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Wagner, Schumann, and the Lessons of Beethoven's Ninth$
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Christopher Alan Reynolds

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285569

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285569.001.0001

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Wagner’s Faustian Understanding of Beethoven’s Ninth

Wagner’s Faustian Understanding of Beethoven’s Ninth

(p.17) Chapter 1 Wagner’s Faustian Understanding of Beethoven’s Ninth
Wagner, Schumann, and the Lessons of Beethoven's Ninth

Christopher Alan Reynolds

University of California Press

Chapter 1 compares the poem of The Flying Dutchman to the text of Wagner’s 1846 program for Beethoven’s Ninth and also to the passages from Goethe’s Faust that Wagner chose to explicate the Ninth. Wagner’s interpretation of the Ninth functions remarkably well to describe several scenes in The Flying Dutchman, including elements of scene structure. Whether Wagner selected the quotations from Goethe’s Faust as he prepared the 1846 performance or, as I suspect, had selected them in late 1839, when he began composing his D-minor Faust Symphony, the four passages from Goethe have a strong resonance with several scenes in The Flying Dutchman.

Keywords:   Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Richard Wagner, The Flying Dutchman, Goethe’s Faust, musical influence

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