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The furious energy and melodic vigour of The Flying Dutchman were not appreciated by its first audiences; John Warrack, the leading authority on German Romantic opera, traces its origins in the taste of Horror Romanticism and in tuneful opera comique. John Deathridge’s lively musical commentary makes many original points about the score and the drama as Wagner conceived them. Wagner’s own instructions to performers and his programme note about the overture are included (in an new translation) to illustrate how he thought his revolutionary opera would work on stage. William Vaughan, author of studies of German Romantic painters, reviews the importance of the myth to artists at that time and suggests that Wagner reclaimed the legend for Romanticism. This new English translation was made by David Pountney for English National Opera.
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