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"Wagner is like a huge mountain in our path. We can try to climb it; we can never reach the top." These words were spoken by the German composer and conductor Richard Strauss. They were spoken of Richard Wagner some time after his death. He was a man of great passion, talent and energy. At no time was a middle course possible for him. It was either all or nothing. In this respect he was consistent but when one looks at the details of his life it can be seen that he is nothing but constant inconsistencies. He was all things at one time or another. He could be either saint or sinner; a hero or a rogue. Wagner despised the public and wished for seclusion while at the same time he was unable to exist anywhere except in the center of the stage and in full view of the public he despised. Possibly this personality made Vagner the great artistic genius he was.

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