Description: Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921), who was considered a Wagnerian due to to his past work in Bayreuth and the Wagnerian traits of his Hänsel und Gretel, seems to have believed that to define himself as a composer, he had to engage somehow with that designation, whether through orthodox Wagner imitation or an assertion of his independence from Wagner's musical legacy. The latter kind of engagement can be seen in Humperdinck's Königskinder (1897), in which he developed a new kind of declamatory notation within the context of melodrama, thus fulfilling Wagnerian ideals as well as progressing beyond them. The effectiveness of Humperdinck's effort is seen in the ensuing critical reception, in which the realities of being heard as a Wagnerian composer are clarified.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Kinnett, Forest Randolph