Being Wagner: The Triumph of the Will

By Simon Callow

The perfect introduction to the Master.

Over a century after his death, Richard Wagner’s music dramas stand at the centre of the culture of classical music. He was a walking contradiction: aggressive, flirtatious, disciplined, capricious, heroic, visionary and poisonously anti-Semitic. His ten great mature masterpieces constitute an unmatched body of work, created against a backdrop of poverty, revolution, violent controversy, critical contempt and hysterical hero-worship.

In this book, Simon Callow plunges the reader headlong into Wagner’s world, examining the intellectual and artistic climate of this composer like no other who ever lived, creator of perhaps the most sublime and most troubling body of work in the history of music.

Format: ebook
Release Date: 26 Jan 2017
Pages: None
ISBN: 978-0-00-810570-9
Simon Callow is an actor, director and writer. He has appeared on the stage in many films, including the hugely popular Four Weddings and a Funeral. Callow’s books include ‘Being an Actor’, ‘Shooting the Actor’, a highly acclaimed biography of Charles Laughton, a multi-volume biography of Orson Welles (of which the first two parts have been published) and ‘Love is Where it Falls’, an account of his friendship with the great play agent, Peggy Ramsay.

”'Would Callow be able to tell me, in layman’s language, what it is about Tristan that makes it so powerful? The answer, I am happy to say, is yes. The perfect introduction for those, like me, who may not be obsessives but who sense that something profound is going on, and would like to know more. A delightful little book” - Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

”'A sparkly written, witty, learned and absorbing account, Callow brings The Master vividly to life” - The Times

”'Intelligent, fluent and buoyant” - The Daily Telegraph

Praise for Simon Callow’s ‘Charles Dickens’: -

”'Simon Callow is not simply a terrific actor who happens to write - you could as well call him a terrific writer who happens to act” - The Times

”'This is the book we have long been waiting for and only Simon Callow could have written it… A marvellous book.” - Michael Slater

‘A comprehensive biography as enthralling as one of his own performances … A great achievement.’Catherine Peters, Literary Review -

”'Vivid and exuberant… This book, with its fresh angles and out-of-the-way sources, is the harvest of [Callow’s] dedication [to impersonating Dickens on stage]… His book is a celebration, jubilant, vigorous, imaginative, and, as Dickens might have said, an all-round sizzler.” - John Carey, Sunday Times

”'Callow … writes with great authority and elegant insouciance, which makes this 'biography with a twist' very entertaining” - Independent on Sunday

”'By his enthusiasm for his subject, Callow has ensured that his book is a worthy addition to the Dickens studies” - Sunday Express

”'An excellent book” - Andrew Marr, Start the Week

”'Intelligent, fluent and buoyant” - Daily Telegraph

”'4/5… a crisply succinct account” - Sunday Telegraph

”'Colourful, almost salacious anecdotes abound” - Sunday Times