Mendelssohn and the Strange Case of the (Lost) Symphony in C

John Deathridge

in Wagner Beyond Good and Evil

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780520254534
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520934610 | DOI:
Mendelssohn and the Strange Case of the (Lost) Symphony in C

Show Summary Details


This chapter attempts to understand the self-reflective moments in the scores of Wagner's music dramas. It is clear from Wagner's writings that one of his aims was to reduce to racial categories the idea that a work of art can metaphorically dramatize the tension between the material of representation and another realm it strives for, but is incapable of actually reaching. The musical techniques that are part of Wagner's conception of symphonic drama are usually viewed as constituent parts of his musical structures. In these moments, his interpretation of Mendelssohn's aesthetics, not only as parody, but also as part of his symphonic ambition, is woven into the musical texture of the dramas, and into the refined ideological complexity of those dramas in order to ensure their success, or possible failure, in the utopian age of the drama of the future.

Keywords: Wagner; musical dramas; material representation; symphonic drama; Mendelssohn

Chapter.  4964 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.