The Life of Wilhelm Richard Wagner Essay

2118 Words 9 Pages
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was one of the greatest opera writers of all time. He helped to take opera to a whole new level from even Verdi and Puccini. Some say that Wagner was very egotistic, however; “his extreme egotism rested on conviction, Wagner had the ability to do great things” (Colles 207). He was extraordinary at composing music as well as formulating words. He was not a prodigy however his musical skills surpassed many other composers from his time period.
Richard Wagner was the son of Frau Karl Fredrich Wilhelm Wagner (Jacobs 1). He was born the youngest on May 22, 1813 in the town of Leipzig (Colles 205). Six months after Richard’s birth the Napoleonic War came to Leipzig (Jacobs 1). Because of the war there were many
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He informed his father’s brother Aldof to notify his family that he was going to quit school and develop in his own manner (Jacobs 5). He decided to leave school because he wanted to devote himself to adding music to his poems (Jacobs 5). Hearing all the music he soon discovered that his poems that he wrote would be barren without music (Colles 205). At the age of fifteen he devoted himself to music (Jacobs 5). This helped spark the interest of his musical abilities.
In 1828 he began to take violin lessons from Müller but he soon found harmony and counterpoint boring and useless (Jacobs 7). However; he soon learned that he needed counterpoint and harmony and so he took music lessons from Theodor Weinlig who was a successor to J. S. Bach (Colles 206). Weinlig was the Cantor of St. Thomas Church (Jacobs 9).
In 1832 he published his first composition which was a piano sonata and symphony that were influenced heavily by Beethoven (Bonds 464). However; in attempting to write these kinds of music he realized he loved theatre music (Bonds 463). Wagner spent a lot of time with the theatre he was able to see Geyer preform and see all the inner workings of the theatre (Jacobs 3). Through his experiences with the theatre he began to develop his own ideas of music. He only valued music for the operatic images that struck him (Jacobs 6). His image of music from the beginning seemed to be very narrow
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