3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A superb book, wonderfully illustrated,
This review is from: Richard Wagner: The Sorcerer of Bayreuth (Hardcover)
This is a great book about Richard Wagner; released in 2012, a year before The Master's two-hundredth birthday in 2013. Barry Millington is an expert in the field, and has written many books on Wagner as well as editing the Wagner Journal.
This book, which is very readable, with shortish chapters though no skimping on detail (30 chapters at 300 pages), offers an account of Wagner's life, work and times, and what were his driving forces for what became monumental works in Western Art. Some would go further and state that he changed music forever with his opera Tristan und Isolde, and others have stated that Der Ring des Nibelungen IS the greatest work of art.
Having seen and heard all the 'mature' operas on the stage myself many times, and I count myself as knowing quite a bit about the man, I was pleased to read, and to have at my fingertips information that outs the operas in context.
Also impressive, and this is a sign of the times, is the handsome production of the book. The many colour illustrations are stunning. There are 285 illustrations, with 165 in colour, showing many productions from around the world, as well as picture of the locales in which Wagner worked. The great thing is that they're printed on the normal paper of the book, rather than on glossy special paper, which I much prefer, and makes them so much easier on the eye.
Naturally, the book does not shy away from Wagner's dark side: he was a loathsome man, though it's not his fault that he was Hitler's favourite composer.
This is a must for any Wagner fan, or anyone who wants to learn about the man whose influence on theatre today is still prevalent.