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date: 06 April 2020

Glasenapp, Carl Friedrichlocked

  • John Warrack
  • , revised by James Deaville


(b Riga, Oct 3, 1847; d Riga, April 14, 1915). German writer on music. He was educated in Riga and in Dorpat, where he studied linguistics, classical philology and the history of art. He taught in Pernau (now Pärnu) from 1873 to 1875, when he returned to Riga, where he remained as a teacher of language and literature until 1912. At the age of 16 he had heard Wagner’s works in Riga, and while still a student began assembling material for a biography; the first volume was ready by 1876, and Glasenapp was able to take it to show Wagner at the first Bayreuth Festival. He became a trusted member of the Wagner circle, and was given access by Cosima to much information and material. A dedicated and painstaking enthusiast, he made use of a vast amount of documentary evidence and brought it into systematic order; but his loyalty to the ideal of Wagner as presented to him by Cosima and the inner Wahnfried circle led him to accept an ‘authorized’ view of Wagner and in that interest to suppress and even alter evidence when it was deemed ‘unnecessary’ to the official portrait of Wagner. This unreliability was quickly observed, and Glasenapp was vigorously defended by another partisan, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, in his own book on Wagner (...

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