WAGNER, Richard (1813-1883), Composer. Autograph letter signed ("Richard Wagner") to "Kaiserin Elisabeth" (wife of the Grand Duke of Weimar), Vienna, 13 December 1862. 3 pages, 8vo, minor mat burn, otherwise in good condition. In German.
[With:] An unidentified ink drawing entitled "Richard Wagner's hand."
WAGNER PROPOSES A "NATIONAL EVENT" FOR TRISTAN AND ISOLDE AND VOICES THE HOPE THAT HIS 100TH BIRTHDAY WILL BE THE CAUSE FOR NATIONAL OBSERVANCES
An excellent, exhuberantly enthusiastic letter in which Wagner outlines his plan for a festival performance of Tristan and Isolde, only three years after its premiere, asking that the recipient pass the idea on to the Grand Duke of Weimar on his behalf. He proposes that the performances be scheduled for the month of May, when the Schnorrs [the well-known vocalists] are free and could take the title roles; the Weimar cast could then fill the other roles, and "Music director Lassen, the only one whom I trust in really understanding my score and being able to reproduce it, shall prepare everything to the extent that I can complete the coaching by the end of April." Hoping that the performances will be a "National Event," with "widespread advertising," Wagner expresses his desire to prove to the Duke "through the everlasting and widespreading success...what an important influence he would be in the development of German art if he, as a patron, would periodically sponsor extraordinary works of this kind." Wagner notes that the proposed festival actually falls around his 50th birthday and wonders if "there may be a chance that my 100th birthday will be observed, not without special celebration, by the nation;" he adds: "it should be understood by our contemporaries how important already a 50th birthday is in a life like mine, full of torment and labor...I will call my plan a patriotic one, and I mean this deeply, cordially and sincerely." With a small drawing labeled "Richard Wagner's hand."