Item #39462 Autograph musical quotation from the "Pilgrims' Chorus" from Act III, scene I of the composer's opera, Tannhäuser, 1846. Signed. Richard WAGNER.
Autograph musical quotation from the "Pilgrims' Chorus" from Act III, scene I of the composer's opera, Tannhäuser, 1846. Signed

Autograph musical quotation from the "Pilgrims' Chorus" from Act III, scene I of the composer's opera, Tannhäuser, 1846. Signed

Oblong octavo (101 x 160 mm. ). The first 8 measures. Notated in black ink on four staves, the four vocal parts incorporated into one stave. Inscribed below the quote: "Gesang der Pilger aus Tannhäuser, und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg ... von Richard Wagner." With the date "Janu. 3d, 1846" in the hand of the British concert manager and critic John Ella (1802-1888) at lower left, presumably the day on which Wagner both penned the quotation and presented it to Ella.

Together with:
An original 19th century photograph of Wagner, 82 x 53 mm. The composer is depicted half-length, turned left, with his right hand extending into jacket pocket.

Together with:
A 1-page (167 x 245 mm.) autograph statement in Ella's hand relating how he acquired the present autograph: "The property of Prof. Ella, 9 Victoria Square S.W, XI/113. Written in my Album and presented to me in Dresden as a memento of my visit & a token of friendship. This Autograph was exhibited in the 'Loan Collection' at South Kensington 1885 Jno Ella. Entered in collection list by John Belcher."

The three items laid down onto a triple-windowed mat, 360 x 278 mm. Minor foxing to Wagner autograph; photograph slightly faded. The ensemble in very good condition overall.

Tannhäuser, a grand opera in three acts to a libretto by the composer, was first performed in Dresden at the Hoftheater on 19 October 1845.

"Wagner’s text is a conflation of two separate medieval legends: those concerning Tannhäuser, believed originally to have been a crusading knight from Franconia, and the song contest on the Wartburg – drawing on a number of 19th-century versions, notably those of Ludwig Tieck, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Heinrich Heine, Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué and Joseph Eichendorff. The anachronistic linking of the two legends was originally made by Ludwig Bechstein, in Der Sagenschatz und die Sagenkreise des Thüringerlandes of 1835–8 (see Spencer 1976), and reinforced by a contemporary scholar, C. T. L. Lucas. ...

The uncomprehending response of the audience at the first performance on 19 October 1845 was largely due to the inability of Joseph Tichatschek, the singer of the leading role, to grasp the principle of melos towards which Wagner was progressing. His abnormal vocal demands also took their toll on Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient (Venus), his niece Johanna Wagner (Elisabeth) and Anton Mitterwuizer (Wolfram). However, by the mid-1850s the work had established itself in the repertory of more than 40 German opera houses. An invitation from Emperor Napoleon III to stage Tannhäuser in Paris led to one of the most celebrated débâcles in the annals of operatic history ...

Tannhäuser, with its frequently abrupt contrasts and rudimentary motivic integration, falls well short of the mature Wagnerian music drama. Yet it marks a considerable advance over Der fliegende Holländer in the deployment of the orchestra, continues Wagner’s preoccupation with the dramatic conception or ‘poetic intent’, and shows some awareness of what he later referred to as ‘the beautiful, convincing necessity of transition’." Barry Millington in Grove Music Online

"Tannhäuser is based on two German legends: ‘Tannhäuser’, the mythologized medieval German Minnesänger and poet, and the tale of the ‘Wartburg Song Contest’. The story centers on the struggle between sacred and profane love, and redemption through love, a theme running through much of Wagner's mature work. One of the most famous parts from the opera is the 'Pilgrim's Chorus'. The theme of this chorus is already present in the overture of the opera and concludes this mighty stage work with the same music in the form of a majestic hymn, which glorifies the victory of pure love over sinful passion." Baton Music Online

"Throughout his career Ella made regular trips to Europe, where he forged important contacts with foreign musicians. Thalberg, Meyerbeer and Berlioz were among his friends. ... John Ella contributed meaningfully to musical life in London during the 19th century and promoted many musicians and singers who are still regarded today as preeminent among their contemporaries. His published writings include Musical Sketches, Abroad and at Home (London, 1869, 3/1878) and Lectures on Dramatic Music and Musical Education (London, 1872)." Christina Bashford in Grove Music Online.

Item #39462

Price: $17,500.00  other currencies

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