Comparing Of John Williams And Richard Wagner

The composers chosen for this essay are John Williams and Richard Wagner.

The reason these composers were chosen was because there are some memories attached to Star Wars. 

Richard Wagner, was born on May 22nd, 1813 in Leipzig, Germany. “The artistic and theatrical background of Wagner’s early years (several elder sisters became opera singers or actresses) was a main formative influence. Impulsive and self-willed, he was a negligent scholar at the Kreuzschule, Dresden, and the Nicholaischule, Leipzig. He frequented concerts, however, taught himself the piano and composition, and read the plays of Shakespeare, Goethe, and Schiller.” (Britannica) He did not finish his prep schooling. Wagner mostly wrote Operas as his main type of composition. Some of Wagner’s most famous compositions are, The Flying Dutchman (1843), Tannhäuser (1845), and Tristan und Isolde (1865). While writing his pieces, he was also a conductor and that was one of the other ways he made a living. He was married twice. He was first married to Minna Planner but had no children. Then he was married to Cosima von Bülow and had three children, Eva, Siegfried, and Isolde. During his time it was more popular for things like Operas and so he wanted to write for an Opera and conduct. However the first Opera that he wanted to write and conduct for did not want him to work with that Opera. He found a different place to conduct and then he started his professional career. He was sent into exile and while in exile he wrote new pieces of music but was not aloud to present them.

John Williams was born on February 8th, 1932 in Queens, New York. “Williams was raised in New York, the son of a percussionist in the CBS radio orchestra. He was exposed to music from a young age and began studying piano as a child, later learning trumpet, trombone, and clarinet.”(Britannica) Williams moved to LA with his family and studied composition at the University of California. Then he was drafted into the military where he continued to write music. He then later went to Julliard and also worked as a jazz pianist. When he later moved back to LA, he started to work with large movie companies and compose music for big movie names like West Side Story. Some of his most famous works are, The Star Wars films, The Harry Potter films and West Side Story. “John Williams married American actress and singer, Barbara Ruick in 1956. The couple had three children: Jennifer, Joseph and Mark. Barbara passed away in 1974.” His music was mostly influenced by what happened in the 1900s. At this time when we was writing his music, there was a race for who could get to the future faster. By this, I mean that people were always trying to invent new things quicker. People were inspired to get to the future and things that were like Back to the Future type of things. He wrote music for the Star Wars movies and that was inspired by the future.

There might be many similarities from the lives of John Williams and Richard Wagner. Both Williams and Wagner wrote music that would be used as an overture. Wagner wrote the Flying Dutchman and Williams wrote the Star Wars theme. Both of them were married twice and had three children. Both Williams and Wagner were conductors of large symphonies that was popular.

As these composers have similarities, they also have differences. Some differences would be about their time period and what they were inspired by. Wagner mostly thought of his time period (although looking forward he did not look towards much further like Williams) while Williams tended to look to the future. Another difference that they have is that Wagner was exiled and wrote music as he was being exiled. Williams was never exiled, only went to War. Their last difference that I found was, Wagner is no longer alive and able to compose music but Williams is alive and we can still enjoy his music that he writes.

In conclusion, Williams and Wagner have done plenty to shape the music world of today. Both have lived in the last 200 years and that means that they have lead up to the way that music for soundtracks and movies are shaped today. They have plenty of influence on the world of music and almost everyone knows how the Star Wars movies start.