This is a word I came across--for the first time in my life, I believe--in a 2003 New Yorker article in which Alex Ross claims that the Lord of the Rings movies, as an exemplar of their form (movies) transcend the source, as an exemplar of their form (novels). Here's how he put it:
"The books tell a fantastic story in a familiar style, but the movies transcend the apparent limitations of their medium in the same way that Wagner transcended the limitations of opera."
I'm not much of a judge of movies, so Ross may be right. Nothing can be higher than Tolkien in my interior life, so I can't really judge the novels fairly either, but I didn't like the movies much--but I haven't even seen The Return of the King, maybe when I finally get around to watching them I can appreciate them as great achievements in moviemaking and a worthy adaptation of the book I love the most.
Lords of light! Is that old news or what? Almost as old as our word echt (which Ross used as a prefix: "echt-Wagnerian," or something. He seems to like the word quite a bit.)
It means 'genuine' or the Real Deal. Here's the etymology, from Wordnik: 1.German, from Middle High German, from Middle Low German echte; akin to Old High German ēohaft, customary.
The NOAD 2e tells us it was borrowed into English in the early 20th century--so we're lucky it wasn't replaced by "liberty" during the War Years, like in liberty cabbage.