• Being Wagner

  • A Short Biography of a Larger-Than-Life Man
  • By: Simon Callow
  • Narrated by: Simon Callow
  • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2018 Simon Callow (P)2018 Random House Audio

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From 6 Hour One Man Show, Edited Down Heavily

As is befitting a subject who rarely edited himself, Simon Callo’s book started out as a one-man show lasting 6 hours, and he had to keep editing and editing to bring it down to a reasonable 2-3 hours. The book is based on his one-man show.

Pretty much gives a full version of Wagner‘s life, from unknown and unappreciated to revolutionary, to brilliant and admired genius. Hearing Callow’s verbal illuminations are sometimes breathtaking. He does a really good job.

Wagoner’s “creed” is very telling of his values (art above all). Callow quotes heavily from Wagner’s extensive writings, as well as those of his friends, admirers and haters.

Obviously, Wagner is a very difficult subject tackle!

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superb

Simon Callow is a wonderful narrator and also a terrific writer. I can't believe this is the guy from Amadeus. How many talents should one really have in life?

In any event, his narration for the Prince, Shakespeare's sonnets, and Charles Dickens are all incredible as well. In this case Being Wagner makes the life of a man I would be otherwise uninterested in directing my attention completely engrossing. I strongly recommend spending an audible credit on this title. There are plenty of longer audiobooks but most of them are half as good.