Being Wagner: The Story of the Most Provocative Composer Who Ever Lived Audiobook, by Simon Callow Play Audiobook Sample

Being Wagner: The Story of the Most Provocative Composer Who Ever Lived Audiobook

Being Wagner: The Story of the Most Provocative Composer Who Ever Lived Audiobook, by Simon Callow Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Simon Callow Publisher: Random House Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 4.33 hours at 1.5x Speed 3.25 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: February 2018 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9780525632436

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

44:08 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

14 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

22:05 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Simon Callow: > View All...

Publisher Description

Simon Callow, the celebrated author of Orson Welles, delivers a dazzling, swift, and accessible biography of the musical titan Richard Wagner and his profoundly problematic legacy--a fresh take for seasoned acolytes and the perfect introduction for new fans. Richard Wagner's music dramas have never been more popular or more divisive. His ten masterpieces, created against the backdrop of a continent in severe political and cultural upheaval, constitute an unmatched body of work. A man who spent most of his life in abject poverty, inspiring both critical derision and hysterical hero-worship, Wagner was a walking contradiction: belligerent, flirtatious, disciplined, capricious, demanding, visionary, and poisonously anti-Semitic. Acclaimed biographer Simon Callow evokes the intellectual and artistic climate in which Wagner lived and takes us through his most iconic works, from his pivotal successes in The Flying Dutchman and Lohengrin, to the musical paradigm shift contained in Tristan and Isolde, to the apogee of his achievements in The Ring of the Nibelung and Parsifal, which debuted at Bayreuth shortly before his death. Being Wagner brings to life this towering figure, creator of the most sublime and most controversial body of work ever known.

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“The narration is a fascinating and effervescent tour de force that has the energy of a stage performance rather than a studio recording. The performance, which is part analytical biography, is approachable and irresistible…Listeners may want to augment their experience by interspersing or following their listening with some Wagnerian music to complete the enlightened portrait.”

— AudioFile 


  • “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…Delightful.”

    — Mail on Sunday (London)
  • “A sparkly written, witty, learned, and absorbing account, Callow brings The Master vividly to life.”

    — Times (London)

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About Simon Callow

Simon Callow is an actor, director, and writer. He has appeared in many films, including Four Weddings and a Funeral. He made his stage debut in 1973 and came to prominence in a critically acclaimed performance as Mozart in the original stage production of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus at the Royal National Theatre in 1979. He is well known for a series of one-man shows that have toured internationally and featured subjects including Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare, Jesus, and Richard Wagner. His books include, among others, a highly acclaimed biography of Charles Laughton, a biographical trilogy on Orson Welles, and My Life in Pieces, which won the Sheridan Morley Prize in 2011.