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Walter Hansen

Richard Wagner

»I must have beauty, splendour and light.« Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner’s music enchanted people around the world and revolutionised notions of opera. His life was a battle for success: whilst he was worshipped by some, others considered him to be a charlatan. Walter Hansen has compiled letters, Wagner’s private writings, contemporaries’ accounts and a multitude of other documents, and woven them into an intriguing and entertaining biography.
He recounts the composer’s childhood dreams, the triumphs and setbacks he experienced, the adventures and times when he was blessed by good fortune, his friendships and enmities and, above all, Wagner’s struggles to produce his great works. The result is a portrait of a genius who emerges as being arrogant yet vulnerable, shrewd, magnanimous and always in the mood for bizarre pranks.

"Walter Hansen has a keen sense for structure, rhethorics and drama...Finally a Wagner-biography which is neither gigantically voluminous, nor blindly abject or excitedly politically correct." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"This new biography 'Richard Wagner' by Walter Hansen reads like a thrilling adventure story." Berliner Morgenpost

"Much has been written about the unique life of the 'Tristan'- and 'Ring'-composer, but the new biography 'Richard Wagner' by Walter Hansen is truly an asset." dpa

"Walter Hansen has written a light, easily readable biography on the great composer, which explains a lot about Wagner. It is an introduction for those who do not know Wagner and an additional facet for those who do." SWR (South Western Broadcasting Station)


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376 pages, ISBN 978-3-423-24549-4
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