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Themesicon: navigation pathSound and Imageicon: navigation pathSounding Image

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elements worked together on the basis of the Baroque sense of emphatic sensuality and overflowing emotion, but also the idea of transience. The church interior was seen as a reflection of heaven, and an attempt was made to dissolve the boundaries between this world and the next with the interplay of architecture, sculpture and illusionistic wall painting. The nave was intended to open out as it rose, and the believer's eye was to be turned towards heaven and the welcoming saints, all to the sound of the organ. The 17th and 18th centuries are celebrated as the heyday of organ-building. Regular organ landscapes were created, driven by different architectural and liturgical requirements: it was only in liturgical celebration that musical orchestration and artistic decoration of a space could merge. This was to influence one of the guiding intellectual forces of Modernism - Richard Wagner - to some considerable extent.

Early Modernism - Wagner's Gesamtkunstwerk

In the course of the 19th century music acquired outstanding status when compared with the fine arts. Music's expressive resources could successfully reach a


wide public that was listening to a new language - especially that of Beethoven - after the Enlightenment, revolution and a war that had raged all over Europe. The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer remarked on this: «Music is the true common language that is understood everywhere…. But it does not speak of things, rather of nothing but wellbeing and woe, which are the only realities for the will.» [14]

It is not surprising under these conditions that it was a musician who tried to bring the arts together, naturally with music in prime position: Richard Wagner (1813-1883). In his essay «Das Kunstwerk der Zukunft» (The Art-Work of the Future), he conceived an interplay of the arts as a Gesamtkunstwerk: «The great Gesamtkunstwerk that has to embrace all genres of art, in order to consume, to destroy each one of these genres to some extent as resources for the sake of achieving the overall purpose of them all, in other words the unconditional, direct representation of perfect human nature - this great Gesamtkunstwerk it (i.e. our spirit) recognizes not as the arbitrary possible deed of the individual, but as the necessarily conceivable joint work of the people of the future.»

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