ART AND REVOLUTION
In view of his eventual transformative stature in history, the most extraordinary fact in Wagner's biography is the ordinariness of his beginnings. No composer of comparable achievement—at least none up to then—had ever had a slower start. Wagner was no Mozartian or Mendelssohnian prodigy. He was no Lisztian virtuoso. A native Leipziger, he manifested no early signs of unusual talent for music. Like many late starters, he never developed perfect pitch, often taken as a measure of natural aptitude for music. His earliest artistic interest was, perhaps significantly, in Greek epic and drama. At school he made translations from the Odyssey and tried to compose an epic of his own. His first completed creative effort was a pseudo-Shakespearean tragedy, written in 1828, when he was fifteen. It was a wish to set the play to music that led Wagner to his first lessons in music theory and composition that year, with a local theater conductor. Later he studied violin and counterpoint at the Leipzig Thomasschule, where Bach had taught a century before.
- Citation (MLA):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 10 Deeds of Music Made Visible (Class of 1813, I)." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 25 May. 2015. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-010002.xml>.
- Citation (APA):
- Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 10 Deeds of Music Made Visible (Class of 1813, I). In Oxford University Press, Music in the Nineteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 25 May. 2015, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-010002.xml
- Citation (Chicago):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 10 Deeds of Music Made Visible (Class of 1813, I)." In Music in the Nineteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 25 May. 2015, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-010002.xml