Richard Wagner

The Sorcerer of Bayreuth


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ISBN: 9780500516430 Categories: ,

Barry Millington


Richard Wagner is one of the most influential – and controversial – composers in the history of music. Over the course of his long career, he produced a stream of spellbinding works that challenged musical convention through their richness and experimentation, ultimately paving the way for modernism.

Moving at a fast pace, the book encompasses a refreshingly wide range of themes, from the composer’s sources of inspiration, his fetish for exotic silks, and his relationship with his wives and mistresses, to accusations of anti-Semitism, the operas’ proto-cinematic nature, and the turbulent legacy both of the Bayreuth Festival and of Wagnerism itself.

Making use of the very latest scholarship – much of it undertaken by the author himself as editor of The Wagner Journal – Barry Millington reassesses received notions about Wagner and his work, demolishing ill-informed opinion in favour of proper critical understanding. The result is a radical – and occasionally provocative – reappraisal of this most perplexing of composers. With its many intriguing images and quotations from contemporary documents, Richard Wagner: The Sorcerer of Bayreuth will grip anyone interested in music and in the wider cultural life of the 19th century and beyond.

Additional information

Weight 1056 g
Dimensions 17.4 x 24.8 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 December 2012
Number of pages 320
Format Hardback
Dimensions 17.4 x 24.8 cm
Weight 1056 g


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Barry Millington is chief music critic for the London Evening Standard and the editor of The Wagner Journal. He has written and edited, or co-edited, seven books on Wagner, including The Wagner Compendium, The Ring of the Nibelungen: A Companion and the New Grove Guide to Wagner and his Operas.