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I Saw the World End: A Study of Wagner's Ring (Clarendon Paperbacks)

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I saw the world end : a study of Wagner's Ring

Long considered a masterpiece, Wagner's Ring has baffled and confused critics because of the highly complex meaning of its text and music. The diverse range of commentaries written on the subject since the first performance over one hundred years ago reveals just how little critics have understood The Ring. Deryck Cooke displays his masterly common sense in this study of how and why The Ring took the shape it did. This volume represents only a portion of the enormous book he had planned--his untimely death prevented him from writing a full analysis of the music. Even as it stands, I Saw The World End will give fresh understanding and appreciation to every lover of Wagner's music.

Long considered a masterpiece, Wagner's Ring has baffled and confused critics because of the highly complex meaning of its text and music. The diverse range of commentaries written on the subject since the first performance over one hundred years ago reveals just how little critics have understood The Ring. Deryck Cooke displays his masterly common sense in this study of how and why The Ring took the shape it did. This volume represents only a portion of the enormous book he had planned--his untimely death prevented him from writing a full analysis of the music. Even as it stands, I Saw The World End will give fresh understanding and appreciation to every lover of Wagner's music.

Sounds & Fury: I Saw The World End

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    Long considered a masterpiece, Wagner's Ring has baffled and confused critics because of the highly complex meaning of its text and music. The diverse range of commentaries written on the subject since the first performance over one hundred years ago reveals just how little critics have understood The Ring. Deryck Cooke displays his masterly common sense in this study of how and why The Ring took the shape it did. This volume represents only a portion of the enormous book he had planned--his untimely death prevented him from writing a full analysis of the music. Even as it stands, I Saw The World End will give fresh understanding and appreciation to every lover of Wagner's music.

    It is also tantalising to speculate how Deryck Cooke would have finished his outstanding study of The Ring had he lived longer. How would he have managed the cornucopia of motifs in the Götterdämmerung for example? We don't know; but we have every reason to believe that he would have done it more brilliantly than anybody else. Unfortunately, as it is now, ''I Saw the World End'' contains very little discussion on the music of The Ring and only the intricate plots of The Rhinegold and The Valkyrie (to some extent) receive the appropriate amount of attention. The only completely finished part with regard to the whole tetralogy seems to be the analysis of the text and the sources where with his usual acumen Mr Cooke makes a very strong case that Wagner was not only a great composer but a great dramatist as well - something he is not often given credit for (indeed, he is often ridiculed about his plots - as if any opera remained in the repertoire because of its plot!). Mr Cooke investigates meticulously the disparate, often ridiculously inane and certainly very poor dramatically, myths and legends Wagner used and how he culled from them a far more dramatic and effective story than the originals; in fact, a good many episodes were skilfully invented by Wagner himself to complement the vapid mythology and render it suitable for the opera theatre. But that's another story, and one which Deryck Cooke has told in an absolutely unforgettable way.