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Wagner, Richard


WAGNER, Richard. Tristan und Isolde. Volständiger Klavierauszug von Hans von Bülow. Plate number 9942. 250 pp. Folio, 330 x 260 mm, bound in new half navy blue morocco, matching blue marbled paper over boards. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, [1860].

First Edition of the piano vocal score. Exceptional Presentation Copy from Wagner to Anton Seidl: "Herrn Seidl, zu Weihnachten/ 1872/ Richard Wagner". Substantial directorial markings throughout score in Seidl's hand. Seidl was summoned by Wagner to Bayreuth in 1872 and worked in close association with Wagner between 1872 and 1876, actually living in Wagner's house during the five years. Seidl took part the first Bayreuth Festival in 1876.

"During the last years of his life Wagner entrusted all important matters to Anton Seidl, whenever he was consulted about them, and this enabled the young conductor to fan the flame of enthusiasm for his adored master in various German and foreign cities…. In the following year he was engaged as conductor of the opera at Leipsic, where he astonished the conservative natives by the most stirring interpretations of Wagner's works. It was there that I for the first time had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Seidl conduct, and I now realize better than I did then, that it was his interpretative genius that there made me appreciate the Nibelung dramas, in some respects even more than I had appreciated them at Bayreuth" (Henry T. Finck, Anton Seidl, A Memorial by His Friends. New York: Scribners, 1899, p. 13-14).

The libretto and music for Tristan were written and composed by Wagner himself. The opera had its premier in Munich on June 10, 1865 under the baton of Hans von Bülow. Tristan und Isolde is universally acknowledged to be one of the high-points of the operatic repertory. Wagner's novel use of tonal relations in Tristan not only signalled the culmination of the Romantic style in operatic music, but it also heralded a departure toward a new modernism in symphonic music, directly leading to the experiments of Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Alban Berg and Arnold Schoenberg.

The history of Tristan und Isolde in performance is a long and colorful one. The completed opera was offered by Wagner to the Karlsruhe Opera house in 1861, but then was transferred to the Vienna Court Opera. The famous tenor Alois Ander was chosen to sing the part of Tristan, but proved incapable of learning the role. Plus the Vienna company rehearsed Tristan und Isolde over 70 times between 1862 and 1864, and finally the directors conceded failure and proclaimed that the opera was not performable.

Shifting to Munich for opening night found the soprano Malvina Schnorr in the role of Isolde and Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld as Tristan. A few weeks after the fourth performance von Carolsfeld suddenly died -- prompting speculation that the singing of Tristan had killed him. Two conductors Felix Mottl and Joseph Keilberth also died from exhaustion, both conducting in the middle of the second Act.

According to Newman ( The Wagner Operas, p. 202), "The musical texture of Tristan is different from that of any other of Wagner's works in that it is almost purely 'symphonic' -- often he abandons himself to the sheer intoxication of developing the mood symbolized by a particular motive for pages at a time, the stage situation meanwhile remaining stabilized." Some occasional spotting and soiling, a few paper repairs to outer margins of title and a few leaves, a few minor tears to margins, without the cast and index leaf after title as in some copies; still a very good, near-fine copy.

PROVENANCE: Anton Seidl (1850-1898), a protégé of Richard Wagner and in the year of this presentation, he was summoned by Wagner to Bayreuth to make the first fair copy of the Ring of the Nibelungen, basing the copy on Wagner's manuscript score. Seidl was later conductor at Leipzig State Theater and in 1886 he was invited again to Bayreuth as lead conductor at the Festival. Seidl succeded Leopold Damrosch as conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and later became head conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1891-1898.

WWV 90 XI (p. 439). Klein p. 29. Fuld Collection p. 328. Loewenberg 973. Hirsch II, 958. British Museum, Hirsch Collection p. 423.
Item nr. 130296     $ 30,000.00

Tristan und Isolde.
Tristan und Isolde.

Tristan und Isolde.
Tristan und Isolde.

Tristan und Isolde.
Tristan und Isolde.