Richard Wagner: A Life in Music by Martin Geck (translated by Stewart Spencer)

Reviewed by
February 2014, no. 358
Death's Soundtrack

Richard Wagner: A Life in Music

by Martin Geck (translated by Stewart Spencer)

University of Chicago Press (Footprint Books), $58.95 hb, 461 pp, 9780226924618

Richard Wagner: A Life in Music by Martin Geck (translated by Stewart Spencer)

Reviewed by
February 2014, no. 358

After four days in the theatre, and just as many resting up between instalments, Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen ends with a big tune. Like most of Wagner’s themes, this one has been given a name: the ‘Redemption through Love’ motif. The name was not the work of the composer but of one of his acolytes, Hans von Wolzogen, and in its original German it is ‘Liebeserlösung’ which, strictly speaking, is ‘Redemption of Love’ or ‘Love’s Redemption’. But ever since guides to Wagner’s music began appearing in English – which is to say, a long time ago – the motif has been incorrectly labelled ‘Redemption through Love’, and so it has stuck.

Death's Soundtrack

Richard Wagner: A Life in Music

by Martin Geck (translated by Stewart Spencer)

University of Chicago Press (Footprint Books), $58.95 hb, 461 pp, 9780226924618

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.