Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 18, Issue 36, November 2010

O Som e a Cor

Elisabete M. de Sousa
Pages 25-44

Richard Wagner: Leitmotiv e Música Dramática

The present essay presents the content of the landmarks that punctuate the long dialogue between verbal language and musical language during the 19th Century, by means of examples taken from the critical and theoretical writings of Hector Berlioz, Robert Schumann and Richard Wagner. In the search for the dramatic essence of music, such dialogue took different forms: the possibility of verbal language being translated by musical language, the pre-existence of a musical-poetic idea in any musical composition, eventually contributing to the appearance of program music, and finally, the principles presiding over Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwerk. Special emphasis is given to Richard Wagner’s Parisian article De l'Ouverture (1841), as well as to the impact on Soren Kierkegaard.