Richard Wagner

The controversial German composer, Richard Wagner, was one of the first, and best, orchestrators of the Romantic era. Wagner was unique in that he both wrote the music and the libretti for all of his compositions. All questions regarding this fascinating and influential musical icon should be posted here.

773 Questions

Did richard Wagner write great operas?

Whether is operas are great is a matter of personal taste. However, he has written many operas that are very well known, including "Tannhauser", "Lohengrin" and "Die Walkure".

Where did Richard Wagner die?

He went to Venice for the 1883 winter. On 13 February, Richard Wagner died of a heart attack at Ca' Vendramin Calergi, a 16th century palazzo on the Grand Canal.

How do you play ride of the valkyries on keyboard?

After intent study and learning of the piece. This is a very technical piece to play.

What was Richard Wagners best opera?

The question is not answerable. "Best" is a subjective judgment, not a measurable fact.

Wagner's style and artistic aims changed significantly during his career, so it is hard to compare his works to each other. The best I can do is suggest some high points and some good works to start on.

Der Fliegende Hollander (Flying Dutchman) is one of his more accessible works--it's earlier, uses the "number" format with recitative/aria scene structure, but still shows off his use of leitmotifs (musical ideas representing people, things, concepts in the story). The story is fairly straightforward and easy to follow. Lohengrin and Tannhauser are similar fairy-tale/legend stories from his earlier period. Die Meistersinger is also a legend-based work, but is more of a comedy.

It's hard to compare any of these to Der Ring des Nibelungen, his four-opera cycle based on Norse mythology. The Ring (Das Rheingold, Die Walkure, Siegfried, and Die Gotterdammerung) is a concept work, written over many years, and reflecting Wagner's evolving ideas of the "artwork of the future." It would be like comparing Tolkien's Lord of the Rings to The Hobbit. You may like one more than the other, but they really aren't comparable. Out of the four Ring operas, Die Walkure (The Valkyrie) is probably the easiest to get into if you're not going to commit to listening to/watching the whole cycle.

An important work from Wagner's mature period is Tristan und Isolde. This isn't my favorite, but if I had to pick a single representative Wagner opera it would be this. Because it is a more manageable production than the Ring, it has been performed more widely, and had a huge historical impact because of its innovative use of chromatic harmony. Just listening to the prelude of this opera is a good primer on Wagner's style. An interesting bookend to this work is Parsifal, one of his late works.

What influenced Wilhelm Richard Wagner's music?

Many things influenced Wagner's music, but probably Norse mythology more than anything else.

The lyrics in German for Schubert's Serenade Leise flehen meine Lieder?

Leise flehen meine Lieder

Durch die Nacht zu dir

In den stillen Hain hernieder

Liebchen komm zu mir

Flüsternd schlanke Wipfel rauschen

In des Mondes Licht

In des Mondes Licht

Des Verräters feindlich lauschen

Fürchte Holde nicht

Fürchte Holde nicht Hörst die Nachtigallen schlagen

Ach! sie flehen dich

Mit der Töne süßen Klagen

Flehen sie für mich

Sie verstehn des Busens Sehnen

Kennen Liebesschmerz

Kennen Liebesschmerz

Rühren mit den Silbertönen

Jedes weiche Herz

Jedes weiche Herz

Laß auch dir die Brust bewegen

Liebchen höre mich

Bebend harr ich dir entgegen

Komm beglücke mich

Komm beglücke mich

Beglücke mich

Was Ride of the Valkyries used as part of the Star Wars music?

John Williams, the composer for a lot of the music in Star Wars (and Jaws), is known in the composers circle as someone who tends to "borrow" a lot of themes and progressions from other composers. I am not a Star Wars fan, so I don't know if they used any Wagner, but I know John Williams did a lot of the music and I know he isn't very original at times.

AnswerAll of the music in the Star Wars movies was written by John Williams. Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" was not used in those films. In the film "Apocalypse Now" the "Ride of the Valkyries" was famously played by American helicopter pilots to shake up the people on the ground during a military operation.

While it is true that John Williams receives credit for the score of the "Star Wars Theme," there is no doubt that he borrowed heavily from Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries," so much so that had Wagner been alive at the time of the movie's release, there is a very good chance he would have been able to successfully sue for copyright infringement.

I believe the closeness of the scores was intentional on Williams' part, though, as much of the story of Star Wars borrows heavily from Wagnerian tales. Here is one site that might help put this in focus:

When did Richard Wagner learn the Wagner tuba?

The problem with this question is that Richard Wagner doesn't have the Wagner Tuba history itself. We have to see both histories. In 1853, he visited Paris were he visited the shop of Adolph Sax inventor of the Saxphone. It was then that he got the inspiration and invented the Wagner Tuba. The thing is that his invention don't mean he did in fact learn to play it. Nowhere in history says he did play that instrument. He wanted a more mellow sound compared to trombones and he so he invented the Wagner Tuba. He did play the piano.

Which brass instrument made in Germany by Richard Wagner?


The "Wagner Tuba" which is a smaller version of the tuba also known as the baritone horn. Wagner commissioned the famous instrument maker Adolphe Sax to make the instrument specifically for the purpose of illustrating the character of Hunding in the opera "The Valkyrie".

Contrabass Trombone

The contrabass trombone sounds an octave below the Tenor trombone. Wagner prefered it to the bass tuba using it alongside the tenor and bass trombones. It was definitely used in The Ring but I am not sure where else it was used.

In what movie was the Bat overture by Richard Wagner played?

Wagner never wrote an overture called the Bat. The title of the operetta "Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss II means "The Bat" in English, so this may be what you are referring to, but what movie it was used in I do not know.

What is the name of the female character who sings the famous operatic hyto-ho in Ride of the Valkyries?

The Ride of the Valkyries is actually a piece from the beginning of the third act of Wagner's Die Walküre. The piece is sung by the eight Valkyrie sisters of Brünnhilde, which may be the name you're looking for. "Ho-jo-to-ho!" is Brunnhilde's war-cry in act 2 of Richard Wagner's 'Die Walkure'. As already answered 'The ride of the walkuries' is the opening of act 3 of the same opera.

What movies is Ride of the Valkyries used in?

'Apocalypse Now' during the helicopter attack on the village scene.

since then this scene has become a cliché in many movies with similar scenes: "Casper" when the Casper´s uncles arrive at the kitchen, "Rango" in the attack of the mole gang riding bats, I do not remember now another movies, but there are not less than five or more titles in wich this cliché has been used, think it would be a very interesting hobbie to edit a video with all these scenes

How did Richard Wagner illustrate the theme of nationalism in his music?

Although there are some benign themes of nationalism in Wagner's stage works, there is no "nationalism" in the music itself. Wagner was very committed to the idea of "German " opera it was an artistic concept, not a political or patriotic one.

Richard Wagner was born in?

Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig on May 22, 1813.