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Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde"; an essay on the Wagnerian drama by Hight, George Ainslie, 1851-

Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde"; an essay on the Wagnerian drama by Hight, George Ainslie, 1851-

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The Project Gutenberg eBook of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde,
by George Ainslie Hight

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Title: Wagner's Tristan und Isolde
Author: George Ainslie Hight
Release Date: April, 2005 [EBook #7834]

[This file was first posted on May 20, 2003]
Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO Latin-1
*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, WAGNER'S TRISTAN UND ISOLDE ***

Tiffany Vergon, Charles Aldarondo, Cam Venezuela, and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team.
The Project Gutenberg eBook of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, by George Ainslie Hight
1
WAGNER'S
WAGNER'S
2
"TRISTAN UND ISOLDE"

Passing the visions, passing the night,
Passing, unloosing the hold of my comrade's hands,
Passing the song of the hermit bird and the tallying song of

my soul,
Victorious song, death's outlet song, yet varying, ever-altering
song,
As low and wailing, yet clear the notes, rising and falling,
flooding the night,
Sadly sinking and fainting, as warning and warning, and yet

again bursting with joy,
Covering the earth and filling the spread of the heaven,
As that powerful psalm in the night I heard from recesses.

Walt Whitman.
WAGNER'S "TRISTAN UND ISOLDE"
AN ESSAY ON THE WAGNERIAN DRAMA
BY GEORGE AINSLIE HIGHT
PREFACE

The following pages contain little if anything that is new, or that would be likely to interest those who are
already at home in Wagner's work. They are intended for those who are beginning the study of Wagner. In
spite of many books, I know of no Wagner literature in English to which a beginner can turn who wishes to
know what Wagner was aiming at, in what respect his works differ from those of the operatic composers who
preceded him. Some sort of Introduction appears to me a necessary preliminary to the study of Wagner, not
because his works are artificial or unnatural, but because our minds have become perverted by the highly
artificial products of the Italian and French opera, so that a work of Wagner at first appears to us very much as

Paradise Lost or a tragedy of Sophokles would appear to a person who had never read anything but light
French novels. He must entirely change the attitude of his mind, and the change, although it be a return to
nature and truth, is not easy to make.
"TRISTAN UND ISOLDE"
3

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