Wagner: Complete Letters
Bd. 14: Briefe des Jahres 1862 - hrsg. von Andreas Mielke
Still no “Meistersinger” year
According to Wagner’s plan, 1862 was to have been the “Meistersinger” year. Although the libretto was completed in January, its musical setting dragged on and was ultimately postponed. Among the reasons for this were his relocation to the town of Biebrich am Rhein, his crushing financial concerns, the constant flow of summer visitors from near and far, his temporary invalidity of several weeks following a dog bite...
All of this can be read in detail in the letters – which also include Wagner’s artistic successes of that year: In Frankfurt, he conducted his “Lohengrin” for the very first time (twelve years after the first performance!); he introduced the “Meistersinger” Overture in Leipzig and organized concerts with scenes from his operas in Vienna.
Of far-reaching biographical import are his complete amnesty – he was once again allowed to return to his native Saxony – as well as his further distancing and ultimately final separation from his wife Minna.