WAGNER (RICHARD) Printed letter signed, making arrangements for the première of 'Der Ring des Nibelungen', 1875
Lot 183
WAGNER (RICHARD) Printed letter signed, making arrangements for the première of 'Der Ring des Nibelungen', 1875
£2,000 - 3,000
US$ 3,400 - 5,000
Lot Details
Printed letter signed ("Richard Wagner"), making arrangements for the première of Der Ring des Nibelungen, to Hofmusikus Hieber in Munich: in effect, a formal invitation, asking him to play in the premiere of The Ring ("...Ich unterlasse bei dieser formellen Einladung die Ansprache űber die Bedeutung Ihrer von mir hochgeschätsten Betheiligung an der Ausführung meines Werkes, welche ich am Liebsten in herzlichen lauten Worten in der Stunde unserer ersten Vereinigung an Sie zu richten mir vorbehalte..."), setting out his plans for the first performance, giving details of the composition of the orchestra (assembled from the court orchestras of Germany), explaining his intentions behind the rehearsal schedules ("...Indem ich Sie hierdurch zur Mitwirkung im Orchester meiner Bayreuth zu veranstaltenden Bühnenfestspiele einlade, setze ich, als durch vorangehende Vermittelung Inhnen zur Kentniss gebracht, voraus, dass Sie die Bedingungen kennen, unter welchen die Annahme Ihrer Mitwirkung meinerseits einzig mőglich sein kann..."), supplying information about the rehearsals and performances, including the preliminary rehearsals in 1875, giving details of the payment and expenses, and sending his best wishes, 2 pages, a little staining, creased at folds, salutation and details of payment entered in a secretarial hand, large 4to, Bayreuth, 25 May 1875


  • WAGNER PREPARES FOR THE FIRST PERFORMANCE OF THE RING AT BAYREUTH, one of the great events in Western musical history. Although – as here – he was already despatching rehearsal schedules and the like to his performers, at this date many important matters relating to the premiere were not yet settled. On the day before this letter was despatched, his wife Cosima confided in her diary: 'Still no idea where to find a Siegfried; in the afternoon drove out to the theatre, as usual only gloomy experiences, the workers are doing nothing, the orchestral pit still too small, the ground clearance scarcely begun, and in two months' time rehearsals are supposed to begin!'. In the event of course the performances that took place in August the following year at the specially designed Festspielhaus in Bayreuth were a triumph, with not only the Kaiser and Ludwig of Bavaria in attendance, but also Nietzsche, Bruckner, Grieg, Liszt and Tchaikovsky, the latter writing (in his capacity as newspaper correspondent and despite hating the whole event and being snubbed by Wagner) that 'something has taken place at Bayreuth which our grandchildren and their children will still remember'. See illustration overleaf.
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