Opus Metaphysicum: an empty phrase?
In ‘Richard Wagner in Bayreuth’, Nietzsche described Tristan und Isolde as an “opus metaphysicum”. Dr Fend of King’s College, London asks, ‘Do philosophical concepts still offer any context to listen to, and think about Wagner’s operas today?
Michael Fend studied Musicology (with Carl Dahlhaus), German Literature and Philosophy at the TU and FU Berlin. Before joining King’s College London in 1993, he taught at the Universities of Aberdeen and Nottingham and was a fellow of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the Society for the Humanities (Cornell University), and of the DAAD at the Maison des sciences de l’homme (Paris). Since 2005 he is also Privatdozent at the University of Bayreuth; in 2005 he was Visiting Professor at the University of Hamburg. Michael Fend’s present research projects focus on inclusive and exclusive musical nationalism in nineteenth-century Europe, and on ideologies and practices of tonality in the early twentieth century, and his research interests also include the histories of opera and of music theory