Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt Volume II Part 42

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R. W.




How it is that we live for weeks and months BY THE SIDE OF EACH OTHER while I know all the time that we are cordially united and, so to speak, welded together in spirit, I will not explain to you today. You have probably heard of the painful circumstances which prevented me from visiting you in Paris at the end of February.

God be thanked, my anxiety is now slightly diminished, and I intend to arrive at Paris between May 7th and 9th. But I do not want to have it talked about because the many impediments which have so far frustrated my travelling schemes have made me a little superstitious.

With your permission I should like to advocate the offer made to you by Brendel, concerning the performance of the second act of "Tristan," at the meeting of musicians (August 7th). Schnorr and his wife have undertaken to sing, and the other parts will be decently filled here. Of course, this fragmentary performance ought not in the least to disturb or interfere with your original and further plans concerning this work. I hope that you will credit me with sufficient knowledge of the circumstance to understand your hesitation at sanctioning this proceeding. Be good enough to tell me simply what you think about it. If you do not send us packing, and look favourably on our request, the proper steps will be taken.

Write to me, if possible, by return of post, because I leave here on the 29th inst.



WEYMAR, April 18th, 1861.


A thousand thanks, dearest Richard, for your kind letter. May the treacherous fate which has hitherto kept us apart soon be vanquished for ever. No one can understand better than I that a fragmentary performance of "Tristan" must appear quite absurd to you. I thank you for the gentle manner in which you reply to my proposal, and take into account the narrow circumstances and resources which impede my activity. You cannot believe how painful it is to me not to be able to do anything PROPER for your honour, benefit, and use. For several years all my steps and efforts in that direction have been in vain; otherwise, not only "Tristan" but "The Ring of the Nibelung" would be in existence and do wonders. I was told several times, and positively assured, that everything would be done here to further your efforts, and especially to effect the performance of "The Nibelungen" and of "Tristan." I, for my part, have clearly demonstrated, by word of mouth and by letter, what they would have to do, viz., to invite you here for the purpose of mounting and conducting those works in accordance with your instructions and wishes. But the whole plan was always wrecked on the score of expenses.

I will not trouble you with the details of this affair, the failure of which, between ourselves, was my chief reason for giving up my connection with our theatre altogether.

The Carlsruhe performance of "Tristan" in September will be a great joy to me. The Grand Duke of Baden be praised and thanked for it. You will reward his kindness and grace in a glorious manner.

What will become of me in the course of this year is quite uncertain. First of all I shall see you in Paris.



WEYMAR, April 26th, 1861.

An answer would be too late to find me here.


PARIS, June 15th, 1861.


A few days ago I received a telegram from Leipzig for Tausig, in which he was requested to send his address. Today followed a letter for him, accompanied by one to me, in which I am asked for information as to Tausig and his whereabouts. I think it unnecessary to give that information, because I assume that Tausig has either seen the person in question at Leipzig or given news of himself. I therefore ask you to transmit to our young friend these facts, and also the enclosed letter intended for him, as I do not know what to do with the latter.

Beyond this I have nothing to tell you, dearest Franz--no event, no plan, no hope--for not the slightest change has taken place in my position.

Farewell, and, if possible, make me happy soon by news of your well-being.

Cordially your

R. W.




A letter from my daughter, Mdme. Ollivier, informs me that your wife will go to Soden by the middle of this week, and that you intend to come to Weymar by the end of the month.

Your presence here, coming as it does at the end of my too much prolonged stay, will be a beautiful spiritual ray of sunlight; let me urgently pray you not to refuse me this joy. On August 15th I intend to leave Weymar for a longer period, and have made the necessary preparations for my removal.

You will, of course, stay with me at Altenburg, where H. and T.

also have quarters. To the Grand Duke I have announced your visit, and I expect that your personal relations to him will be of a most pleasant and satisfactory kind.

How about your settling at Carlsruhe? Have your pecuniary affairs been arranged in Paris, and how? Let me know something about this.

As to myself I know nothing definite, except that I am going away from Weymar. Many objections have of course been raised, which, however, have not been able to alter my resolution. Between this and the beginning of August I shall fix on my next place of abode, which will, in any case, not for the present be a large town, because I want retirement and work above all. Briefly speaking, my situation is indicated by this dilemma: Either my marriage takes place, and that soon--or not. In the former case, Germany later on, and especially Weymar, may still be possible for me. Otherwise no!

For the moment I am plagued with all kinds of business matters.

Excuse me, dearest Richard, for writing you so little, and vouchsafe soon the great joy of your presence to

Your sincerely devoted


P.S.--My daughter writes to say that she will arrive here with Ollivier on August 3rd. The performance of the "Prometheus" and "Faust" symphonies will be on August 6th.


Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt Volume II Part 42

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Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt Volume II Part 42 summary

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