Talk:Richard Wagner/Archive 11

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Archive 10 Archive 11 Archive 12

Schopenhauer's influence is not a contradiction of previous work

The article currently reads:

One of Schopenhauer's doctrines was that music held a supreme role amongst the arts. He claimed that music is the direct expression of the world's essence, which is blind, impulsive will.[47] Wagner quickly embraced this claim, which must have resonated strongly despite its contradiction of his previous view, expressed in Opera and Drama, that the music in opera had to be subservient to the drama.

I think one can only see a contradiction here if one twists the meaning of Schopenhauer's assertions with respect to music. It's true Schopenhauer did claim that music is uniquely situated relative to other art forms. In his World as Will and Representation, Schopenhauer draws an analogy with the doctrine of Platonic Ideals, where music alone affords direct access to the universal will, while all other art forms must get at the will indirectly through concepts, like shadows on the cave wall.

The above referenced passage seems to interpret Schopenhauer's claims to mean that music itself is therefore more "important" or more "primary" than other art forms. I'm not so sure about that. All that matters for Schopenhauer is the aesthetic experience, which he describes more or less as getting lost in a moment of blissful union through whatever abstract knowledge the artist conveys. Any art form has the potential to evoke such experience, and all such experiences are important for Schopenhauer. All he was saying is that music has an advantage, owing to its direct relationship with the will, of being able to evoke such eperiences more efficiently.

So when the passage implies that Wagner simply inverted the relative importance of music and drama in his later work, it misses the point entirely. If Wagner thought early on that music must be subservient, after coming to grips with Schopenhauer, his view simply became more nuanced -- what mattered was how they comingled to evoke the aesthetic experience. It was for this reason that Wagner’s goal became, in his later work, "what he called the Gesamtkunstwerk, or “total work of art”—a theatrical event in which music, literature, and the performing and visual arts would all come together." It was not that drama became subservient to music, but that the entire opera became attuned to the nature of aesthetic experience as described by Schopenhauer.

Much more could be said on the subject, for Schopenhauer's aesthetics rely on an understanding of the role of the will in his entire philosophy. But this is not an article about Schopenhauer, and so I am not sure how to edit the above passage to make it more accurate without an inappropriate digression. Editing is further complicated by the fact that the passage appears adequately sourced, whereas my beef here probably smells like WP:OR to some. In anticipation of this objection, I will just point out that Dahlhaus was a musicologist, not a philosopher. His opinion on the matter may not be particularly relevant.

If anyone would like to take a stab at reworking this passage, I think it would add a lot to the article. Schopenhauer's influence on Wagner was pivotal, so it's a shame that this section does such a poor job of imparting the nuance of that influence. (talk) 09:22, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

It seems obvious that before reading Schopenhauer, Wagner emphasized theatrical drama. After reading Schopenhauer, he emphasized music. Also, after reading Schopenhauer, Wagner placed high value on selflessness and chastity, that is, saintliness, as can be seen in Parsifal.Lestrade (talk) 21:01, 17 February 2012 (UTC)Lestrade

I resent having the final sentence of the intro dealing with his "anti-semitism"

It is totally unrepresentative of his life, achievements, and contributions as a whole. Frankly, it smacks of the main stream media's oft-used ploy of ending their segments with a question, and is overly sensational and weasely. Let us keep this fine site dry and void of telling stories. The "anti-semitism" aspect should be in the intro, just not as the last sentence. I am going to change unless someone convinces me I shouldn't. Lars2701 (talk) 15:26, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

I agree with you, actually. By the way it used to be worse, but I took out that part. The last sentence of the lead of a biography should be the position for the most general statements regarding a person's achievements or significance, imho. Can you find a better way to arrange the components? Antandrus (talk) 15:41, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

I have had a go at rewriting. --Smerus (talk) 18:21, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Looks quite good: thank you. Antandrus (talk) 18:37, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the intro is good now, though (less controversially?) I wonder if the sentence about 'famous extracts' at the end of the first paragraph might be taken out? --Kleinzach 00:51, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree, I am cutting it.--Smerus (talk)

Awkward Verbiage

In the passage below, what does 'eventually' mean relative to his 'infatuation' and 'during the course of'? And what affair?

"During the course of the next five years, the composer was eventually to become infatuated with his patron's wife. Though Mathilde seems to have returned some of his affections, she had no intention of jeopardizing her marriage. Nevertheless, the affair inspired Wagner to put aside his work on the Ring cycle (which would not be resumed for the next twelve years) and began work on Tristan,…." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mothman (talkcontribs) 02:24, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Wagner and Bruckner

I believe that Wagner and Bruckner were close friends, and this article could clarify this. Didn't Bruckner say "Wagner? He is my man". ACEOREVIVED (talk) 08:35, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

They were not close friends, but Brucker certainly saw himself as a follower of Wager. I seem to recall that Wagner got rather embarrassed by Bruckner's effusive praise when they met. I seem to recall that he also read one of Bruckner's scores and expressed approval of it. Bruckner is mentioned already in the "influences" section. Paul B (talk) 15:43, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Edit War solution

I have to agree with Major Torp. that if the text is a lead issue then why is it being deleted? I would be upset if someone did that also. Valid information should never be thrown out. Simply move it to a better place. And end the war. So simple. Do not delete content which is not a serious violation. I wish I knew the topic then i would move it to a better place. War for no reason. And on another note, where is the info box for Wagner? --Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 07:56, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I felt that no appropriate reasoning or communication was offered before this abrupt deletion, which was conducted in my humble opinion in an quite overbearing manner. I don't have a wikipedia profile pedigree that states that I have studied history at an academic level or that I am a 5th generation musician. I feel that these edits in the wikipedia Wagner article is one-sidedly dominated by excessively zealous Wagner Fan club members. I know that there is a great, nearly organized, fascination for Wagner that few other composers can not even compete with. I still hope that Wagner can be discussed in an open and non-dogmatical way that sees him as part of his time and an as cultural force that even today bears witness to that fact.
User:Peter cohen did not discuss or communicate even the slightest before deleting the text. When he deleted he simply stated post factum that - Wagner did not approve the term "music drama". I don’t know if he approved or not, which is of course not the question. What I know is that he used the term drama and that the term “music-drama” was established in his time and was generally used in al major academic works concerning Richard Wagner. So I reverted the sudden change and in an spirit of listening and communicating I took note of User Peter cohens remark and did the the minor change so no offense would be taken.
In future I hope that a more constructive ways can be found for all of us, where deletions are first discussed and if the text in itself is deemed of academic standards it could be put to other use an not simply removed and ignored. Thank you. --User:Major Torp (talk) 11:54, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
There certainly should have been discussion here immediately after your additions were reverted the first time. Frankly, I'm rather surprised at the reverting editors' failure to do so. Without commenting in detail on the actual content (although it seems reasonably OK to me), new information doesn't belong in the lead which is already quite long. It needs to be integrated into the body of the article and the references for it need to be properly formatted. The lead is supposed to summarize information already referenced in the body of the article. It should not be used to add new information and generally speaking should not have any inline citations, especially at "Good" article level, as this one is. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section for more. Also, when editing an article which is already at "Good" or "Featured" level, it is courteous to read it carefully, integrate new information in the appropriate place, and respect the existing referencing format. Normally, the burden of doing that is on the person adding the information. But if you don't want to do that, then perhaps one of the regular editors of this page can do it. Voceditenore (talk) 12:29, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for supplying this discussion with much needed viewpoints. As you stated the lead is already quite long, but from which edits onwards do we start say stop, my recent contribution or much earlier ones? The problem of positioning the text is that there are few other spots where it would naturally slide in. If some other regular editors could find the time or the skill to find an alternative solution so be it. Thank you User:Major Torp (talk) 13:15, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

There are certain problems in simply repositioning User:Major Torp's texts within the article and I raise them here without editing the article as I do not wish to restart any cycle of ripostes.

  • 1) I am not aware that Wagner ever called his operas simply 'dramas', and I find no evidence of this in the sources cited by User:Major Torp
  • 2) Amongst the sources cited by are Henry Theophilus Finck, the writers of a companion on Thomas Mann,Jack D. Logan, PhD and William O. Cord. None of these can be regarded as major or recognised sources on Wagner and I query whether they should be presented as such. Just because they are available on GoogleBooks doesn't make them reliable sources - I except, of course, the notable Wagner scholar Dieter Borchmeyer. The article as a whole is illustrated by citations to modern and serious scholars and works of reference and this is probably the best course for Wikipedia unless the points to be asserted are not otherwise supportable.
  • 3) Whilst User:Major Torp cites a number of works, he does not give page references. Without these it is difficult to substantiate or verify the citations. Could these perhaps be supplied? Otherwise the correct approach would be to delete the citations. Example: his reference to Borchmeyer generates a number of snippets that seem mostly to be about the opera Rienzi, and do not in any way substantiate the claim, in the sentence that they refer to, that Wagner called his operas 'dramas' or that they were a 'synthesis....' etc.
  • 4) There is a generic problem with Wagner - that lots of people have written about him. Just because they have done so doesn't mean that the WP article has to take every view into account. My personal view is that the off-the-cuff comments about Wagner in one sentence in a companion to Thomas Mann don't make the grade for an authoritative 'encyclopaedic' statement about Wagner and the middle classes. I ask for guidance here.

Might I add that I write not, as I have been kindly characterised by User:Major Torp, as an 'excessively zealous Wagner Fan club member' but as one who is keen to ensure reliable evidence-based balance and information in an article on a controversial topic. I take it in these circumstances that if there is some consensus or agreement with some of the issues I raise above there is no obligation to accept User:Major Torp's unilateral instruction, in his last edit, 'DO NOT REMOVE' (his caps), which would in fact seem to be out of step with Wikipedia procedures.

I would appreciate any (constructive) comments. Then we can resolve this situation properly. Thanks.--Smerus 16:10, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

1) Wagner's next opera The Flying Dutchman would set him out into a new world of opera, which he called simply drama. "Regardless of what Wagner called it, its purpose was clear: 'the raising of the dramatic dialogue itself to the main object of musical treatment'" (Aberbach 1988, 5). T
  • music drama, type of serious musical theatre, first advanced by Richard Wagner in his book Oper und Drama (1850–51; “Opera and Drama”), that was originally referred to as simply “drama.” (Wagner himself never used the term music drama, which was later used by his successors and by critics and scholars.)
2) To assert that we can only award special statues and attention to those initiated in the Wagner mysteries and his followers of the so–called "Wagner canon" is ludicrous. When it is a question of Richard Wagner it is not only music that we talk about, but history, politics, literature, theater and ideology. To claim that certain approved and "recognized" scholars could present us with an all encompassing picture of Richard Wagner and how he falls into place in the context of other forces at work in his time is just ...nothing
Herbert H. Lehnert - University of California (the UCI - Top Ten Public Research University recognized worldwide) professor emeritus from the German School of Humanities, that has conducted a life-long research on Thomas Mann, German cultural icon, that had much insight into Wagner is in my mind valid enough.
*Henry T. Finck is the most extreme Wagnerite in the United States
*Richard Wagner: a guide to research - Michael Saffle- mentions Henry T. Fincks works even a few times as good sources to Richard Wagner research
*Music at the turn of century: a 19th-century music reader - Joseph Kerman
-Henry T. Finck, the tireless American Wagner enthusiast
3) As non- technical gifted man I unfortunately have to acknowledge that was just beyond my wikipedia scope. The links thou take to the right page of the book. PS I never claimed that that a book on GoogleBooks is an indication or proof of anything, just a handy tool that we all have access to.
4) This generic problem applies then to all writers, editors. This not a part of the natural sciences and so many tend to fall in to ideological or opinionated battle position claiming that they have the "evidence".
Nuclear physics is studied by a narrow group of nuclear physicists. Yes things should be evidence-based, but to extend and apply the exact attitude that is used in the natural sciences is a formalistic simplicity that many people fall into when stepping into the humanities. Thank you User:Major Torp (talk) 11:45, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

MT, Your "His accomplishment was an operatic genre that he called simply “drama“ (later known as music drama), synthesizing music, drama, verse, legend, and spectacle" is inappropriate as it ignores and repeats the mention in the very nexy paragraph creating the stylisticly awkward repetition of "synthesis/zing". I am therefore removing it.--Peter cohen (talk) 12:20, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Once again you have found yet another reason to your one sided removal of an whole (same) sentence without proper communication, deliberation and the ensuing collegial response. Please do not try to find again a new reason for removal. (Maybe the comma in the wrong please?) Try rephrasing, rewriting a text so we can even try to maintain a resemblance of cooperation.
To be deconstructive is the short cut, but to be constructive is an effort well received. Thank you. User:Major Torp (talk) 13:18, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
It is a awkward sentence but, again, Why edit war? It is not so bad that it destroys the article, so leave torps edits, and use the talk page until we get it resolved. Wiki policy say Do not rush, there is no rush. Resolve the issues here before removing the content. Far more work is done in unity.--Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 13:32, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
  1. It is the same fucking synthesis as mentioned in the next paragraph. It is therefore not a useful addition but a repitition of information when ledes should avoid such things. Further the pre-existing mention places it in its historic place as a theoretical development which Wagner adoptied in his thirties and partially retreated from in his later year. While Torp's changes makes it sound long term.
  2. Why do you keep implying that I am the only one edit warring? WP:BRD and the guidelines it references make it clear that the norm is to leave a change once it is reverted until a consensus is reached. Torp's inclusion is against consensus and worsens the article because it lacks the nuances of the information that is already there and properly explains how Wagner initially did not advocate a synthesis of the arts, then did, then started treating music as predominant again.--Peter cohen (talk) 14:36, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

I have I hope relocated one of the contested texts appropriately. In doing so I have made it clear that the phrase used is in fact a quotation from the source which is cited, as this is standard WP practice.

Now I have a further query. Whilst you demnstrate that Wagner once referred to his works as 'drama' in his 1850 essay, he did not habitually refer to his works as 'dramas', nor of course can this term be held to have applied to the works he wrote before 1850, (Rienzi, The Flying Dutchman, Lohengrin, Tannhäuser). To include this statement s it stands in the lead, where there is not the opportunity to explain this in detail, risks being misleading to readers. I propose therfore to relocate the sentence in question to the section Wagner#Opera where there will be better opportunity to explain it in a fuller context.

Thanks,--Smerus 14:07, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

A couple things, mostly in agreement with those who do not want the additions to be in the lede. I like this edit; in fact I was trying to work out how and where to put it myself, but Smerus's solution is a good one. Regarding the 'drama' bit, also added to the lede, I agree with the others that it is seriously misleading, if not downright inaccurate, especially if added so early in the article without context. It may be possible to put it elsewhere -- where it may be a useful addition. Third, directly to the person edit-warring to put the stuff in the article in spite of several different people removing it -- please don't do that. Aggressive insistence on inclusion against multiple reversions by different editors causes more trouble than it solves. Thanks. Antandrus (talk) 16:01, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
I think Antandrus is correct, now that I look at it, it is better to leave it out, discuss here and then add it to the appropriate place. It has received multiply reversion by not only Cohen, but other editors. So I agree with MT in principle to relocate but also agree that considering the number of different people in disagreement there is no merit in keep putting it back and MT should just wait for the talk page to resolve.--Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 16:25, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

The change by Smerus is acceptable, with small hesitation and an correction of names that will follow. The move does not so much move the text from an erroneous spot but it from the main view of some editors. In hindsight I understand why so much fuss and outright anger emerged: Idols are not be tampered with.

The first change ok, but what has User:Peter cohen done. This edit had surely not been approved and your language, honored fellow Wikipedian, is quite uncouth. Respectfully, User:Major Torp (talk) 21:46, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

As no approval for the abrupt deletion was given, I will now revert the unwarranted change. Respectfully, (User:Major Torp (talk)13:49, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
I think the introduction is "okey" now in its present form, even though the intro should be shortened (Beethoven, Bach, Mozart have much shorter intros, even thou they are generally considered the three big ones in the popular mind. I now how difficult it is to control emotions such as reverence and adulation- If every one just could just understand the greatness of Wagner). Thank you User:Major Torp (talk) 14:55, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Views and research on Wagner are not controversies. Important elements in the discussion on Wagner is utterly absurd to be placed after Film portrayals and other menial subjects. The legacy of Wagner is usually a conclusion not in the middle as to blackout other elements of the article by understandably devoted Wagner enthusiasts. Respectfully, User:Major Torp (talk) 14:30, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Has the article already been written?

Has the article already been written and the content of it already been decide by a chosen and closed group of aficionados of a certain persuasion. This of courses should be something totally abhorrent in Wikipedia, but sadly is part of every day Wikipedia life. I hope that members of the "project Michael Jackson" do not dictate the form and content in the Wikipedia Michael Jackson article to suit there liking.

User Smerus unilaterally removed in his last edit (15:21, 6 November 2011‎ ) Smerus) the entirety of my contribution that was composed of many varying edits (such as the removing controversial text removal (3x times) by User: Peter cohen, that had not been given general consent in the discussion page). If this be the case and such high-handed all around editing is done, I see no other course of action then respond in kind and reinstate the whole edit until someone can properly discuss and correct the particular mistake I supposedly made. I have not started this edit war and hope neutral voices could step in and look at the present battle positions and cool things done. I have already been threatened by User:Smerus who wrote to me that me right could be removed and that I had succumbed to Vandalism. I ask myself when reading the whole discussion here, am I just the one-sided editor here, as User:Smerus would like it to?

-Course of action to be considered:

1. Original edits (2x pharses) kept by Major Torp, with minor alterations.

  • (This view was generally not rejected except User:Smerus, User:Peter cohen who removed edits without discussion and consent on repeated occasions)

2. The one phrases kept in the original place, but other phrase rewritten properly and placed at a suitable place in the article

  • (This was partly done by User: Smerus who made and half hearted attempt by dislocating the phrase at the very end of the article loosely hanging without any context. The Views on Wagner segment, even though not yet properly expanded, should not be placed at the very end under more menial segment of the Wagner Article as to give the picture that these are actually outside the "official" and approved article by certain segment of Wagner proponents )

3. Remove all User: Major edits (2x phrases),

  • (These was not supported by other Wikipedians, but decided by User:Smerus, User:Peter cohen by there on-sided editing )

4. Remove one, keep one

  • (to my knowledge this path was not the tone of the discussion and thus accepted on the whole)

I will not accept that certain people will dominate certain articles, what ever there CV is. We have no professional music historian involved in these discussion and even if we would, no one shall have total mastery of the Wikipedia content and points of views, if not blatantly inaccurate or harmful. Thank you User:Major Torp (talk) 20:25, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Makes no difference at this stage who is right or wrong. Policy is policy NO CHANGES should be made considering the number of reversions. Use the talk page before changing it back (per Policy). This is how we prevent edit war. Cuz if other editors keep engaging it how will we develop this page? So be civil and use the talk page until an agreement is made. The additions will not change the world, so they can stay out until it is resolved here.--Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 20:37, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Its not clear what the conflict is over (coming to this after a long absence). Just looking at the last revert some of the material seems harmless, some an improvement some not. Maybe Major Torp would propose what changes s/he wants (with commentary on process or other editors) --Snowded TALK 20:57, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Whilst WP:OWN applies, any editor who finds himself in disagreement with three of the four main contributors to the page, including two who spent a lot of time specifically working towards WP:GA status, should ask themselves whether perhaps the other side might possibly know more about the subject than they do and more about how the subject is handled in the most reliable sources on the subject. User:Major Torp has failed to do so, has repeatedly edit warred ddespite being the only editor on his side of the war, and has failed to WP:AGF instead accusing the article's main contributor of vandalism. MT has now posted a ridiculous warning on the main contributor's talk page. There are also repeated implcations that User:Smerus and I are blinded by our Wagnerite fanaticism into preventing anything that is critical of the Master from appearing. Exactly how this is compatible with our including stuff on his nastier writings is not clear.
MT has taken it personally that people who know more about the subject of this article than (s)he does have decided that his/her good faith contributions did not improve the article. This means that, despite the second paragraph of the article being all about who Wagner advocated a synthesis of the arts than moved away from it, MT is claiming that there is some sort of overwhelming value in mentioning this synthesis in the sentence immediately preceding that paragraph. (S)he is indulging in ever increasing personal attacks on his antagonists and is responding to any comment about how things might not fit in with pre-existing elements of the article by insiting that those parts need tinkering with. Unfortunately the lack of assumption of good faith is now leading people to question MT's own good faith in his/her recent actions and to the reversion of those edits as "vandalism".
As i have said above, the matter of synthesis of the arts is already adequately covered in the lede and does not need an additional sentence. As far as Wagner providing the bougeouisie with a national mythology of their lives is concerned, we should bear in mind the oft-repeated claim that at one point more material had been written about Wagner than everyone else apart from Jesus and Napoleon. There are therefore all sorts of views and interpretations of Wagner in print and these should be treated according to WP:UNDUE. Shoving one particular interpretation into the lede that is not widely emphasised as the most significant in the specialist academic literature on Wagner is a violation of this policy. For these reasons both of the items MT originally inserted were reverted. Subsequent changes by MT are clouded by the issue of the lack of assumption of good faith that (s)he him/herself as brought to the article.--Peter cohen (talk) 00:52, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Note: I don't have MT's user talk page on my watch list so was not aware of Smerus's posting of a vandalism warning there until it was mentioned in MT's reply to me below. It does confirm that there is a general move away from AGF. Also, for the avoidance of confusion, in the chronology below User: was me. I log such edits at User:Peter cohen/My IP edits.--Peter cohen (talk) 02:42, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

When I have been reading the articles history, I see that User: Smerus has been hunting the unwanted rodents from this article. This I accept and approve, but I feel that he and another active editor have gone on autopilot mode by removing things in this "ready made article". I have not been alone in this opinion and now some want to decide which German history professor, German literature professor, musicologist or a renowned contemporary can and can not be acceptable in the Wikipedia article. If you want an regular dictionary then get it, if you want a Wagner biography buy it written by one of the many dozen Wagner writters. The thing I find interesting and invigorating about Wikipedia that you find different and varying texts and opinions that all fit the quality bill but are not just the basic mainline espoused out there.

What began as silent and one-sided removal of texts without consideration is a Edit War. i would hope that my contribution would not simply be dismissed and relegated to some dark corner of the article, as so not to interfere with work of the "main" writers. Read and judge yourself who does what. Thank you User:Major Torp (talk) 01:58, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
"MT has now posted a ridiculous warning "
User: Smerus posted first the warning-threat on my discussion page, so by repaying him in kind I wanted to rekindle his memory on the subject of silently removing other peoples contributions and helping to maintain this editing war.
As I wrote to him after his post
"The same applies to other honored Wikipedia users"

The sequence of events (Numbering stands for order of events)

(1) User:Major Torps Torp's - *What he achieved was an operatic genre that he called music drama, synthesizing music, drama, verse, legend, and spectacle. Thus he provided in his own time to the newly emerged middle class with a medium to transfer its familial and political conflicts into a myth of supposedly common Germanic past. (Revision as of 14:13, 31 October 2011)
(2) User:Peter cohen Removed Major Torp's contributions in its entirety without any discussion or warning and commented post factum - *Wagner did not approve the term "music drama" and the other stuff involves a critial view that should not be in the lead.) (Revision as of 23:13, 31 October 2011)
(3) User: Major Torp Undid revision and commented *No source for edit. Undid revision 458375925 by User:Peter cohen (Revision as of 08:53, 2 November 2011)
(4) User:Major Torp I took note of User:Peter cohen comment and provided the needed correction and hence the text - operatic genre that he called simply “drama“ (later known as music drama), (Revision as of 09:06, 2 November 2011)
(5) User:Peter cohen deleted User:Major Torp's text and wrote in the edit- *Stuff about synthesis is mentioned in next para. The rest is one person's opinion and is not appropriate for lead (we don't quots Shaw or Donnington/ etc in the leded either.) (Revision as of 10:30, 3 November 2011)
(6) User:Major Torp restored deleted texts and wrote *See footnotes Undid revision 458784943 by User: Peter cohen (Revision as of 13:10, 3 November 2011)
(7) User: Smerus removed Major Torp's texts and added comment - *Reverted good faith edits by Major Torp (talk): Remove inappropriate content in lead. (Revision as of 15:19, 3 November 2011)
(8) User:Major Torp restored deleted texts and commented - *If the present place of the text is deemed offensive to Wagner enthusiasts please refrain from VANDALISM and be so kind and place in a then in a more appropriate spot.(Revision as of 17:03, 3 November 2011)
(9) User: (User:Peter cohen/My IP edits) removed Major Torp's texts and commented - *Instead of accusing other editors of vandalism, please take your case to the talk page perWP:BRD. You're being reverted by two editors and clearly do not have consensus. Please seek to achieve it in the proper way. (Revision as of 02:18, 4 November 2011)
(10) User:Major Torp restored deleted texts and commented - *Do not REMOVE be so kind and place the text in a then in a more appropriate spot. Thank you Undid revision 458910931 by (Revision as of 07:15, 4 November 2011)
(11) User:Peter cohen removed Major Torp's texts and commented - *remove repetition in lede (Revision as of 12:21, 5 November 2011)
(12) User:Major Torp restored deleted texts and commented -*That is an minor detail of word choice (which is now corrected) and does not justify the removal of whole sentence with out proper discus.lUndid revision 459127179 by Peter cohen (Revision as of 13:05, 5 November 2011)
(13) User: Smerus removed User:Major Torp's texts and added comment - *relocated extract from lead as per talkpage, with appropriate citation and quote. (Revision as of 13:54, 5 November 2011)
(14) User: Peter cohen removed User:Major Torp's texts and commented - *it still repeats the same information except in a way that makes things more absolute and less nuanced than the text that was already there. (Revision as of 14:37, 5 November 2011)
Comment from discussion page
The first change ok, but what has User:Peter cohen done. This edit had surely not been approved and your language, honored fellow Wikipedian, is quite uncouth. Respectfully,User:Major Torp (talk) 21:46, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
(15) User:Major Torp restored deleted texts and commented - *These issue (text) had not been examined in the discussion section and removal had not been given the green light. Undid revision 459142113 by User: Peter cohen (Revision as of 13:53, 6 November 2011)
Comment from discussion page
As no approval for the abrupt deletion was given, I will now revert the unwarranted change. Respectfully, (User:Major Torp (talk)13:49, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
I think the introduction is "okey" now in its present form, even though the intro should be shortened (Beethoven, Bach, Mozart have much shorter intros, even thou they are generally considered the three big ones in the popular mind. I now how difficult it is to control emotions such as reverence and adulation- If every one just could just understand the greatness of Wagner). Thank you User:Major Torp (talk) 14:55, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
(16) User:Major Torp shortened text on request and commented -*Shortening the introduction, so text is flowing and more informative in the beginning of the introduction. This Introduction (if not drastically cut) needs another introduction i.e. intro in a intro (Revision as of 14:01, 6 November 2011)
short Review of change
His accomplishment was an operatic genre that he called simply “drama“ (later known as music drama), synthesizing music, drama, verse, legend, and spectacle.....
(and later on in the lengthy introduction )
This would achieve the fusion of all the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, and was announced in a series of essays between 1849 and 1852
SO CORRECTION MADE TO ((Revision as of 14:01, 6 November 2011))
(and later on in the lengthy introduction a shortened version)
This would achieve a synthesizes that would be announced in a series of essays between 1849 and 1852.
(17) User:Major Torp changed 5 Controversies sub topic from Other interpretations to Views on Wagner and commnetd - *Other interpretations is just very dismissing and not even close to being objective in its tone. (Revision as of 14:10, 6 November 2011)
(18) User:Major Torp Controversies chapter before Legacy chapters so as to end article with legacy as conclusion and highlight the analysis and discussion part on Wagner. Comment *Views on Wagner by great scholars are not controversies. Important elements in the discussion on Wagner will not be placed after Film portrayals and other menial subjects - (Revision as of 14:15, 6 November 2011)
(19) User:Major Torp continues and comments- *The legacy at the end. There is no controversy in what Wagner stood for and as his historical role, the misguided appropriation of his music....All this should naturally have preeminence (Revision as of 14:22, 6 November 2011)
- Comment from discussion page
Views and research on Wagner are not controversies. Important elements in the discussion on Wagner is utterly absurd to be placed after Film portrayals and other menial subjects. The legacy of Wagner is usually a conclusion not in the middle as to blackout other elements of the article by understandably devoted Wagner enthusiasts. Respectfully, User:Major Torp (talk) 14:30, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
(20) User: Smerus removed User:Major Torp texts and commented - *Reverted 7 edits by Major Torp (talk) identified as vandalism to last revision by ClueBot NG. (TW) (Revision as of 15:21, 6 November 2011)
(21) User:Major Torp Undid revision 459300889 by User:Smerus and added comment *See discussion (Revision as of 20:25, 6 November 2011)

Thank you User:Major Torp (talk) 01:58, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Was my contribution at the start so bad that it deserved to be totally removed before any discussion or even a yay or nay vote of confidence was done. Most editors thought that there was no qualitative fault to be found and still it was send in to the waste bin. Which edit is then the right one - with or without the text? Who is the belligerent or the singled out culprit? Respectfully User:Major Torp (talk) 02:17, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

This is all so strange. Wagner is a highly controversial person, but nothing controversial should be written about him. The presentation of Wagner is now basically a chronological history, a resumé and the reiteration on Wagners opinions about his own art or similar pleasantries from others. In the lowest point of the article is the more challenging and multifaceted part of the article, which sadly is still in its infancy. Thank you User:Major Torp (talk) 03:58, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
If I would now answer User:Snowded I would choose from the list and it could be alternative Nr .1. i.e. Original edits (2x pharses) kept by Major Torp, with minor alterations. OTHER SUGGESTIONS from the list? User:Major Torp (talk) 04:23, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Dear User:Major Torp - Wikipedia seeks to be an encyclopaedia,not a personal essay contest. Please read, and seek to understand, WP:NPOV, WP:NOP,and WP:V. You should also read carefully and fully WP:NOT. Not least, you should read and understand WP:SHOUT and WP:MULTI. I hope this is helpful to you. --Smerus 05:43, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Not a personal essay contest. I totally agree! Furthermore Wikipedia:Wikipedia is comprehensive, Wikipedia is not a manual, guidebook, textbook, or scientific journal, Wikipedia:Wikipedia is a work in progress, Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not about winning, and finally Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not just an encyclopedia but is also a project to build an encyclopedia. I think that texts could work in the introduction, but they where just edited away. This question has not been resolved! Dear User:Smerus please suggest alternative. Pick for example from the ready may list an option to clarify your view. Do you really want totally trash the 2x texts? I think that is quite harsh even unfair.

I hope we can find resolution and avoid similar events in the future.Thank you User:Major Torp (talk) 08:27, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Why is 5.2-Other interpretations under Chapter 5-Controversies? Could 5.2-Other interpretations be renamed Views on Wagner and moved separately? Why is 3-Influence and legacy in the middle of the article and not the end. Even 4-Film portrayals are before the analysis of Wagner. I don't say that the discussion of Wagner as an anti-Semite should be highlighted, but that the analysis and the context of Wagner views and life is an major subject and should not be cast in outer darkness. Remember until this discussion is settled amiably I will not just hand in the towel. By ignoring the matter and camouflaging it behind accusations and detail discussion about protocol, I will not just conveniently disappear. User:Major Torp (talk) 08:54, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Major Torp, if you can't express what changes you want to make, briefly with simple arguments then you are going to be ignored. I am not prepared to wade through the above. Make it simple --Snowded TALK 09:10, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Number I reinstate the User: Major 2x sentences in the intro.
Number II: Name change of 5.2-Other interpretations (To views and interpretations) and remove it from Chapter 5-Controversies to form an indepedent chapter.
Number III. Shorten the introduction and move the rest below the first paragraph to the legacy and conclusory part of the article
Number IV. R. To establish what environment and what socioeconomic background he he hailed from and thus use the exact and concise term lower middle class (kleinbürgertum).
(All people can not make the accurate historical conclusion what it meant to be a son of a clerk in the Leipzig police service in the beginning of 19th century Germany. It is even hard for many to understand today what Karl Marx was referring to when he spoke about the bourgeoisie in the 19th century)
So here is the edit of intro with the disputed 2x texts
Wilhelm Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas (or "music dramas", as they were later called). Wagner's compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex texture, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs: musical themes associated with individual characters, places, ideas or plot elements. Unlike most other opera composers, Wagner wrote both the music and libretto for every one of his stage works. His accomplishment was an operatic genre that he called simply “drama“ (later known as music drama), synthesizing music, drama, verse, legend, and spectacle.
Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works such as The Flying Dutchman and Tannhäuser which were in the romantic traditions of Weber and Meyerbeer, Wagner transformed operatic thought through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"). This would achieve the fusion of all the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, and was announced in a series of essays between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised this concept most fully in the first half of the monumental four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. However, his thoughts on the relative importance of music and drama were to change again and he reintroduced some traditional operatic forms into his last few stage works including Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
Wagner pioneered advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, which greatly influenced the development of European classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music. Wagner's influence spread beyond music into philosophy, literature, the visual arts and theatre. He had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which contained many novel design features. It was here that the Ring and Parsifal received their premieres and where his most important stage works continue to be performed today in an annual festival run by his descendants. Wagner's views on conducting were also highly influential. His extensive writings on music, drama and politics have all attracted extensive comment in recent decades, especially where they have antisemitic content. In his own era he furthermore provided the newly emerged middle class with a medium to transfer its familial and political conflicts into a myth of supposedly common Germanic past. ( User:Major Torp (talk) 11:49, 7 November 2011 (UTC) PS. I apologies for any inconvenience, but I really feel that I have been treated in a rude manner. My apologies once more and hope to settle this thing once and for all.
We're in a bit of a pickle in the Wagner discussion page. The issues concerns Social class (sociology) and the phrase supposedly common Germanic past and has now been dismissed by some editors as inconsequential. Furthermore, the name Other interpretations in the article dismisses the general review and broader Wagner Analysis to a subcategory under Controversies (mainly the topic of anti-Semitism). Other interpretations should be preferably called Views and Interpretations on Wagner. Should not the Legacy part of the article appear in the end of the article?
  • In his own era he furthermore provided the newly emerged middle class with a medium to transfer its familial and political conflicts into a myth of supposedly common Germanic past.
(In the introduction, removed as non consequential)
  • Richard Wagner was born into a lower middle class family
(In the Biography chapter removed as non consequential)

User:Major Torp (talk) 16:06, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

One should take heed when the Wagner Cartel speaks on the topic of objectivity. Wagner's music took early on an quasi-religious overtone, and followers of his music were referred to as "disciples" who "made the pilgrimage" to the festival house in Bayreuth. Concert-goers were reported to have fainted at the performances as if under the influence of some religious fervor or ecstasy.User:Major Torp (talk) 18:25, 7 November 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Major Torp - this is still far too long, but its getting better and its still not clear. If you mean by "2x" number I further up (I guess you do) then you would need a source to justify the opinion. Ditto you need a source for the incorporation of "lower middle class" and a source which says it is relevant as well, i.e. that it is other than a minor curiosity.--Snowded TALK 19:42, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
It think being a minor clerk in 19th century Germany is without doubt in this case a "kleinbürger", petite bourgeois or in modern lingo lower middle class. In Wagners we can truly see the ascent of the self-made man in music from humble origins striving through difficult paths to an end of great fame and adulation. I know I'm not very trendy, but in Wagners case his long path to glory and his personality is very much marked by his origin and hence gave a certain twist to it. So it is not about arguing this or that is because of his background, just simply stating the fact. In 19th century Germany this was very much a defyining thing. Even though we do not supposedly liv so much anymore in a class society Wagner certainly did.
(Here is my edit and if one really wants the obvious fact sourced then my edit contained it.
User:Major Torp (talk) 09:17, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
(An early German Nationalist, Wagner was forced to flee his native Sachsen to exile in Switzerland, Italy and France as a result of his support for the idea of uniting many central European royal kingdoms into the single nation of Germany. Wagner had been an enthusiast for the 1848 revolutions and had been an active participant in the Dresden Revolution of 1849. This resulted in a general distrust of Wagner by the different German kingdoms and among the German upper class. One was remember that German nationalism at that time was not in any way part of any form of right wing thinking, just the opposite).
Number I reinstate the User: Major 2x sentences in the intro.
KEEP, SLIGHT REWORD The removal of these sentences is unwarranted in my opinion. They establish a clear idea that Wagner perpetuated, the operatic genre called "drama" and his creative use of many elements cleverly fused together, and his operas did indeed reflect the Germanic past. I would recommend rewording the 'supposedly common Germanic past' phrase to make it clearer, because the use of the word supposedly confuses me.
Number II: Name change of 5.2-Other interpretations (To views and interpretations) and remove it from Chapter 5-Controversies to form an indepedent chapter.
AGREE Other interpretations aren't necessarily controversial, and should form a separate chapter.
Number III. Shorten the introduction and move the rest below the first paragraph to the legacy and conclusory part of the article
AGREE Introductions should not be nearly as long as the other content.
Number IV. R. To establish what environment and what socioeconomic background he he hailed from and thus use the exact and concise term lower middle class (kleinbürgertum).
DISAGREE His class is inconsequential- that I can see.
(All people can not make the accurate historical conclusion what it meant to be a son of a clerk in the Leipzig police service in the beginning of 19th century Germany. It is even hard for many to understand today what Karl Marx was referring to when he spoke about the bourgeoisie in the 19th century)
DISAGREE Wagner is not Marx, and there is no reason to make a historical comparison between Marx's ideas and Wagner's life. Examples of his early life are far better than just a label.

Monsieurdl mon talk 19:46, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

The supposedly is extremely accurate and illustrative of the of the whole Romantic nationalism that aimed at creating an imagined common national past. This includes different National epics and other made up creations such as the Folk costume. What Wagner created was his own construction of pieces what he molded according to his script of an idealized national Germanic past. So it highly important to see him as storyteller in search of a mythical past. There nothing bad to be a storyteller and orchestrater of grand theater, but don't call it historical. To not use supposedly or another similar synonym would be misleading and hence false.

User:Major Torp (talk) 11:43, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm not assailing the accuracy as much as I am how it is written. To me as a reader, it sticks out like a sore thumb as being awkward and screams out for a rewording of what is meant. Monsieurdl mon talk 16:49, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Richard Wagner notoriously argued that those who were ethnically different could not comprehend the artistic and cultural meaning inherent in national culture. Identifying "Jewishness" even in musical style,[7] he specifically attacked the Jews as being unwilling to assimilate into German culture, and thus unable to truly comprehend the mysteries of its music and language. Sometimes "national epics" such as the Nibelunglied have had a galvanizing effect on social politics.(

PS I guess under the regime of the Wagner Cartel, this could never be included User:Major Torp (talk) 11:43, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

For Wagner, the pagan northern myths served several purposes in his operas. First, they gave the German people a nationalist identity. (Dr. Bradley J. Birzer, Professor of History at Hillsdale College

Wagner's connection to German nationalism is well-known and that very romantic-nationalist Kultur he stod stod for claimed the superiority of German music

Is this (See also) okey to add?

I would avoid using First, etc., and make it smoother.
I hope that you take my suggestions to heart and understand where I am coming from with the Marx-Wagner comments. I would much rather read about Wagner and his family growing up as they were instead of a standard class definition, and then use sources that link Marxist ideas to Wagner as appropriate if the sources make the connection to avoid WP:NOR. Monsieurdl mon talk 16:48, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

See also

User:Major Torp (talk) 10:57, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

MT - when you write "Wagner's connection to German nationalism is well-known and that very romantic-nationalist Kultur that claimed the superiority of German music" I do not have a complete sense of what you are trying to say: this is simply non-grammatical. Now, I have no desire to dictate to anyone on how they use language, but if you choose to write English like this, you run a high risk of being understood by no one. Personally, I find that your English reads like the product of Google Translate. If you want to engage people on the complex issues surrounding this topic I suggest you use shorter and more simple sentences as, at the moment, a lot of your meaning is falling on the stony ground. almost-instinct 23:31, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Just a tired mans lapsus linguae. I will correct my text, even though I think it was readable. Will improve. Thank You User:Major Torp (talk) 08:35, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

A bit of cooling of the heated debate is welcome. Inside a few days I will post concise bullet points on ideas and suggestions on the topic on developing this article. I hope that even the Wagner Project people will join in an open and democratic spirit, so as to calm down any fears of any "High Priests" among us. Thank you. User:Major Torp (talk) 09:40, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

The Valkyrie in lead

Taking a detour from the exhausting edit war. I am no expert but I know Wagner exclusively through Ride of the Valkyrie should that not be in the lead since that is his most popular piece? [1] I think if you meet the average person and wanted to say "do you know Wagner" you would have to play that piece, so that might merit a mention in the lead. I had to search pretty deep into the article to find out anything about it.--Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 06:12, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Good point - done.--Smerus 06:46, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I suspect the wedding march from Lohengrin is actually better known - just not typically associated with its composer. Paul B (talk) 10:57, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I have now moved this to the end of the first para which I think is the right place. It's where I put it last time before Smerus removed it at Kleinzach's suggestion on 26 December 2010.--Peter cohen (talk) 11:30, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I wonder about the "best known" category, both pieces mentioned not really the core of the composer's work, imo, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:36, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
No, but they are 'popular', which is the point of the sentence. I do agree that it reduces him to "hits", which rather misses the point. I don't see similar sections in the lede of the Bach article saying he's famous for "air on a g string" or the Beethoven lede mentioning the opening bars of the fifth symphony and the big tune from the Ode to Joy. Paul B (talk) 11:51, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Second that! Totally agree with User:Paul Barlow. Furthermore we should look at the changes I proposed (or any other for that matter) to start scaling down the overflowing introduction. User:Major Torp (talk) 12:05, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
While I understand what Paul B is saying, we must also understand that Wikipedia is not only used by the professional listener with these sensibilities (per your remark at "hits"). I (as a non-Classical fan) consider it extremely helpful. Just as when reading Dan Elfman to know what he is known for. Or John Williams. And i do not see any policy for Lead that say we should not do this for Bach, et al. The lead is a summary of notability relating to the subject. He is a musician most people will know him for Valkyrie, and it is "most" people who use wikipedia for info. On a side note I also raised the issue of an info box for all composers. But dont think the purist like this idea. For me i want a quick glance to know What period, what genre, DOB, DOD, country etc.--Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 12:20, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
The infobox thing has been done to death elsewhere. Here isn't the place to discuss it and, although consensus can change, it needs two or three years before there has been sufficient turnover of contributors for it to have done so. On the greatest hits thing, I am firmly of the opinion that a brief mention is appropriate. My version of a year ago did use the term "Here comes the bride" in the expectation that this would mean more to some people than "bridal march". --Peter cohen (talk) 13:01, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
imagine that, i didnt even know he did that "groove", I think it should be mentioned.--Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 13:30, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I would not like to offend any one by using the term lowbrow and applying it to the direction mentioned. If any be so knowledgeable to have read any shorter, academically noteworthy, biography or article one can come to a fast conclusion what is suitable and what is Tabloid newspaper standards. Please, if you are able to look into to any other major European language Wikipedia Wagner article or other short Wagner biography on the internet, you will see that an excerpt from an opera is not really up to Wikipedia Standards. Wikipedia is, first and foremost, an encyclopedia. User:Major Torp (talk) 13:26, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Major T - I've been trying to come up to speed with the recent discussions about this page, but I have to say that my comprehension is being inhibited by your prose, eg I am nowhere near certain of what any of the three sentences of your last post mean. Could you please be sure to read over your contributions before clicking "save page"? Thank you, yours almost-instinct 15:50, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
MT, I see that almost-instinct has deleted your unsolicited copy&paste of their post into the section above, where it didn't belong. Please, don't do that again. Haploidavey (talk) 16:31, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
The idea was that the question was to be answered under the right topic. It just seemed better to have question where the answer was. If any inconvenience was caused I apologize. User:Major Torp (talk) 17:06, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Those questions related specifically to "the three sentences of your last post" (that is, your previous post) in this section. No harm done, but it might help if you gave Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines a close and careful reading. Haploidavey (talk) 17:23, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

The Lede

I have created a new section because the above discussion was getting ridiculously long. I received a solicitation to review the issues going on here. I see that a number of trustworthy mensch have this in hand (Smerus, Antandrus, etc...), so I wish only to comment that the lede as it is written now is fine and needs no change. Eusebeus (talk) 08:53, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

OOH, I see that we are entrenched in an outright opinion debate. Call me lazy or a deserter but my main area is elsewhere so I will shoot my first and last shot in this war.
Some advocate shorter is better and others that the more the merrier for Wagner. It seems when it comes to introductions the Wagner introduction is lengthy. So what is the measure? Longer or shorter? Let’s look at some composers that popped out of my magic cap and let it be a kind measure.
Let’s start shall we:
Beethoven, Verdi, Haydn, Puccini, Bruckner, Prokofiev, Liszt, Schumann, Mozart, Holst, Schubert ,Rameau, Hindemith, Strauss, Telemann, Bach, Chopin, Dvořák, Vivaldi, Copland.
That’s all folks, continue as you are. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:05, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Instead of wasting time and space by fatuous sarcasm, you could just look up the WP guidelines - here they are, from WP:LEDE - (and by the way the Wagner article has about 80,000 characters) -

The appropriate length of the lead section depends on the total length of the article. As a general guideline, the lead should be no longer than four paragraphs. The following suggestion may be useful:

Article length Lead length
Fewer than 15,000 characters One or two paragraphs
15,000–30,000 characters Two or three paragraphs
More than 30,000 characters Three or four paragraphs

Hope this is helpful and instructive.--Smerus 08:23, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Just to give a little constructive critic. Let us not frighten people with legal details and commence a rigid and formalistic approach in writing articles in Wikipedia. Maybe the length is lengthy when you look at the content? I know people can be intimidate of esoteric language and things they don't know, but I know the lead has much in-depth information that in the lead just simply looks like a misplaced part of an dissertation. Content in context? Thank you.
User:Major Torp (talk) 09:40, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Could you please explain how you both think the lede is too long and have been insisting on adding material to it against the consensus of the editors who have been working on this article over the years?--Peter cohen (talk) 10:58, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Reading the history, I feel that you, User:Major Torp, should have expressed your disagreement of the removal of the material in the lede rather than go around reverting edits. I hope you learned something from this. I also feel that quality sourced material should never be completely removed without discussion either such as this example- moving it is fine, but removing completely is questionable. The evidence that you all have spent years working on this article is clear, but fresh approaches should never be disregarded casually. Monsieurdl mon talk 17:16, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit war solution - An outside opinion

I have to say that I'm not an expert on Wagner. I joined this discussion because I feel that discussion in talk page is a good practice which contributes to article's success. I haven't experienced any edit wars and do not wish to be involved in any – I'm here just to express my opinion.

I think the two issues are separate, so I used a separate subsection for each topic.

The phrase supposedly common Germanic past

In my opinion, the words common Germanic past should be included in the article. As I see it, romantic nationalism and symbols of Germanic past have influenced Wagner's music. The word supposedly might mislead readers who are not familiar with the terminology of social science. Such readers might think that a Germanic past did not exist. To avoid any misunderstanding, I suggest to choose one of the following options:

  1. Removing the word supposedly from the sentence.
  2. Including the word in the sentence, and adding an explanatory footnote to explain the correct meaning of the word. See WP:EXPLNOTE.
This word is part of the quote - so one can't delete it. Moreover your interpretation of it is WP:OR - many would claim that, indeed, ' a common Germanic past' did not exist in the consciousness of German nationals of the later 19th century. Frankly I think the whole quote is a typical piece of glib academic smart-assery, and therefore it could just as well be deleted in toto. But that of course is just my opinion. --Smerus 16:13, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Dear Smerus, I'm not an expert on Wagner or on German nationalism. I have always thought that 19th-century German nationalism was based on a common Germanic past, but that might be wrong. If the sentence is completely nonsense, it should be deleted in toto, as you said. Sapere aude22 (talk) 13:47, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
19-century German nationalism was indeed based on a common Germanic past. However, there is still a mythological element to this sort of thing. Imagine if Russia tried to conquer all countries where Indo-European languages are spoken (e.g., India, France, USA) then tried to unite then into one culture, based on their shared Indo-European heritage. Imagine if all schoolchildren in the newly-formed empire were taught to speak a hastily and badly reconstructed Proto-Indo-European. That's what happened with German nationalism. That's also what pan-Slavism was about, and many other forms of nationalism. Zyxwv99 (talk) 13:06, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Wagner's social class

In my opinion, social class is an important part of people's identity and background. Therefore, the article should mention Wagner's social class. I think the best would be putting a general label, and then the details. Of course, the labeling should be based on reliable sources.

Sapere aude22 (talk) 15:16, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Then find a suitable, reliable, respectable, authority, and edit the article accordingly, including citation of the reference. But if I were you, I'd make sure that the reference explains exactly what the meaning of 'class' was in the early nineteenth century, and why this class was in any way relevant to Wagner's biography and his music - otherwise it would be pretty fatuous. --Smerus 16:14, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
It is fine so long as examples of it are cited accordingly with good sources, as I have said above. It would most certainly add to the article if it was made relevant, as Smerus said above. Monsieurdl mon talk 23:44, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Smerus and Monsieurdl, you are quiet right. I'm not an expert on Wagner and I don't want to research this topic right now. I hope I helped the discussion here. Sapere aude22 (talk) 13:58, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

This concern reflects the current resurrection of Marx’s ideas. We can credit the untiring efforts of academics around the world for this resurgence. The only problem that we have is that the word “class” is vague and ambiguous. Where, for example, does lower class end and middle class begin? Possibly the word "class" may designate a concept that has no relation to experience.Lestrade (talk) 10:57, 14 April 2012 (UTC)Lestrade

One problem with discussions of social class is that the meaning of "middle class" has changed quite a bit since the 19th century, especially in the USA, to a lesser extent in the rest of the world due the influence of the USA. What we've had here is a serious case of class inflation. However, this has been obscured by the general increase in prosperity. The point is, if we're going to discuss Wagner's social class, it ought to be in terms of the period in which he lived. Zyxwv99 (talk) 02:54, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

So there are at least two "middle classes" here. One for Wagner in c. 1870 and one in our time, 2012. There are countless others, also. For example, there is a middle class in 1789 and there is one in 1971. This goes on to infinity. Where are the demarcations between lower, lower-middle, middle-lower, and middle class? A problem for Marxists. If a man earned 12,000 pupniks per year, he was middle class. If he earned 11,999, he was lower class. If Richard Wagner shined his shoes before coming to dinner, he was middle class. This illustrates the hopeless vagueness of social class distinctions. In order to discuss Wagner’s class, this vagueness must be taken into consideration.Lestrade (talk) 13:17, 15 April 2012 (UTC)Lestrade

.....and therefore it would be necessary as a prerequisite to demonstrate that there is any point in discussing Wagner's 'class' at all. It would shed no light on his life or oeuvre, and for this reason it is a topic which none of his respected biographers dwell upon.--Smerus (talk) 14:18, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

If we are to discuss Wagner in terms of Marx, then it is absolutely necessary to include a consideration of Wagner’s social class. In his Communist Manifesto, Marx wrote that: “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. ( Bottomore, Tom, ed., A Dictionary of Marxist Thought, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1983, p. 75.) Also, we must be sensitive to Wagner’s many political struggles. Now that Communism and Socialism are becoming the popular choice of all people on earth, thanks to the influence of the entertainment industry and to academia, we cannot ignore this aspect of Wagner’s life. Lestrade (talk) 15:38, 15 April 2012 (UTC)Lestrade

I don't know about you, but I am not here to discuss Wagner in terms of Marx. Wagner's father was a civil servant, and thus by definition a member of the middle class. Furthermore, he was no ordinary police clerk, but a police actuary who had studied law. During the French occupation, he served as Leipzig chief of police. Wagner's paternal grandfather was also a civil servant (of middle rank) with a background in theology. Wagner's mother was the daughter of a master baker. All these things suggest not merely high end of lower-middle-class, but the absolute pinnacle of lower-middle-class, bordering on upper-middle (by the standards of the times). As for whether it needs to be discussed in the article, I don't know. The only reason I'm discussing this is in case someone wants to put something about it in the article I would prefer if they don't get it wrong. If someone wants to discuss Wagner in terms of Marx, here's a suggestion: " is a dropped domain name that has expired because it has not been renewed and is now available" Zyxwv99 (talk) 16:28, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Class distinctions, then, are not as vague as I had thought. If we add up police clerk, police actuary, chief of police, civil servant, theologian, and master baker, we arrive at “the absolute pinnacle of lower-middle-class, bordering on upper-middle (by the standards of the times).” It seems pretty straight-forward. Wagner’s class background, then, can be determined with almost scientific accuracy. Is there anything that he could have done to drag himself down from that class pinnacle to the lower depths of low class poverty, imprisonment, and dishonor? His arrangement with Baroness Cosima von Bülow was somewhat irregular.Lestrade (talk) 16:58, 15 April 2012 (UTC)Lestrade

I suggest you take a look at his mother's background.....--Smerus (talk) 06:31, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I was going to mention that. It is common knowledge that she was the illegitimate daughter of Prince Constantin of Weimar. Even though he never publicly acknowledged her, he showered her with expensive gifts from the day she was born, and paid for her education. I'm not sure what effect this would have on her social class, perhaps none. Zyxwv99 (talk) 13:13, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

All this stuff, so far from defining the situation with 'scientific accuracy', is basically waffle and WP:OR. Come up with a recognised, citable, source for dealing with W's 'class', and then you are welcome to put something in the article, of course. --Smerus (talk) 14:42, 16 April 2012 (UTC)-

In this discussion, 'scientific accuracy' was meant as an insult. That you would so glibly repeat the insult speaks volumes about your character. If it isn't in the article yet, it doesn't count as OR. Here are two sources: [2] [3]. However, I have no intention of adding a mention of Wagner's social class to the article since composer is a traditionally middle-class occupation, and Wagner was no exception. Therefore, there's nothing notable about it. It's just that this discussion was already here before I came along, so I decided to put in my "two cents worth," especially as no one was discussing the facts of the case in any depth. Furthermore, I think these discussions can be productive, not only when they result in an article being improved, but also when they discourage the addition of material that would make the article worse. Zyxwv99 (talk) 15:41, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Just for the record, I am not a Marxist, in spite of one user's repeated attempts to characterize me as such. I read The Economist, The Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal, and have a soft spot in my heart for Austrian-school economics. Furthermore, I am, and have been from the beginning, on the same side of the argument as said user. I was merely, after stating my own position, trying to characterize as fairly as possible the other side's point of view, as one is expected to do in civil discussions. Zyxwv99 (talk) 14:32, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Film Influence Amfortasj

I would have thought the way Wagner was used in both films "A Dangerous Method" and "Melancholia" was sufficiently more than just dramatic accompaniment and thus could be said to be demonstrating Wagner's influence on film, especially when compared to Excalibur and Apocalypse Now. hence these comments should be reinstated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:00, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

This article is not a list of everything connected, however vaguely, with Wagner, and Amfortas's comments were WP:UNDUE as`far as this article is concerned. Nothing in these films it seems relate specifically to Wagner. If there is a reliable source connecting these films with Leitmotif however, the`comments may be appropriate in that article.--Smerus (talk) 06:49, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

the LA times article given as a ref reports on an interview with Howard Shore who states that he used the music of Siegfried and that the Wagner influence pervades the whole film, which is about early psychoanalytic practice, itself influenced by earlier writings of Wagner, see influence on philosophy section above. (A Dangerous Method) Thus Wagner affected the structure of the film. Any Wagner lover would recognise several Ring motifs used in appropriate psychological points in the drama. In the case of Melancholia the use of Tristan is all pervasive in a film about depression and the end of the world, also supported by the ref imoh. Thus much in these films relates specifically to Wagner. Also see WP entries on the films themselves. Amfortasj (talk) 10:31, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

This is still too detailed/overweight for an article on Richard Wagner. Using W's music does not per se demonstrate his influence. You may be on stronger ground with 'A Dangerous Method', but you would need to show exactly how 'Wagner affected the structure of the film.' Why not use this info instead in the articles on Siegfried (opera) or Tristan und Isolde, and/or in the film articles, where they properly belong?--Smerus (talk) 10:39, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

ok but on that argument, the material on Excalibur and Apocalypse now should also be removed.Amfortasj (talk) 10:47, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

not imo; they use Wagner's music directly.--Smerus (talk) 16:29, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

But so do ADM and M even more so, and in a more psycho dramatic way. why not at least include them in list "Some films have used Wagner (eg AN E ADM, M). ADm and M imo are both important films not just any films.Amfortasj (talk) 23:29, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

OK I have re-added them; but the link you gave is dead - can you please find some other reference to support citation?--Smerus (talk) 13:02, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Family background

Does anyone know what exactly his father did for a living? Polizei aktuarius or police clerk is a bit vague. Some sources give Secretary of Police Headquarters, others Secretary of the Municipal Court. Zyxwv99 (talk) 21:17, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

FA push

Hello. I have been considering getting this article up to FA status and have it put on TFA on the 200th anniversary of his birth (22 May 1813) or the 130th anniversary of his death (February 13, 1883). Right now, the article looks good, but the lead section may need to include the history of his early life and death, as it needs to summarize the article as a whole. All are welcome to assist in this process. Thanks, Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 17:23, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

The idea, to meet the 200th anniversary, is excellent. I don't think the lead particularly needs info about his early life and death (apart from dates) - neither are central to his importance. Before any tinkering about I would like to solicit the opinions (if any) of others on the Wagner project as to exactly what they feel may need to be done.--Smerus (talk) 08:22, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes it would be good to have this article featured in time for the anniversary. My ability to contribute is rather up and down but I've recently been given access to Highbeam which might help find good sources.--Peter cohen (talk) 15:52, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Also, I have access to JSTOR and Grove Music Online through my university, so these would also help. Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 07:10, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Can someone, or someones, look at the rules and be specific about what might need to be changed/added/tidied up to make this FA? My feeling is that it is generally OK as regards content, but there may be technical things to be done. They could be more relevant to FA status than adding information.--Smerus (talk) 07:22, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

According to WP:FA? this article is fine. (For instance, it is much longer than the FA Josquin des Prez.) The only potential problem I see in it is the presence of several external links (see WP:EL). Toccata quarta (talk) 16:14, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Since there is a concern about using excessive external links, I think we should just trim it down and remove inappropriate external links as well. Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 16:19, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I apologise for being unclear. I was concerned about the presence of ELs outside of the "External links" section, and I happen to think that many of the ones you have removed are relevant to the article. Toccata quarta (talk) 16:33, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I see. I have self-reverted my edits to the External Links for now and for that mistake, I apologize. Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 16:46, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Also, I have already addressed the concerns in the Opponents and supporters section, since it did contain some inappropriate external links there. Would that work? Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 19:48, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Bearing all the above in mind, if no one has specific issues which they strongly feel need to be addressed in the article, why not put forward the article as it is for a FA review? It has been stable since getting GA and now that the external links issue has been remedied it may very well qualify. If not we can see what comments are made in review and remedy them and resubmit.--Smerus (talk) 22:14, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Okay then. Before we take this to FA, I am going to put this up for peer review as well. That way, we will get some feedback before we take this to FA. Make sense? Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 22:25, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I've started a peer review here. Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 22:30, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Excellent idea!--Smerus (talk) 07:59, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
We do need to deal with some of the automated checks. I've fixed the missing alt text. There's one disambig link needing fixing racialism which option should we go for or do we change to scientific racism? Then some of the external links do need fixing as they're dead or need indicating as subscription only etc. I'm too tired to do that now. There's also some textual suggested changes from the automatic reviewer. I think we're using British spelling here aren't we? We can ignore the mention of an infobox as consensus in the classical music projects is firmly against.--Peter cohen (talk) 01:18, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

FA Push - update

Here are some helpful comments by User:Brianboulton:

  • I have taken a quick look at the article, though not at the detailed prose. Here are some initial suggestions of areas that in my view need attention, if it is to proceed successfully through the FAC process:
  • Lead possibly overdetailed, but this should be left until all the main revisions have been done
  • Biography sections possibly skimpy in places. For example, the Bayreuth section looks very short, given its significance
  • Conversely, the "Opera" section may have too much detail, given the profusion of subarticles that exists
  • "Influence and legacy" section needs a simpler structure. Some of the material looks rather trivial
  • "Controversies": there's a long specific article on this. The section in the Wagner article could be trimmed - some of the content may be better integrated into the general biographical sections.
  • There are several unsourced statements which need to be either cited or deleted.
  • I am not sure about the licence tags for some of the images or whether all are PD in the US. This is an aspect that can be considered later.
I think the Wagner article is important, but it may be quite a task to bring it to FA quality. The page has 280 watches and a daily average viewing of around 3000, so there will be plenty of watching eyes.

In conjunction with the comments of User:Peter cohen above they give I think appropriate starting points for preparing the article. There are elements of both addition and removal. I would propose that we start by adding before we remove, so that we can get a clear idea of the scope involved. I will begin by looking at the biography section in the near future. I would hope to have the article ready by the end of 2012 so that we can propose it for FA status for May 2013 on RW's birthday. --Smerus (talk) 09:16, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

I will take a look at the controversy section as well. I think it might need trimming as well. Also, the Bayreuth section may need to be expanded upon as well per the above comments. I will see what I can do to help. Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 16:23, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
I suggest we carry out no trimmings before we have carried out the necessary additions; it will then be possible to slim down in an complete context. We also need to ensure that all additions are supported by appropriate citations, wherever possible from the major sources already listed. --Smerus (talk) 18:42, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
Got it. Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 18:48, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Subsections in biography

Because of the comments above, I started looking at the Bayreuth section to decide how I might want to expand it and the first thing that struck me was that some of the events described (e.g. the premiere of Rheingold) predate some in the previous section and the Wagner's move to Bayreuth.

The question arises how much do we want to organise things chronologically and how much thematically?--Peter cohen (talk) 21:01, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

I think the biography section should definitely be chronological as far as possible.--Smerus (talk) 07:48, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
I have tried to straighten some of this out. The Bayreuth section is now much reduced as material has shifted to the adjoining sections. I've also fixed some data by plagiarising material from the articles on Minna and Cosima. I think that the Bayreuth section can be fattened up again by plagiarising more of Brian's FA on Cosima but it's getting late.--Peter cohen (talk) 00:48, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
The biography now I think is in better shape and I have started pruning tertiary material elsewhere.--Smerus (talk) 18:49, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Requested comments on recent edits

The recent edits largely address the questions that I raised a few weeks ago on my talkpage. Some of the prose is a bit tortured, e.g. "The Festspielhaus finally opened on 13 August 1876 with Das Rheingold, now taking its place as the first evening of the premiere of the complete Ring cycle", and "Wagner was responsible for several theatrical innovations developed at the Festspielhaus, (for the design of which he appropriated some of the ideas of his former colleague, Gottfried Semper, which he had solicited for a proposed new opera house at Munich)." I am prepared to do a general copyedit if you think that will help.

I have also carried out a full review of the images on the page.

  • General: some of the positioning is a bit odd, with Wagner more than once staring resolutely away from the text. And do we need two busts and two caricatures? Also, some could do with a bit of size reduction; I have done this to Minna, but in my view Mathilde, Ludwig and the Rackham could all follow suit. Done some of these. The 2 caricatures show different aspects of W- the music and the anti-Jewsihness - and also show that he was a public figure
  • Lead image: The source is unclear - the link goes to a page which I imagine (it's in Swedish) says that the page is unavailable. In any event, the PD of this pic is likely to rest on pre-1923 publication rather than on author's life + 70, and we have no publication details. I would rather we replaced with File:Wagner 1877 gutenberg.jpg, which is not only a nice picture but has incontrovertible pre-1923 publication information. Yes but the 1877 image is rather 'grainy' I will try and source the existing image accurately
  • File:Wagner Geburtshaus.jpg: This is probably OK, but again there is some uncertainty about the source; the assertion that it is from a 1913 postcard is not specifically evidenced. There is a very similar photograph in the 1913 Runciman book (Gutenberg), lacking the overprinted Wagner bust; this would be a more than adequate substitute, to avoid any questions of copyright.
  • File:Minna.jpg: OK, but it would be good to have Otterstedt's dates. Also, if this was uploaded from a website there should be a link.
  • File:Richard Wagner.Warrant. inverted image.jpg: The licence tag of author's life + 70 years cannot be correct when the only author information given is the name of the uploader, JoJan. We need to establish who published it and in what original form, e.g. poster, newspaper etc. Rhe proble correct tag would then be PD-U I will source this
  • File:Mathilde1850.jpg: No problem, though if Sohn's dates can be added, so much the better
  • File:De 20 jarige Ludwig II in kroningsmantel door Ferdinand von Piloty 1865.jpg: No problem
  • File:Cosimawagner1877london.jpg: The trouble is that the Chaberlain book from which this image is taken was not published until after 1923 (early 1930s I think). Unless it was previously published, and there is no evidence that it was, the image will still be copyright in the US. That's why I replaced this image in the Cosima article; you could do the same by exchanging for the Cosima lead image.
  • File:BayreuthFestspielhaus19C.jpg: No problem
  • File:Festspielhaus Bayreuth 1900.jpg: OK, but is it necessary to have two old Festpielhaus images? Suggest select one or the other.Removed one
  • File:Wahnfried05b.JPG: The licence tag was not added by the stated author, which could cause problems There is an unproblematic grave image in the Cosima article
  • File:Siegfriedleitmotif1.jpg: This looks like it's come from a piano reduction, rather than from Wagner's score. If this has been scanned from a pre-1923 publication of the piano score, the right tag would be PD-US. Incidentally, the illustrated motif is Siegfried's horn call, not the main heroic Siegfried theme. I will do the motif myself in Sibelius
  • File:Ring22.jpg: No problem
  • File:Gill Wagner.jpg: Licence tag should be US-PD (the publication details are shown)Done
  • File:Richard Wagners Büste.jpg: Apart from RW facing the wrong way, I can't see how this image of a 3-dimensional work is PD, given that the sculptor (Arno Breker) lived until 1991 removed
  • File:Richard Wagner bust in Venice.jpg: Similar problem, though in this case no information is given about the sculptor. removed
  • File:Wagnerclic.jpg: Publication date should be included in the image description and the licence tag changed to PD-US done

Brianboulton (talk) 17:41, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

very many thanks for the above: I have added comments where appropriate in italics and will also look at the other points where necessary. All copyediting contributions very welcome!!--Smerus (talk) 10:46, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree re the two caricatures covering different aspects. Also I started some copyediting overnight.--Peter cohen (talk) 11:19, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
I have now added a couple of pix of Wagner (in c 1840 and 1860) and ones of Hanslick and others to replace removed pix and illustrated influence and antipathy. Also have recreated the leitmotif and found better pic of the warrant.--Smerus (talk) 11:50, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
I think I've now created alt text for all the new pictures. I'm going to see if my neighbour is still on for going down the pub. If not, I might be able to do a full copy edit this evening.--Peter cohen (talk) 20:21, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I've copy-edited all of the biography section. I don't plan to return to it unless asked to check sections that are re-written. I will probably start on the next section tomorrow.--Peter cohen (talk) 00:08, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Images, imsges, images...

I can't help thinking that someone has been a little overenthusiastic with the images recently added to the latter sections of the article. I suppose the Betz image can be justified, just about, though I would add to the caption that he also played Wotan in the first Ring cycle at Bayreuth. But what's Mahler doing here? His single intemperate comment to Alma isn't worth an image (nor in all honesty would I bother with the comment). Nor do I think Baudelaire and Hanslinck have significant enough connections to justify images. After all, if you're not showing Liszt or von Bulow, who had strong musical and personal connections with Wagner, why bother with the also-rans? (Note: this is not a suggestion that you should add Liszt and Bulow images!) Not every section has to have an image, and sometimes, excessive image clutter detracts from the text itself. I recommend a bit of a rethink here. Brianboulton (talk) 15:13, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Noted! - will consider - --Smerus (talk) 16:33, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

On further thought: No problem slimming down the photos if people think they are overdone; but - if the article covers 'influence' then those who are influenced are relevant (as those who were connected to his life are relevant to the biography section). I don't particularly like the Mahler quote myself, but M. enthusiastically conducted and was influenced in his composition techniques by W., and I'm sure one could find a better quote (I will look). Nietzsche is worth retaining I think on any grounds. Hanslick was regarded by many (including W. himself) as one of W.'s most significant opponents....I would like to have some additional opinions if possible before wielding the axe....--Smerus (talk) 19:08, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't mind the images. Just so long we don't have the text squeezed in from both sides at the same time. Hanslick and Nietzsche are definitely people who come to mind when discussing opinions on Wagner. Brahms could be another as the favourite of the other side. Just remember that alt text will be needed for any further images added. Another image could be of one of Wagner's Bayreuth productions.--Peter cohen (talk) 21:04, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
I've now completed proofreading the works section. My intention is to read the remaining content sections, then look at the tools on the peer review page. I'll then see if anyone else has given in and done the end material. ;-) --Peter cohen (talk) 23:33, 3 November 2012 (UTC)


Anyone have time to repair the vandalism on the images of Betz and Baudelaire?Lestrade (talk) 21:26, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Lestrade

Not vandalism but a couple of cock-ups with the alt parameter. Should be fixed now.--Peter cohen (talk) 22:37, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

I have no idea what "cock-ups with the alt parameter" means but I thank you for repairing the damage.Lestrade (talk) 12:20, 3 November 2012 (UTC)Lestrade

It is a requirement that all images in featured articles should have alternative text which someone with a visual impairment can discover through running the pointer over images. This text is specified by included "alt=" followed by the intended alternative text in the code where the image is inserted. In inserting alt text in yesterday's new images, I made a couple of coding errors so that the caption for the Betz image became that he was a balding man with beard and glasses rather than this being only visible when someone pointed at the picture.--Peter cohen (talk) 20:59, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Sorry to butt in, Peter, but alt text is not a featured article requirement. See Wikipedia:Featured article criteria, (number 3. Media). Alt text was a FA reqirement, briefly, about three years ago, and this caused so many difficulties, disagreements and squabbles that it was withdrawn as a criterion and became voluntary. You have discretion here, but for the sake of consisrency it should be all or nothing; if editors choose to use alt text, then it has to be used in all that article's images, not just some. Brianboulton (talk) 00:10, 4 November 2012 (UTC)



As far as I can see, the formatting of the sources is inconsistent. Here are the inconsistencies that I noticed:

"Prose works by Wagner":

  • Wagner, Richard, (ed. Dieter Borchmeyer) (1983)
  • Wagner, Richard (ed. and trans. Stewart Spencer and Barry Millington) (1987)
  • Wagner, Richard: Collected Prose Works. tr. W. Ashton Ellis

In one case there's a comma after the name, in the next there is nothing after it, and in the third there is a colon after it. The translation information could also be standardised.

In some cases there's "vol.", but in others there's "Vol.". The same is true for "No./no."

Another issue:

In some cases there's the following:

  • Daverio, John (2008) Tristan und Isolde: essence and appearance, in Grey (2008)[,] 115–133

And in others, there's this:

  • Treadwell, James (2008) The Urge to Communicate[,] in Grey (2008), pp. 179–191 [emphasis added]

I don't know what the preferences here are, so I'll leave it as it is. Toccata quarta (talk) 10:19, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for this. I have tried to edit the sources consistently on the following basis:
Surname, Forename (editors or translators), date, 'Title' (if article) or Title (if book). Pages by number only.
vol. and no. should be lowercase. I am sure there are still inconsistencies, do edit if you find them.
Best--Smerus (talk) 14:33, 3 November 2012 (UTC)


User:Brianboulton remarked that the lead might be overdetailed. Since work on the body appears to have become less frequent, here's my proposal (per WP:LEADFOLLOWSBODY). I reorganised it thematically and condensed/changed some passages.

Wilhelm Richard Wagner (/ˈvɑːɡnər/; German pronun­cia­tion: [ˈʁiçaʁt ˈvaːɡnɐ]; 22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, conductor, theatre director and polemicist primarily known for his operas (or "music dramas", as they are sometimes called). Wagner's compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex texture, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs: musical themes associated with individual characters, places, ideas or plot elements. Wagner pioneered advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, which greatly influenced the development of European classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music.
Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works such as The Flying Dutchman and Tannhäuser, which were broadly in the romantic vein of Weber and Meyerbeer, Wagner transformed operatic thought through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"). This was supposed to achieve the synthesis of all the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts and was announced in a series of essays between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realized this concept most fully in the first half of the monumental four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. However, his thoughts on the relative importance of music and drama were to change again, and he reintroduced some traditional operatic forms into his last few stage works, including Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Unlike most other opera composers, Wagner wrote both the music and libretto for all of his stage works. He had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which contained many novel design features. It was here that the Ring and Parsifal received their premieres and where his most important stage works continue to be performed today in an annual festival run by his descendants.
Wagner achieved all of this despite a life characterized, until his last decades, by political exile, turbulent love affairs, poverty and repeated flight from his creditors. His influence spread beyond composition into conducting, philosophy, literature, the visual arts and theatre. His controversial writings on music, drama and politics have attracted extensive comment in recent decades, especially where they have antisemitic content. The effect of his ideas can be traced in many of the arts throughout the twentieth century.

I accept that I ended up with three instead of four paragraphs, but I think it makes sense this way. Comments? Toccata quarta (talk) 19:51, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

On first glance this seems good. My main thought is that it is actually Rienzi with which he established his reputation even though he later disregarded it.--Peter cohen (talk) 21:09, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, there's no doubt about Rienzi; it was initially a huge success, albeit unsustained. The answer, I believe, is to alter the first sentence of the second paragraph to: "Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works which were broadly in the romantic vein of Weber and Meyerbeer, Wagner transformed operatic thought through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art")." Thus, we can avoid singling out any of the early operas.
Also, I have a slight problem with a couple of phrasings, both of which occurred in the original version of the lead and are repeated here:
  • "...he reintroduced some traditional operatic forms into his last few stage works, including Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg." To what other late stages works does this statement apply?
  • "Wagner achieved all of this despite..." sounds too much of a pat on the back, and needs to be "neutralised".— Preceding unsigned comment added by Brianboulton (talkcontribs) 00:37, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for this, I have adapted it and placed it on the page. 'Operatic forms' - the article mentions his reversion to grand opera style in 'Götterdämmerung'. I am less happy with the comment on' Tristan', unless we can find an appropriate replacement for the quote in the text (see heading below), which I am unable to identify.--Smerus (talk) 08:46, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
The article on Tristan has the following:
  • Many see Tristan as the beginning of the move away from conventional harmony and tonality and consider that it lays the groundwork for the direction of classical music in the 20th century.<ref>Millington 1992, p. 301.</ref>
And near the article's end:
  • Millington, Barry, editor (1992). The Wagner Compendium: A Guide to Wagner's Life and Music. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd. ISBN 978-0-500-28274-8.
Does this suffice? Toccata quarta (talk) 09:42, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Ta muchly--Smerus (talk) 15:59, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
It seems to me that it could still be shortened. The following:
Could become:
I'm not sure if I'm misusing the expression "well into", but I hope my point is clear. Toccata quarta (talk) 22:06, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Some general comments

  • "Nazi appropriation" section: The most obvious link between Wagner's music and the Nazi movement is Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Wagner's son-in-law, who is not at present mentioned. He should be, if "nazi appropriation" is being discussed. Feel free to mine the Cosima article for details and references.
  • The phrasing "Wagner's ideas were amenable to socialist interpretations, which is not surprising given the composer's revolutionary inclinations in the 1840s..." contains too much editorial observation. Suggest rephrase thus: "Wagner's ideas are amenable to socialist interpretations; many of his ideas on art were being formulated at the time of his revolutionary inclinations in the 1840s".
  • Same section: "Others have also applied psychoanalytical techniques to Wagner's life and works." Give at least one example of the "others", or the sentence is uninformative.
  • I will add other points as & when I come to them, but my reviewing is necessarily spasmodic at present. Brianboulton (talk) 14:44, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
thanks, I have dealt with these. --Smerus (talk) 21:25, 4 November 2012 (UTC)