Wagner: Sämtliche Briefe
Bd. 10: Briefe vom 17. August 1858 bis März 1859 - hrsg. von Andreas Mielke
With the publication of Volume 11 in November 1999, Werner Breig’s fundamentally new scholarly concept begins to make itself felt more strongly. All editorial differences aside: with respect to their contents, Volumes 9-11 can be neatly categorized as the "Tristan letters” volumes, the genesis of each act of "Tristan und Isolde” can be assigned to one specific chronological section. Wagner was working on the first act (beginnung his correspondance with Mathilde Wesendonck at the same time) in Zurich during the period of the letters compiled in Volume 9. Volume 10 "plays” in Venice and documents the origin of the second act. And in Volume 11, the reader can relive the completion of the epoch-making stage work in the letters Wagner sent from Lucerne.
Concerning this Volume we have obtained the following fax by the English Wagner expert Stewart Spencer, who wittily praises Werner Breig's fundamental new concept:
"There is a general problem of reviewing such magnificent volumes. They are the yardstick by which all other writings on Wagner will be judged. It is like sending someone to inspect the standard metre rule in Paris and asking them to review it. All one can say is that it exists and that it is in a class of its own. I'd like to congratulate you on its publication and thank you most warmly for picking up this edition." (Stewart Spencer, October 11, 2000)