Wagner is almost as famous for the controversy he inspires as for his music. His work and his attitudes have elicited both devotion and revulsion; his polemical writings and struggle to create the complete work of art -- the Gesamtkunstwerk -- have generated impassioned argument. His influence on music and on other disciplines has been incalculable.The Wagner Compendium presents a comprehensive survey of the man, his oeuvre, and his times. The musical and intellectual background and influences that helped shape the Wagnerian canon are considered along with the historical context of German unification and the creation of Bismarck's Reich. Wagner's character and opinions are examined, and there is a special chapter on "Myths and Legends" wittily correcting the extraordinary misconceptions with which Wagner has become associated. The operas, orchestral, and choral music are analyzed together with the lesser-know works. Chapters on orchestration and Wagner in performance are complemented by accounts of the reception and influence of his music. A detailed bibliography accompanies the most complete list ever published of his writings, speeches, open letters, and reviews, as well as a glossary explaining the meanings and significance of Wagnerian terms, a calendar of his life, and a Who's Who of his contemporaries.As an authoritative compilation of data and a corrective to common misunderstandings, The Wagner Compendium provides any music-lover with an inexhaustible fund of reference.