La Revue wagnérienne

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La Revue wagnérienne was a French magazine covering the artistic and philosophical ideas of German composer Richard Wagner. It was established by Édouard Dujardin, Téodor de Wyzewa, and Houston Stewart Chamberlain. It was first published in February 1885, and thereafter appeared bimonthly from July 1887 to December 1887. The final issue was published in July 1888. It published concert listings, book reviews, translations of Wagner's writings, reprints of pieces on Wagner, correspondence, as well as original analytical essays dealing with topics relating to Wagner in on average about 30 pages a month.[1]

The magazine was associated with the symbolism arts movement and provided a space for literary criticism, inspired greatly by Charles Baudelaire's interpretation of Wagner's aesthetic theories.[2] Much of the magazine was dedicated to exploring the links between the musical theories of Wagner and symbolism.


The Revue Wagnérienne was conceived by the young Wagner enthusiasts Edouard Dujardin, Téodor de Wyzewa and Houston Stewart Chamberlain in the summer of Munich 1884, while in attendance of a production of the Ring Cycle.[1] In the ensuing months, Dujardin secured the financial backing of industrialist Alfred Bovet, Swiss millionaire Agénor Boissier and jurist Arnold Lascoux.[2]

The first edition was sold at the door of the Concerts Lamoureux, a weekly concert series lead by conductor and Wagner champion Charles Lamoureux.[1]


The publication cost 12 francs a year in France, and 13 Francs abroad. Individual issues were sold for one franc, with deluxe printings on Dutch and Japanese paper available for up to 5 francs annually.

Though exact circulation figures are not available, receipts from printers indicate that each issue received a print run between 600 to 1 000 copies.[1] Despite its small print run, the Revue Wagnérienne is seen by some as the "most substantial and signifcant expression" of French Wagnerism. [3]

Content and Contributors[edit]

Although Wagner is now known principally for his musical compositions, La Revue Wagnérienne engaged largely with his aesthetic and philosophical ideas. Rather than musicologist, the key authors came from literary circles. Contributors included poets Stephane Mallarmé, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Paul Verlaine and Joris-Karl Huysmans. who were largely associated with the symbolism movement, and to a lesser extent, decadent movement.[3] Due to the relative scarcity of full Wagner performances within contemporary Paris, many contributors had limited exposure to the music itself and largely based their analysis on Wagner's prose output. As such, the Revue was not always well received, with one commentor saying that it produced 'neither good art nor competent criticism.'[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Maynard, Kelly J. (2015). "Strange Bedfellows at the Revue Wagnérienne: Wagnerism at the Fin de Siècle". French Historical Studies. 38 (4): 633–659. doi:10.1215/00161071-3113839.
  2. ^ a b Turbow, Gerald D (1984). "Wagnerism in France". In Large, David Clay; Weber, William (eds.). Wagnerism in European culture and politics. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. pp. 162–163. ISBN 0801416469. OCLC 10925485.
  3. ^ a b Koppen, Erwin (1992). "Wagnerism as concept and phenomenon". In Müller, Müller; Wapnewski, Peter; Deathridge, John (eds.). Wagner handbook. Harvard University Press. pp. 343–351. ISBN 0674945301. OCLC 635730833.
  4. ^ Large, David; Weber, Willliam, eds. (1984). "Conclusion". Wagnerism in European Culture and Politics. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. p. 285.