Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of quotations and thoughts by Richard Wagner on inspiration, writing, wisdom, art, humor, religion, time, music and space.

69 Top Richard Wagner Quotes That You Will Surely Love

Quick Facts

Famous As: Composer, conductor, theatre director

Born On: May 22, 1813

Died On: February 13, 1883

Born In: Leipzig

Died At Age: 69

Richard Wagner was a famous German composer and theatre director known for his brilliant operas. As a child he was very ambitious and wrote his first drama at the age of 11 and then developed his first composition at the age of 16. He performed his first symphony during his graduation. He then joined the ‘Magdeburg Theatre’ as a music director and came up with the lyrics and music for ‘Das Liebesverbot’. He moved to Riga to work on his first staged opera titled ‘Rienzi’ which turned out to be a failure and he had to escape to Paris to avoid his creditors. His was in a self-imposed-exile for 12 long years doing some petty jobs to survive. During this period he started off by writing a libretto for a single opera called ‘Siegfrieds Tod (Siegfried's Death)’ which was followed by a sequel ‘Der junge Siegfried’. His most appreciated work ‘Ring Cycle’ enhanced his reputation as a composer. His work had fascinated the king of Wagner who invited him to stage his famous works and even cleared all his debts to end his exile. We bring to you a collection of quotes and thoughts by Richard Wagner which have been curated from his work, compositions, writings, dramas and librettos.  Presenting some of the notable quotations and sayings by Richard Wagner.
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Joy is not in things; it is in us

Richard Wagner

Certain things in Mozart will and can never be excelled.

Richard Wagner

...music is the living God in our bosoms.

Richard Wagner

I am writing Parsifal only for my wife - if I had to depend on the German spirit, I should have nothing more to say.

Richard Wagner

It is impossible to communicate with Schumann. The man is hopeless; he doesn't talk at all.

Richard Wagner

The most tremendous genius raised Mozart above all masters, in all centuries and in all the arts.

Richard Wagner

Music truely has to all other arts the same relation as religion to the church.

Richard Wagner

The long-term vision is to replace, repair and regenerate failing tissues and organs with the materials of tissues and organs. It's still 'out there,' but it's possible to put together a grant proposal now that doesn't sound completely crazy.

Richard Wagner

...you know my faithfulness to you, never can another own my heart, never - never - never...

Richard Wagner

The immoral profession of musical criticism must be abolished.

Richard Wagner

Many's the man/ who thought himself wise/ but what he needed/ he did not know...

Richard Wagner

Achievements, seldom credited to their source, are the result of unspeakable drudgery and worries.

Richard Wagner

The purpose of art: to make the unconscious conscious.

Richard Wagner

The only form of music is melody, without melody music is not feasible, and music and melody are quite inseparable.

Richard Wagner

Music is the inarticulate speech of the heart, which cannot be compressed into words, because it is infinite.

Richard Wagner

Any so-called stimulus program is a ruse. The government can increase its spending only by reducing private spending equivalently.

Richard Wagner

I know nothing at all about music.

Richard Wagner

I believe in God, Mozart and Beethoven, and likewise their disciples and apostles; - I believe in the Holy Spirit and the truth of the one, indivisible Art; - I believe that this Art proceeds from God, and lives within the hearts of all illumined men; - I believe that he who once has bathed in the sublime delights of this high Art, is consecrate to Her for ever, and never can deny Her; - I believe that through Art all men are saved.

Richard Wagner

We must learn to die, and to die in the fullest sense of the word. The fear of the end is the source of all lovelessness

Richard Wagner

I regard the Jewish race as the born enemy of pure humanity and everything that is noble in it.

Richard Wagner

I hate this fast growing tendency to chain men to machines in big factories and deprive them of all joy in their efforts - the plan will lead to cheap men and cheap products.

Richard Wagner

When religion becomes artificial, art has a duty to rescue it. Art can show that the symbols which religions would have us believe literally true are actually figurative. Art can idealize those symbols, and so reveal the profound truths they contain.

Richard Wagner

The essence of higher instrumental music lays herein that one is able to express in tones that what one is unable to say in words.

Richard Wagner

Human dignity begins to assert itself only at the point where man is distinguishable from the beast by pity for it.

Richard Wagner

A political man is disgusting, but a political wife, horrible.

Richard Wagner

Imagination creates reality.

Richard Wagner

I know of only one composer who measures up to Beethoven, and that is Bruckner.

Richard Wagner

The whole duty of a conductor is comprised in his ability to indicate the right tempo.

Richard Wagner

My destiny is solitude, and my life is work.

Richard Wagner

Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them.

Richard Wagner

One might say that where Religion becomes artificial, it is reserved for Art to save the spirit of religion.

Richard Wagner

I have long been convinced that my artistic ideal stands or falls with Germany. Only the Germany that we love and desire can help us achieve that ideal.

Richard Wagner

I am convinced that there are universal currents of Divine Thought vibrating the ether everywhere and that any who can feel these vibrations is inspired.

Richard Wagner

I write music with an exclamation point!

Richard Wagner

It is necessary for us to explain the involuntary repugnance we possess for the nature and personality of the Jews ... The Jews have never produced a true poet. Heinrich Heine reached the point where he duped himself into a poet, and was rewarded by his versified lies being set to music by our own composers. He was the conscience of Judaism, just as Judaism is the evil conscience of our modern civilization.

Richard Wagner

It should not be presumed that these people (the Jews), who are so separated from us by their religion, have any right to make our laws. But why blame the Jews? It is we who lack all feeling for our own identity, all sense of honour.

Richard Wagner

Bruckner he is my man!

Richard Wagner

What a wonderful work Wagner has done for humanity in translating the toil of life into the readable script of music! For those who seek the tale of other worlds his magic is silent; but earth-travail under his wand becomes instinct with rhythmic song to an accompaniment of the elements, and the blare and crash of the bottomless pit itself.

Richard Wagner

Wherever the fish are, that's where we go.

Richard Wagner

I wish I could score everything for horns.

Richard Wagner

The error in the art-genre of Opera consists herein: a Means of expression (Music) has been made the end, while the End of expression (the Drama) has been made a means.

Richard Wagner

In contrast to reincarnation and karma, all other views seem petty and narrow

Richard Wagner

Divorce is one of the most financially traumatic things you can go through. Money spent on getting mad or getting even is money wasted.

Richard Wagner

That even in its sharpest pangs of pain a dog can still caress its master we have learnt from the studies of vivisectors.

Richard Wagner

I believe in God, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Richard Wagner

Those who grasp the whole, will also comprehend all parts of that whole, even when immediate technical understanding is lacking, and recognize and marshal these.

Richard Wagner

I know absolutely nothing about music.

Richard Wagner

Whatever my passions demand of me, I become for the time being - musician, poet, director, author, lecturer or anything else.

Richard Wagner

Blessed be, the genius who never knew good fortune! Genius in itself already means so much; what meaning does luck still hold for him?

Richard Wagner

One siupreme fact which I have discovered is that it is not willpower, but fantasy and imagination that ceates. Imagination is the creative force. Imagination creates reality.

Richard Wagner

Attack and defence, want and war, victory and defeat, lordship and thraldom, all sealed with the seal of blood: this from henceforth is the History of Man.

Richard Wagner

For once you are going to hear a dream, a dream that I have made sound... I dreamed all this; never could my poor head have invented such a thing.

Richard Wagner

These revelations expressed through Art work upon the soul with a force carrying its own conviction and permeate our sentient life with a sense of truth which logic and mere reason are powerless to combat.

Richard Wagner

I am fond of them, of the inferior beings of the abyss, of those who are full of longing.

Richard Wagner

Even if I know I shall never change the masses, never transform anything permanent, all I ask is that the good things also have their place, their refuge.

Richard Wagner

If experiments on animals were abandoned on grounds of compassion, mankind would have made a fundamental advance.

Richard Wagner

Whatever I thought right, to others seemed wrong; what I held to be bad, others approved of.

Richard Wagner

Plant life instead of animal food is the keystone of regeneration. Jesus used bread instead of flesh and wine in place of blood at the Lord's Supper.

Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner, a musician who wrote music which is better than it sounds.

Richard Wagner

It is a truth forever, that where the speech of man stops short there Music's reign begins.

Richard Wagner

The language of tones belongs equally to all mankind, and melody is the absolute language in which the musician speaks to every heart.

Richard Wagner

But then such a book as this is not meant to amuse.

Richard Wagner

The oldest, truest, most beautiful organ of music, the origin to which alone our music owes its being, is the human voice.

Richard Wagner

Whether government finances its added spending by increasing taxes, by borrowing, or by inflating the currency, the added spending will be offset by reduced private spending. Furthermore, private spending is generally more efficient than the government spending that would replace it because people act more carefully when they spend their own money than when they spend other people's money.

Richard Wagner

What Music expresses is eternal, infinite, and ideal; she expresses not the passion, love, desire, of this or that individual in this or that condition, but Passion, Love, Desire itself, and in such infinitely varied phases as lie in her unique possession and are foreign and unknown to any other tongue...So...Here's to Victory, gained by our higher sense over the worthlessness of the vulgar! To Love, which crowns our courage...To the day, to the night!...And three cheers for Music...

Richard Wagner

The sounds proceeding from the instruments of symphonic music seem to be the very organs of the mysteries of creation; for they reveal, as it were, the primal stirrings of creation which brought order out of chaos long before the human heart was there to behold them.

Richard Wagner

True drama can be conceived only as resulting from the collective impulse of all the arts to communicate in the most immediate way with a collective public... Thus especially the art of tone, developed with such singular diversity in instrumental music, will realize in the collective artwork its richest potential -- will indeed incite the pantomimic art of dancing in turn to wholly new discoveries and inspire the breath of poetry no less to an undreamed-of fullness. For in its isolation music has formed itself an organ capable of the most immeasurable expression - the orchestra.

Richard Wagner

From its first faint glimmerings, History shews Man's constant progress as a beast of prey. As such he conquers every land, subdues the fruit-fed races, founds mighty realms by subjugating other subjugators, forms states and sets up civilisations, to enjoy his prey at rest.

Richard Wagner