral power; for vanished Faith is now replaced by "Credit," that fiction of our mutual honesty kept upright by the most elaborate safeguards against loss and trickery. What comes to pass beneath the benedictions of this Credit we now are witnessing, and seem inclined to lay all blame upon the Jews. They certainly are virtuosi in an art which we but bungle: only, the coinage of money out of nil was invented by our Civilisation itself; or if the Jews are blamable for that, it is because our entire civilisation is a barbaro-judaic medley, in nowise a Christian creation.

„There we see nothing but a clash of interests, whose object is common to all the disputants, common and ignoble: plainly the side most strongly organised, i.e. the most unscrupulous, will bear away the prize.“

—  Richard Wagner

Know Thyself (1881)
Contexto: What "Conservatives," "Liberals" and "Conservative-liberals," and finally "Democrats," "Socialists," or even "Social-democrats" etc., have lately uttered on the Jewish Question, must seem to us a trifle foolish; for none of these parties would think of testing that "Know thyself" upon themselves, not even the most indefinite and therefore the only one that styles itself in German, the "Progress"-party. There we see nothing but a clash of interests, whose object is common to all the disputants, common and ignoble: plainly the side most strongly organised, i. e. the most unscrupulous, will bear away the prize. With all our comprehensive State- and National-Economy, it would seem that we are victims to a dream now flattering, now terrifying, and finally asphyxiating: all are panting to awake therefrom; but it is the dream's peculiarity that, so long as it enmeshes us, we take it for real life, and fight against our wakening as though we fought with death. At last one crowning horror gives the tortured wretch the needful strength: he wakes, and what he held most real was but a figment of the dæmon of distraught mankind.
We who belong to none of all those parties, but seek our welfare solely in man's wakening to his simple hallowed dignity; we who are excluded from these parties as useless persons, and yet are sympathetically troubled for them, — we can only stand and watch the spasms of the dreamer, since no cry of ours can pierce to him. So let us save and tend and brace our best of forces, to bear a noble cordial to the sleeper when he wakes, as of himself he must at last.

„So let us save and tend and brace our best of forces, to bear a noble cordial to the sleeper when he wakes, as of himself he must at last.“

—  Richard Wagner

Know Thyself (1881)
Contexto: What "Conservatives," "Liberals" and "Conservative-liberals," and finally "Democrats," "Socialists," or even "Social-democrats" etc., have lately uttered on the Jewish Question, must seem to us a trifle foolish; for none of these parties would think of testing that "Know thyself" upon themselves, not even the most indefinite and therefore the only one that styles itself in German, the "Progress"-party. There we see nothing but a clash of interests, whose object is common to all the disputants, common and ignoble: plainly the side most strongly organised, i. e. the most unscrupulous, will bear away the prize. With all our comprehensive State- and National-Economy, it would seem that we are victims to a dream now flattering, now terrifying, and finally asphyxiating: all are panting to awake therefrom; but it is the dream's peculiarity that, so long as it enmeshes us, we take it for real life, and fight against our wakening as though we fought with death. At last one crowning horror gives the tortured wretch the needful strength: he wakes, and what he held most real was but a figment of the dæmon of distraught mankind.
We who belong to none of all those parties, but seek our welfare solely in man's wakening to his simple hallowed dignity; we who are excluded from these parties as useless persons, and yet are sympathetically troubled for them, — we can only stand and watch the spasms of the dreamer, since no cry of ours can pierce to him. So let us save and tend and brace our best of forces, to bear a noble cordial to the sleeper when he wakes, as of himself he must at last.

„I fixed my mind upon some theatre of first rank, that would some day produce it, and troubled myself but little as to where and when that theatre would be found.“

—  Richard Wagner

Autobiographical Sketch (1843)
Contexto: The utter childishness of our provincial public's verdict upon any art-manifestation that may chance to make its first appearance in their own theatre — for they are only accustomed to witness performances of works already judged and accredited by the greater world outside — brought me to the decision, at no price to produce for the first time a largish work at a minor theatre. When, therefore, I felt again the instinctive need of undertaking a major work, I renounced all idea of obtaining a speedy representation of it in my immediate neighbourhood: I fixed my mind upon some theatre of first rank, that would some day produce it, and troubled myself but little as to where and when that theatre would be found.

„Music has taken a bad turn; these young people have no idea how to write a melody, they just give us shavings“

—  Richard Wagner

21 June 1880
Contexto: Music has taken a bad turn; these young people have no idea how to write a melody, they just give us shavings, which they dress up to look like a lion's mane and shake at us... It's as if they avoid melodies, for fear of having perhaps stolen them from someone else.

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„The July Revolution took place; with one bound I became a revolutionist, and acquired the conviction that every decently active being ought to occupy himself with politics exclusively.“

—  Richard Wagner

Autobiographical Sketch (1843)
Contexto: The July Revolution took place; with one bound I became a revolutionist, and acquired the conviction that every decently active being ought to occupy himself with politics exclusively. I was only happy in the company of political writers, and I commenced an Overture upon a political theme. Thus was I minded, when I left school and went to the university: not, indeed, to devote myself to studying for any profession — for my musical career was now resolved on — but to attend lectures on philosophy and aesthetics. By this opportunity of improving my mind I profited as good as nothing, but gave myself up to all the excesses of student life; and that with such reckless levity, that they very soon revolted me.

„At last one crowning horror gives the tortured wretch the needful strength: he wakes, and what he held most real was but a figment of the dæmon of distraught mankind.“

—  Richard Wagner

Know Thyself (1881)
Contexto: What "Conservatives," "Liberals" and "Conservative-liberals," and finally "Democrats," "Socialists," or even "Social-democrats" etc., have lately uttered on the Jewish Question, must seem to us a trifle foolish; for none of these parties would think of testing that "Know thyself" upon themselves, not even the most indefinite and therefore the only one that styles itself in German, the "Progress"-party. There we see nothing but a clash of interests, whose object is common to all the disputants, common and ignoble: plainly the side most strongly organised, i. e. the most unscrupulous, will bear away the prize. With all our comprehensive State- and National-Economy, it would seem that we are victims to a dream now flattering, now terrifying, and finally asphyxiating: all are panting to awake therefrom; but it is the dream's peculiarity that, so long as it enmeshes us, we take it for real life, and fight against our wakening as though we fought with death. At last one crowning horror gives the tortured wretch the needful strength: he wakes, and what he held most real was but a figment of the dæmon of distraught mankind.
We who belong to none of all those parties, but seek our welfare solely in man's wakening to his simple hallowed dignity; we who are excluded from these parties as useless persons, and yet are sympathetically troubled for them, — we can only stand and watch the spasms of the dreamer, since no cry of ours can pierce to him. So let us save and tend and brace our best of forces, to bear a noble cordial to the sleeper when he wakes, as of himself he must at last.

„Recently, while I was in the street, my eye was caught by a poulterer's shop; I stared unthinkingly at his piled-up wares, neatly and appetizingly laid out, when I became aware of a man at the side busily plucking a hen, while another man was just putting his hand in a cage, where he seized a live hen and tore its head off. The hideous scream of the animal, and the pitiful, weaker sounds of complaint that it made while being overpowered transfixed my soul with horror. Ever since then I have been unable to rid myself of this impression, although I had experienced it often before. It is dreadful to see how our lives—which, on the whole, remain addicted to pleasure—rest upon such a bottomless pit of the cruellest misery! This has been so self-evident to me from the very beginning, and has become even more central to my thinking as my sensibility has increased … I have observed the way in which I am drawn in the [direction of empathy for misery] with a force that inspires me with sympathy, and that everything touches me deeply only insofar as it arouses fellow-feeling in me, i. e. fellow-suffering. I see in this fellow-suffering the most salient feature of my moral being, and presumably it is this that is the well-spring of my art.“

—  Richard Wagner

Selected Letters of Richard Wagner, translated by Stewart Spencer and Barry Millington (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1987), pp. 422-424 http://www.animal-rights-library.com/texts-c/wagner02.htm

„No clever person can help here; I see that clearly. Here, only stupidity can help the stupid one!“

—  Richard Wagner, Siegfried

Original: (de) "Hier hilft kein Kluger, das seh’ ich klar: hier hilft dem Dummen die Dummheit allein!"
Fonte: Quotes from his operas, Siegfried, Mime, the dwarf (and master metal-smith), Act 1, Scene 3

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