In the table below I have listed the books referenced in the "Leitmotif Guide", with a short description of each one. Some of the books referenced are entirely
devoted to Wagner's Parsifal whilst others contain at least one chapter about this opera. For works originally published in other languages that are
available in English translation, I have provided the name of the translator. Unfortunately there are no complete translations of the books by Bauer or Lorenz.
|Date & place of publication
||Title, publisher & editions
||Author and translator
|1978 Munich and Salzburg
||Wagner's Parsifal: Kriterien der Kompositionsteknik. Musikverlag Emil Katzbichler.
||A penetrating study of the score. Bauer examines Wagner's "leading motive" technique in Parsifal, including how the
motives develop and interact. He then considers the rhythms, orchestration and harmonies of the music.
|1971 Velber, 1985 Zürich, Reclam 1996 Stuttgart. Eng. 1979 Cambridge.
||Richard Wagner's Music Dramas (Richard Wagners Musikdramen). 1st edn. Friedrich Verlag, 2nd edn. Orell Füssli, Eng. translation
CUP. Pocket edn. Reclam. Chapter XI.
||Carl Dahlhaus, translator Mary Whittall.
||This is a highly regarded introduction to Wagner's canonical operas. Although not many pages are devoted to Parsifal there
are insights on every page, not only into the music but also into the poetry and the ideas of this opera. Note in particular his discussion of Yearning in Tristan and Parsifal.
|1986 London and New York
||ENO/ROH Guide to Parsifal: Thematic Guide. Opera Guide No.34. John Calder, Riverrun Press. Pages 71-81.
||Lionel Friend, editor Nicholas John.
||In his list of motives, Lionel Friend casts his net wide and so catches all of the major thematic ideas but also many insignificant
details. This book also includes an essay on the music of Parsifal by Robin Holloway.
|1893 Paris and New York
||Parsifal: Legend, Drama, Partition (Parsifal de Richard Wagner: légende, drame, partition). US Book Company 1892, Henry
Holt & Co. 1904.
||Maurice Kufferath, translator Louise Henermann.
||One of the earliest but still worth reading studies of Wagner's last opera.
|1892 Paris and New York
||The Music Dramas of Richard Wagner and his Festival Theatre in Bayreuth. US edn. Dodd, Mead & Co.
||Albert Lavignac, translator Esther Singleton.
||Lavignac's book is a compendium of everything that a visitor to Bayreuth needed to know in the 1890's and much of it is still
relevant. In his chapter on Parsifal, M. Lavignac provides copious musical examples, following the Guide by von Wolzogen.
|Berlin 1926, 2nd. edn. Tutzing 1966.
||Das Geheimnis der Form bei Richard Wagner, Band IV. Der Musikalische Aufbau von Richard Wagner's Parsifal. 2nd Edition,
Vorlag Hans Schneider.
||Although Lorenz was mainly concerned with musical structure, he provides a thorough survey of Wagner's thematic material that goes
well beyond that of von Wolzogen. Lorenz discusses not only the prominent and obvious Leitmotive but also the small elements that he called "Urmotive",
fragments and building blocks of the music.
||Wagner (Master Musicians Series). J.M. Dent & Sons. Pages 256-271.
||Millington's book is unusual in that it combines biography with an account of Wagner's major works. Although he only discusses the
major thematic elements, the chapter on Parsifal also discusses other aspects of the music that deserve our attention, such as tonality and
||Wagner's Most Subtle Art: An analytic Study of Tristan und Isolde
||Probably hard to find but worth seeking out, this privately published study of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde analyzes that
work in depth. North discusses Wagner's score in terms of "basic motives" that are elements much smaller than traditional Leitmotive and which can appear
within those motives. Such basic motives can be found not only in Tristan but in other operas: for example in the Ring the motive of
Woe that is first heard when Alberich is rejected by the Rhinemaidens, or in Parsifal the motives of Yearning and Suffering.
||Wagner Nights (or US edn. as The Wagner Operas). Pages 670-764.
||In this classic of Wagner literature, the London-based music critic Ernest Newman — who had a life-long love-hate relationship with
Wagner as man and artist — gives a scene by scene summary of each opera, with many musical examples.
|1981 Cambridge UK
||Cambridge Opera Handbooks: Richard Wagner Parsifal, CUP, Pages 61-86.
||Arnold Whittall, editor Lucy Beckett
||Whittall gives us a perceptive commentary on the music of Parsifal, which he called
a tonal work of art.
|1882 Leipzig, 1891 New York
||Thematic Guide through the Music of Parsifal (Thematischer Leitfaden durch die Muzik zu R. Wagners Parsifal), US
edn. G. Schirmer.
||Hans von Wolzogen, translator J.H. Cornell.
||Last but not least, the catalogue of primary themes or Leitmotive that Hans von Wolzogen made for visitors to Bayreuth. Although
the names he gave to some of these themes might be misleading, it is generally agreed that Wolzogen identified the most important of the thematic