It was Liszt's habit to recommend novelties to the public by explanatory articles or essays, which were written in French (some for the Journal des debats and the Gazette musicale of Paris) and translated for the journals of Weimar and Leipzig - thus his two masterpieces of sympathetic criticism, the essays Lohengrin et Tannhduser a Weimar and Harold en Italie, found many readers and proved very effective.
In Tannhauser and Lohengrin Wagner's intellectual power develops far more rapidly in the drama than in the music. The Sangerkrieg, with its disastrous conflict between the sincere but unnatural asceticism of the orthodox Minnesingers and the irrepressible human passion of Tannhauser, is a conception the vitality of which would reduce Tannhauser's repentance to the level of Robert le Diable, were it not that the music of the Sangerkrieg has no structural power, and little distinction beyond a certain poetic value in the tones of violas which had long ago been fully exploited by Mozart and Mehul, while the music of Tannhauser's pilgrimage ranks with the Vorspiel to Lohengrin as a wonderful foreshadowing of Wagner's mature style.
Wagner's earlier works have too long been treated as if they represented the pure and healthy childhood of his later ideal; as if Lohengrin stood to Parsifal as Haydn, Mozart and early Beethoven stand to Beethoven's last quartets.
The crowning complication in the effect of Der fliegende Hollander, Tannhauser and Lohengrin on the musical thought of the 10th century was that the unprecedented fusion of their musical with their dramatic contents revealed some of the meaning of serious music to ears that had been deaf to the classics.
Elster, Beitrage zur Kritik des Lohengrin (Halle, 1884), and R.
The Lohengrin legend is localized on the Lower Rhine, and its incidents take place at Antwerp, Nijmwegen, Cologne and Mainz.
The tale, which is almost identical with the Lohengrin legend, belongs to the class of the Cupid and Psyche narratives.
It forms part of the cycle of the chansons de geste dealing with the Crusade, and relates how Helyas, knight of the swan, is guided by the swan to the help of the duchess of Bouillon and marries her daughter Ida or Beatrix in circumstances exactly parallel to the adventures of Lohengrin and Elsa of Brabant, and with the like result.
The epic of Lohengrin is put by the anonymous writer into the mouth of Wolfram, who is made to relate it during the Contest of the Singers at the Wartburg in proof of his superiority in knowledge of sacred things over Klingsor the magician, and the poem is thus linked on to German 'i.e.
The consecrated wafer shared by Lohengrin and the swan on their voyage is one of the more obvious means taken by the poet to give the tale the character of an allegory of the .relations between Christ, the Church and the human soul.