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Wagner

Wagner, Richard [1813-83], was born in Leipzig, and early showed signs of his genius for music. In 1833 he wrote his first opera Die Feen, and this was followed by Rienzi (1838), The Flying Dutchman (1844), and Tannhauser (1845). Up to this time he had been content to follow, more or less, the conventions of the old Italian opera, but in Lohengrin (1848), his next work, he commenced to develop his theories of the new opera. In 1854 Das Rheingold was completed, and this was followed by Die Walkure in 1856, Siegfried (1869), Die Gotterdammerung (1874) completing the cycle of the Nibelungen Ring Trilogy. He had, however, meanwhile composed Tristan und Isolde (1865), and his comic opera Die Meistersinger (1868). In 1882 his greatest work, Parsifal, was produced at Baireuth, at the theatre specially built for him by Ludwig of Bavaria. In 1870 Wagner married Cosima, daughter of Liszt, and formerly wife of Von Bulow. His prose works are almost as remarkable as his operas, which certainly mark an epic in the history of music.

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