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Der Ring des Nibelungen is one of the greatest works of art. This engagingly readable book explains the mythological background to the work, the process of composition, and the meaning of the four component dramas. There is a prose translation of the entire cycle, and a section identifying and commenting on many of the musical themes that pervade the cycle and bind it together symphonically. There are forty full-page reproductions of a complete set of magnificent and rarely seen lithographs by Hugo Braune.
Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde provides an elegant translation of Wagner's most enigmatic text, as well as a detailed, revealing and fascinating commentary on Wagner's sources and motivations. There are thirty-four illustrations and a selection of musical examples. "The poem of Tristan und Isolde can no more be separated from its music than can the sea from its waves."
Peter Bassett has made a special study of Wagner's Parsifal, looking particularly at the relationship between Wagner's sources and his text. One reviewer has described this book as "a long-overdue, perceptive study ... the best introduction to Parsifal currently available".