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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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Late Schumann, Wagner, and Bach

Late Schumann, Wagner, and Bach

(p.107) Chapter 5 Late Schumann, Wagner, and Bach
Wagner, Schumann, and the Lessons of Beethoven's Ninth

Varun Gauri

Daniel M. Brinks

University of California Press

Chapter 5 examines how Schumann and Wagner veered toward each other stylistically in the years that followed Lohengrin and the Symphony no. 2, taking special note of the influence of Bach on both of them. Tristan und Isolde seems particularly indebted to late Schumann—including the Symphony no. 2—as well as to Bach, especially the ecstatic poetry of his Cantata 21. One particularly unexpected work provided Wagner with ideas for Tristan, namely the fourth of Schumann’s Bach fugues, which dates from October 1845—in fact, from the very week in which Wagner first visited Schumann. Although Wagner credited Liszt with introducing him to the wonders of Bach’s music, musical and biographical evidence points to Schumann’s role already in the mid-1840s.

Keywords:   Richard Wagner, Tristan and Isolde, Schumann’s Symphony no. 2, J. S. Bach, Bach Cantata 21, counterpoint

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