Wagner's compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for contrapuntal texture, rich chromaticism, harmonies and orchestration, and elaborate use of leitmotifs: musical themes associated with particular characters, locales or plot elements. Wagner pioneered advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, which greatly influenced the development of European classical music.
Wagner expressed extensive racist sentiments in his life. He wrote several tracts denouncing the influence of Jews on German music. A half-century after his death, the German Nazi Party appropriated Wagner's music, due in part to his simultaneous German nationlism and implied anti-Semitism.
The music of Richard Wagner was brought to the 17th century after the Ring of Fire. Rebecca Abrabanel detested the composer for his personal vileness and anti-Semitism, but she thought that some of Wagner's pieces, particularly Liebestod, The Ride of the Valkyries and Der Ring des Nibelungen, could be used as part of psychological warfare at the Battle of the Wartburg.
When Frank Jackson shared with Michael Stearns his dislike of Wagner, Stearns, in turn, recalled how Rebecca forced him to listen to Parsifal for five hours as her way of proving Wagner's potential value in psychological warfare.
- Richard Wagner at the Harry Turtledove Wiki